Uspallata Pass: The Road to War and Peace

(Photo by Andy Stuardo L.: Christ the Redeemer of the Andes)
Just as it was during South America's colonial era, the Uspallata Pass is a vital, scenic roadway connecting Argentina and Chile.  During the Latin American Revolutions of the early 19th Century, the Army of the Andes marched through the pass in order to liberate Chile.  The battle united Chilean and Argentine revolutionary forces; which eventually secured independence for all of South America's southern nations. 

Less than 100 years later, in the early 1900s, the bond between Chile and Argentina was long shattered and border disputes brought the two sides to the verge of war.  The Catholic Church intervened by creating a statue of Christ - a reminder to the two Catholic nations as to where their true ambitions and loyalties should reside.  Cristo Redentor de los Andes (Christ the Redeemer of the Andes) is engraved with words, 

"Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than Chileans and Argentineans break the peace which at the feet of Christ, the Redeemer, they have sworn to maintain."

In order to make sure the nations honored the statue's message, Ángela Oliveira Cézar de Costa, a well-to-do Argentine woman who helped secure funding for the statue, raised funds to have the statue placed on the highest point of the Uspallata Pass.  Any military personnel from either side would have to literally and figuratively cross the statue on their way to wage war.  The nations are still at peace.

Thanks for reading!

Check out this video for footage of the beautiful scenery along the Uspallata Pass.

Photo copyright: By Andy Stuardo L. (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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