Founded in 1883 by immigrants from Croatia and Chiloe during a minor nineteenth century gold rush, Porvenir (Spanish for "future") is the capital of both the homonymous commune and the Chilean Province of Tierra del Fuego of the Magallanes y Antartica Chilena Region, and is located at 53:18:32S, 70:26:11W. It is a city of 4,807 inhabitants , including several thousand soldiers and is the largest settlement in the Chilean half of the island of Tierra del Fuego.
The main sources of income are sheep farming and small scale fishing (wrecks in Porvenir bay prevent larger vessels from mooring). In addition there is a regiment of the Chilean army and a high security prison. An abattoir operates for only short periods of the year.
Some gold deposits remain and are commercially mined. Porvenir also gives access to Cerro Sombrero, an oil town, 125 kilometres east of Porvenir.
Though tourism is expanding, most tourists pass Porvenir by, or use it simply as a stopover on their way further south. There are several hotels, cyber-cafes, restaurants, and one gas station. A small grocery store is located near the Chilean army base on the upper level of the town.
Access is by ferry or by air from Punta Arenas or by road from the Argentine side of the island. All ferries across the Straits of Magellan are run by Austral Broom, a Chilean company. One service runs once daily except Mondays from the port near Punta Arenas and reaches the ferry terminal about 3 km from the town of Porvenir. The other service is at the northern end of the island running from Punta Delgada to Bahia Azul.
It is possible to reach the south of Chilean Tierra del Fuego from Porvenir. The southern region has several lakes and rivers available for fishing.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Porvenir