Site Map Articles

Cloud Catcher in the Chilean Desert

Chungungo is a fishing village on the Chilean coast, in most respects it is very similar to the many other small communities, strung out along thousands of miles of Pacific coastline, that depend on small scale fishing for their survival.But Chungungo is the site of an ingenious invention, the "atrapanieblas" or "mist-catcher", that has been copied around the world as a means of obtaining fresh water in areas where there is next to no rain and no ground water.It is a place that I have visited many times and enjoy stopping at if I am passing through the region of Coquimbo, more commonly known by its unimaginative administrative name, the 4th Region.

As you travel up the Pan-American Highway, that runs the length of South America, the mist-catcher is visible on top of the coastal hills that surround and isolate Chungungo.It is this isolation that spawned the ingenious system. The village had no source of fresh water, so before the mist-catcher was implemented water had to be brought to the remote village by road.The road to the top of the hills winds up a gravel road past an abandoned Iron mine to the mist-catchers. The system comprises a line of large Rashell nets, each about 100m2 that look like giant tennis nets.

Although the area has very little rain fall, the hill tops are frequently cloaked in a sea fog called "camanchaca". As the mist passes through the nets it condenses and runs down the nets into collecting trays and into a pipe that supplies Chungungo with drinking water. The system provides approximately 13,000 litres of water per day.From high above the Pacific by the mist-catcher the only sound is that of water trickling off to the lonely village of Chungungo below ? a reminder of how ingenuity can provide inexpensive life improving solutions.


Andrew Chaundler worked and travelled in South America for many years before setting up Optimundo, a travel company that specialises in Chile Holidays and Argentina Holidays that have been designed with expert knowledge of the region. The company also provides an efficient and friendly tailor-made service, so that you can specify the elements that you want in your perfect trip to Chile and Argentina.

By: Andrew Chaundler


Top Tips Taking for Road Trips With Kids - Top 10 Tips Taking for Road Trips With Kids Like many other families, our family takes a number of road trips each year.

The Dominican Republic The Secret is Out - (Permission is freely granted to use this article so long as our about the author/resource box remains at the end of this article and with all links live.

Tourist Attractions in Sweden A Personal Top - Ask Sweden fans what's their favourite spot in Sweden and most will say there are too many to mention.

Hilton Head Island Tips For Visitors - Hilton Head Island Hilton Head Island was the first ecologically-planned destination in The United States.

Why Take A Mediterranean Cruise - A Mediterranean cruise is without doubt the most varied type of cruise available.



© Copyright 2024 Dallas Diversity. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.