Thousands of people gathered in the Chilean region of La Araucanía on Monday to witness a solar eclipse, rejoicing in the rare experience even though visibility was limited because of cloudy skies
Published: 2020-12-14 03:06 pm
Daytime darkness: Total solar eclipse wows in Latin America

Many people wore masks to curb the spread of COVID-19, though they crowded together in some places in Pucón and in other areas of La Araucanía, 700 kilometers (430 miles) south of Santiago, the Chilean capital.

“I liked it a lot and it was good that there were clouds because we could see it a little without glasses,” said Catalina Morales, a girl who watched the eclipse with her father, Cristián Morales. He described it as “spectacular, a unique experience.”

Thousands jumped and shouted happily in the drizzle when the sun was completely covered by the moon and then silence descended for a few moments. People again screamed and whooped excitedly when the sun appeared again.

During the brief period of darkness, only the lights of cell phones were visible.

About 500,000 Indigenous people of the Mapuche ethnic group live in La Araucanía. They traditionally believe that the eclipse signals the momentary death of the sun after a fight with the moon and leads to negative fallout.


Vergara reported from Santiago, Chile. AP journalist Mauricio Cuevas contributed from Pucón, Chile.

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