Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  

Life in Chile

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 With a view to preserve in writing an account of of my life in Chile I began by asking myself the question: what was Chile for me. Soon I discovered that my nostalgia for Chile was "my barrio". That is, my neighbourhood. It is here where I felt equal among the equals. It is in my neighbourhood where I placed my personal story in the company of my barrio's architecture, its people and its stories.  It was an excellent opportunity for me to delve and reflect deeply about my background, about Chile, its people and its history specifically that bit that touched so deeply my generation. I looked into thoseplaces where my life in Chile had evolved: the place that I used to live, the place I usedto work, the things I used to do with my friends: Thinking about all of thse things I decided to write:

'A Detailed Reflection of my Neighbourhood'

and it begins below, with the introduction


What you are about to read is the first part of Carlos’ life which takes place in Chile before his departure to Scotland via Peru in the year 1974. For Chilean singer and songwriter Carlos Arredondo the strongest emotions about Chile are the ones related to the images of the barrio Esperanza, the place where he grew up and lived until the age of 25 before leaving for Scotland via Perú: .....CLICK above to contiue reading.


Images and memories of my barrio

Which was part of the larger barrio called barrio Yungay a barrio which was born, according to Jaime Aymerich*, in the 1840s, designed by the French architect Jean Herbage and it got its name to commemorate a battle that had taken place some years earlier in Yungay (Peru) between Chile and a Peruvian-Bolivian alliance. It is situated next to the barrio of Balmaceda also built in the 19th century. It was within walking distance from the barrio Brazil. The barrio Brazil was middle class and had its origins in the 19th century. At one time this barrio housed the richest people of Santiago. Interesting European architecture was noticeable in many of the buildings. Carlos’s barrio in his childhood was a mini-world located in Esperanza Street between Mapocho St. in the south and Yungay St. in the North. This mini barrio was near to many interesting places such as San Pablo St and Matucana St., La Quinta Normal, La estación Yungay, la Plaza Yungay known as La Plaza del Roto, La Plaza Brazil and well known shopping areas in San Pablo St between the street of Matucana avenue and Lord Cochrane Street and Matucana St, and between La Estacion Central in the south and Balmaceda road in the north. ...CLICK above to continue reading.


Tizona guitar factory in Santiago.



Religion in the barrio

was one of my songs that my friends still remember in my barrio after 40 years.

The type of lives we had in my working class barrio depended on the political system we had and specifically depended on the guardian of that political system: The ruling classes. I decided to write about them.

The Chilean upper classes


It was a good idea to complement my memories about my barrio with some thoughts about the social class I always recognized myself. The working class.

What we should know about the lower social classes and the "Roto chileno"


A writer must be bold. I allowed myself to look to the issues I described about the high classes as affecting our lives in our barrio.

Questions and thoughts


Then I decided to indulge myself with two interviews to delve even more about Chilean history.

1st interview

2nd interview


And of course, I used a number of sources to complement what I wrote.



In 2010, I pay a visit to Chile after 15 years of absence and, of course, that 'Chile' was my barrio. I was so glad to meet friends that I had not seen for more tan 35 years. When I came back to Scotland I wrote, in Spanish, 'Viaje a Chile" ( Journey to Chile). It was an experience highly charged with emotions and memories.

Barrio Esperanza



Viaje a Chile


The Gallardo family's story

It is the story of the Gallardo's, a beautiful family I knew well. The bloody dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet found in them an easy target to express the nature of his regime based on terror, torture and death.

The Gallardo's story intermingle with my childhood friend, Rolando Rodriguez Cordero killed, like those from the Gallardo family to whom Rolando was closely related to:

Rolando's wife, brother in law, father in law, the wife of his brother in law were all tortured and killed by the Pinochet's regime.

They were wonderful people that did not deserve to die so young. Their choice was to oppose the regime in order to restore democracy and freedom in our country.

Rolando and Catalina Gallardo left a 'wee' baby called Alberto and today he is a big man trying hard to understand and then come to terms with the tragic death of his parents and other of his close relatives.

I had the opportunity to meet him during my visit to Chile in 2010.




Rolando Rodriguez Cordero

With two of Rolando's sisters.
We met in Santiago in 2010. Maria on my right just passed away.


  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America