What do we do down here in Chilean Patagonia, anyway? I mean, you know what we do here: we make unique watches from Patagonian wood and leather. But what do the rest of the people down here do? Granted there aren’t many of us down here, but they’ve got to do something to put bread on the table and keep the home fires burning. Below you’ll find a small snippet of both the most interesting and the most typical Patagonia job examples to show the spirit of the region, and perhaps entice you down here to visit. (Chilean and Argentine Patagonia have a combined population of 2 million, but most of that population is on the Argentine side of the border. Rumor has it we have more penguins in Chilean Patagonia than people.)
Bagualeros are a near mythical breed of Chilean cowboys, who are known for their passion for the land, their grit and determination in situations beyond what most consider extreme. Not your typical farmer or even the very skilled and respected huaso, a bagualero goes into extremely remote and dangerous situations to collect feral cattle, bulls included, wrangling some of the most dangerous livestock known to man. This is not a Patagonia job for the faint of heart. Alexandra Fuller, from National Geographic, tagged along on a ride for one last round up of baguales from Sutherland, an area of Patagonia so remote it is typically only reached by boat or multi-day horse trek. Her glimpse into the life of a bagualero is captivating.
Tourism. A rapidly expanding tourism industry in Patagonia has meant a rapidly expanding job market for everything from housekeeping to tour guides. For years Chilean Patagonia had been a well kept secret, or perhaps was seen as too remote and too difficult? But now, the market has expanded beyond treacherous outdoor camping treks of the Torres del Paine W, to luxury hotels like The Singular who showcase the best of the region’s rugged and mystical beauty, while making sure you you have a gourmet dinner and a crisp, clean and comfy bed to sleep in each night. There is now something for everyone in Patagonia.
One Patagonia job you might not have thought of before? Fishing. With approximately a billion miles of coastline (just kidding, it’s actually 2,653 miles … but on average only 110 miles wide!) fish is Chile’s number three export. Southern Chile has become home to an ever expanding farm fishing industry. Often given a bad name, fish farmers are constantly improving and leading the way to become the sustainable way to green our seafood efforts and fight illegal overfishing of endangered species. Patagonia is also home to a thriving wild caught seafood trade. You’re obviously familiar with the Patagonian Toothfish, right? It’s better known as the more appetizing name of Chilean Seabass. Next time you’re at your grocery store’s fish counter, look for the country of origin and don’t be surprised when you see Chile smiling back at you.
Come down and visit us to learn more about what we’ve got to offer down here in Chilean Patagonia!