Barrio San Vicente – San Eugenio

It is known as the laborers and trains neighborhood of the capital, which started to form at the end of XIX century with the construction of Maestranza San Eugenioof the Railway Company, in the west border of the city

First inhabitants of this neighborhood, west from Club Hípico, were families that arrived from the countryside and saltpeter areas looking for better opportunities.

With their precarious houses and around the railways, they started to establish in the area with no mayor services. In this way, Congregación de Misioneros Redentoristas (Redeemer Missionaries Congregation), in the place since 1876, had an important social work attending needs such as spiritual, feeding and sheltering those families.

In the beginning of XX century, Redeemers built their church, the Basílica del Perpetuo Socorro (Perpetual Help Basilica), that is located in the corner of Blanco Encalada and Conferencia streets, which has a French gothic style unique in the area.

Decades passed by and industrialization of the country gave this area its laborer air, starting from the factories and warehouses that established in it, taking advantage of the labor around.

The first worker town that established in the area was El Mirador, inhabited mainly by railway workers.

Afterwards, the placement of textile, sack, sugar and milk factories, among others, meant the generation of work and the birth of housing complexes that allowed to have workers close and give them a better life quality.

Among the complexes designed with that stamp, it highlights workers towns like Población San Eugenio (1933), Población El Riel (1935), Colectivos San Eugenio (1937), Población Pedro Montt o Yarur (1938) and Población Arauco (1945), that were a response to give health equipment, culture and education to make a complete neighborhood life.

Today, walking along the streets of the area is possible to appreciate the style of those times, the continuous facades where workers families lived, the little squares, center of community life; or the local and humble commerce that is formed by bakeries, groceries and variety stores.

There you still breath the story of thousands of men and women that with their work gave progress to this lands in which their actual inhabitants, many of them old Railway Company workers, strive to keep alive in the memory.

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