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The Rio Mapocho is a small river located in Santiago, Chile. It runs around 60 linear kilometers from its source in The Andes Mountains to where it joins the larger Rio Maipo, and its total length is around 110 linear kilometers. Although a small river, both in length and volume, it is important because it flows through the middle of Santiago.

The river starts in the Andes Mountains, a dozen miles east of Santiago, where two smaller watercourses join together. It quickly descends down the mountains, entering Santiago in the eastern suburb of Lo Barnachea. It is quickly canalized, being carried in a concrete, \_/ shaped canal through the center of Santiago. Through most of the comunas of Providencia and Santiago, it has parks on one or both sides. As it leaves the center of Santiago, it takes a long bend towards the southwest, forming a border of sorts for the western edge of Santiago, and runs through agricultural country before finally meeting the Rio Maipo near the comuna of Isla de Maipo.

Chile is an arid country, and the Rio Mapocho only exists because of glaciers in the Andes Mountains. Due to the arid climate, the river and small, and due to the large population of Santiago, along with industry and agriculture, the river is very polluted. In Santiago, the water is usually only a foot deep or so, and is almost always a dark brown. Hopefully, as Chile continues to develop and become more environmentally aware, the river will be remediated, and returned to something approaching its natural state.


Brevity Quest 2020

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