Mapocho River

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Mapocho River

Mapocho River, stream arising in the Andes of Santiago and draining the northern portion of the Santiago basin in Chile. After a short but precipitous course (62 miles), it joins the Maipo River at El Monte. Santiago was chosen by Pedro de Valdivia as the capital of his governancy because the river offered the water needed by the settlement. Cerro Santa Lucía on the southern bank served as a defense post against Indian attacks, and both riverbanks were densely populated by natives engaged in successful agricultural production in the fertile soils along the Mapocho. In the early 1990s the waters had become badly contaminated by city sewage and industrial waste.

See alsoSantiago, Chile .


Benjamín Vicuña-Mackenna, Historia de Santiago (Santiago, 1938).

Jean Borde, Les Andes de Santiago et leur avant-pays (Bordeaux, 1966).

Additional Bibliography

Agard-Lavallé, Francine, and Lavallé, Bernard. Del Garona al Mapocho: Emigrantes, comerciantes y viajeros de Burdeos a Chile (1830–1870). Santiago de Chile, 2005.

Palacios, Jorge. Del Mapocho al Sena. Santiago: LOM Ediciones, 2001.

Rojas Valdebenito, Wellington. "Otra Mirada al Río Mapocho." El Heraldo Austral, Puerto Varas, Chile, (Agosto 2002): 3-4,

                                    CÉsar N. Caviedes