Difunta Correa Shrine
About six kilometers east of Puerto Natales, on the south side of Ruta 9, the spreading mountain of water-filled plastic bottles at this spontaneous roadside shrine suggests one of two things: Either many Argentines are traveling here, or Chileans are becoming devoted to the folk saint Difunta Correa, strongly identified with Argentina’s San Juan province.
According to legend, a young mother died of thirst in the desert in the 19th century, but her baby survived at her breast; her need for water explains the bottles.
Or it may be a changing combination of the two, as the Argentine economic crisis has reversed the traditional flow of tourists into Chile.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition