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Lota, Chile

Lota is a city located in the center of the Republic of Chile on the Gulf of Arauco. The first Spanish settlement was founded by the governor Ángel de Peredo on October 12, 1662 but it did not survive long in the hostilities of the Arauco War. The modern city grew with the coal mining industry in the mid-nineteenth century. It was established as a town on January 5, 1875 and became a city on 30 of November 1881. The name Lota is thought to be derived from a Mapudungun word Louta meaning small or insignificant settlement.

The city's coal mines were nationalized by Salvador Allende due to civil unrest and heavy Socialist support, but privatized again under Augusto Pinochet In the 1990s, after Lota's coal resources were nearly exhausted and cheaper Colombian coal came on the market, the mines were closed, plunging the residents of Lota into poverty.

Today, Lota is one of the poorest cities in Chile and is trying to turn its economy towards tourism. Tourist attractions include guided visits to the coal mine, White Beach, the Park of Lota (created by the Cousiño family), and the Historical Museum of Lota. Lota also has Chile's oldest hydroelectric power station, the Chivilingo Hydroelectric Plant, designed by Thomas Edison and built in 1897. It is recently considerated as part of Greater Concepcion conurbation.

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