From the 19th century, the Salesian order aggressively evangelized southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego , in both Chile and Argentina, from its Punta Arenas  base. The museum’s rosy view of Christianity’s impact on the region’s native people may be debatable, but figures such as the Italian mountaineer priest Alberto de Agostini (1883–1960) contributed to both geographical and ethnographic understanding of the region.
Agostini left a sizable photographic archive to the museum, which also has a library and a regionally oriented art gallery. Permanent exhibits deal with regional flora and fauna, a few early colonial artifacts, regional ethnography, the missionization of Isla Dawson and other nearby areas, cartography, and the petroleum industry. For Darwinians, there’s a scale model of the Beagle and, for Chilean patriots, one of the Ancud, which claimed the region for Chile in 1843.
The Museo Regional Salesiano (Av. Bulnes 336, tel. 061/221001, musborga [at] tnet [dot] cl) is open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily except Monday. Admission costs US$3.50 for adults, US$0.35 for children.