A long weekend to celebrate

An estimated 300,000 vehicles are leaving Santiago this weekend as Chileans make the fiestas patrias of September 18 and 19 into a long holiday break.  There may not be much happening news-wise for the next several days, but here are links to two good reads in the meantime:

The New York Times travel section has an article on the joys of Pichilemu, described as “a small but sprawling beach town fronting a seeming never-ending series of sandy coves and rocky headlands, all backed by miles of pine forest. http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/travel/drawn-to-the-magnet-of-chiles-surf-coast.html?ref=travel

On a less bucolic note, the Financial Times blog Beyond Brics has a piece on Chilean finance minister Felipe Larrain, the country’s social protests and the “middle-income trap,” in which “people feel richer and want things like free [higher] education and health care.” Larrain points out that “on measures such as institutions, the rule of law, political stability, fighting corruption and efficiency of public spending, Chile is already near, at better than the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] average.” http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/09/13/chiles-middle-income-protests/#axzz26SnaDO7F