Maciej Frankiewicz

Tocopilla, Chile

Tocopilla is a small, harbor-power station-mining town north of Antofagasta, west of Calama, south of Iquique, located off the Pacific coast. The name Tocopilla means "the devil's horn". It was once called "goblin gorge" and "deep ravine". These names, frankly speaking, accurately reflect the climate and character of this 20,000th town. Tocopilla is the port from which the copper of Chiquicamata is being shipped to all around the world (Chiqui is one of the largest mines on earth, which is home to 5% of the world's copper production), also has a powerful power station supplying the whole surrounding mining area, and from Tocapilla itself a series of electric tractions starts. In Tocopilla potassium nitrate was once mined; not anymore, because the demand for this raw material is decreasing. Ten years ago, Tocopilla was hit by an earthquake that left homeless more than 15% of the local population; many other buildings, including industrial ones, were destroyed. And in this poor, industrial town, 29 years ago, in December, a couple of days before Christmas, a boy was born. Few years later he will regularly go to the local stadium, then play in the youngsters of Cobreloi football team, from where he will go to Italy, to Spain and finally to England, where they will throw him an undisputed offer, 140 thousand pounds. Weekly. It is 120 million pesos; the average monthly salary in Chile is 400k. 1200 times more. The boy will become the local hero and pride of Tocapilla. His name is Alexis Sanchez. That means breaking out.