Chile: Homeless in Santiago

As in many cities around the world, in Santiago, Chile, the cold winter months are a trying and dangerous time for the homeless.

Alejandro Rustom, a contributor at the citizen photojournalism website Demotix, exposes the reality of the homeless in the Chilean capital and highlights how a group of citizens are trying to help.

Alejandro writes:

In the Franklin District in Santiago de Chile, there are groups of people living on the streets that don't have the chance to live under a decent roof. They make their way on the edges of society.

A group of Teachers, Students and Parents of Teresian College, has organized groups to visit these people, to deliver food and clothing. Nestor Chavez Guerra Professor and leader of the school's pastoral thinks the most important thing is to listen to their problems and needs in order to provide more help at every visit.

“A homeless woman sits on a bench in a park.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

“A homeless man smiles.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

Rustom shows how some of Santiago's homeless try to make a living:

“Maria, an indigent who makes a living selling coffee, tea and buns.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

“A homeless man who makes a living collecting paper.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

He also photographs their sleeping arrangements and their efforts to shelter from the cold:

“A homeless man sleeps on the ground with his dogs.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

“An urban dwelling made from discarded materials and found furniture.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

Finally, Rustom captures how a group of citizens are trying to make a difference in the lives of Santiago's homeless:

“A girl offers food to a homeless.” Photo by Alejandro Rustom, copyright Demotix.

You can see more photos in Rustom's two-part series about the homeless in Santiago: Chilean homeless make their way on the street – Santiago, and In pictures: Homeless Chileans get by during the night 

All images are under copyright by Demotix. Read more about the partnership between Global Voices and Demotix.


  • The homeless are refugees of a failed culture, a failed state, a failed civilization ~reflections of disorder.  Global chaos. Let us fight for Global Liberation on a global scale and focus on our inner liberation at the same time. It is up to the people who are most impacted in a given region to fight for their own liberation.  Look at the world with a global overview. Namaste! Peter S. Lopez AKA @Peta_de_Aztlan on Twitter ~Sacramento, California

  • Focus your mind on God’s light. Visualize the light of God healing the homeless of Santiago, Chile… Speak, think, chant and/or sing God’s name as you know it…. Praise his name and spread the light across the world and into Santiago, Chile while focusing on healing of the homeless…. Let it rain healing rain of God across Santago, Chile….

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