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Back in the days of the salitreras, Huara was known as the place for miners to come for some R & R. They weren’t allowed to take women into the camps. So to seek company, those men would come to visit the casas de citas. It’s said that every other house in this town was this type of “recreational” center where men could see ladies. Now, though, Huara is called “Pueblo Anciano,” as many of the young people have left to seek fortunes elsewhere.




Huara also has played an important role in religious matters. In 1908 the Catholic Redentorista order arrived here and established a school to educate theses villagers and those who lived in the many mining offices across the pampas. Later the Franciscans took over this work. One of the most famous to preach and participate in this effort for San Alberto Hurtado, canonized in 2005. The ParroquĂ­a SantĂ­simo Redentor is a simple chapel. Like other pampino towns, Huara celebrates pre-Lenten carnival with Aymara flourishes (movable feast: February-March). The patron saint of the pueblo, the Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro, is feted June 27. August 5 is the feast of SantĂ­simo Redentor. Another reason to drop into Huara is to visit the Botica Libertad, once one of the most important pharmacies on the pampas and now a museum (Arturo Prat NÂş180). The railroad station is a Monumento Nacional. The village was heavily damaged by an earthquake in June 2005.




To learn more about what Huara has to offer, check out its homepage: If you want to spend the night, in town is HosterĂ­a La Chinita (Donato Zanelli 12) and on the highway, Residencial Manuelito. Both have restaurants. Stands along the roadside sell mangoes, oranges and other fruits grown in pampino oases.




Near the turn-off for Huara is that for A-55, which goes to the Gigante de Atacama, Tarapacá, Colchane and Parque Nacional Volcán Isluga before crossing into Bolivia. Along the Pan-American Highway north of Huara are other interesting stops you can make. Just past the village is Cerro Aura with a series of geoglyphs. On one hill are a man and a square. Another displays four squares said to represent the universe. On a third is a shaman. The road then goes through the Zapiga Sector of Reserva National Pampa de Tamarugal. Almost 40 kilometers (24 mi) north of Huara, six kilometers (3.6 mi) south of the Pisagua turn-off, is ex-Oficina Dolores. This nitrate mine, which continued to operate until 1960, had its peak 1880-1930. Located two kilometers (1.2 mi) off the main highway, the town is now in ruins. One of the most important land battles of the Guerra del Pacífico, la Batalla de Dolores, occurred on the three hills surrounding a vital water well. On November 29, 1879, 6000 Chilean forces confronted a combined Peruvian-Bolivian army of 11,000. The monument explains the maneuvers of that day (in Spanish).




(Altitude: 1103 m / 3583 ft, Population: 958, Phone Code: 057)




Other places nearby Huara: Arica, Pica, Toconao, Tocopilla, Iquique, Mamiña, Pisagua, San Pedro de Atacama, Calama and Antofagasta.

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Huara, Chile
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