Dec 16, 2022, 9:02am EST
South America

A new family moves into the lighthouse at the ‘end of the world’ in Chile


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A place known locally in Chile as the “end of the world” has a new occupant.

Chilean navy Second Sergeant José Luarte and his family have moved into the lighthouse on Chile’s Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America. They will stay there for the next year, secluded on the island where winds can reach over 186 mph, El Pais reported.

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A map showing the location of the Cape Horn lighthouse.

Luarte, his wife, and two kids are the new resident keepers of the southern headland. The post is a voluntary one, and involves monitoring weather forecasts and guiding ships as they cross the treacherous Drake Passage that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans between South America and Antarctica.

Food and other essentials arrive every two months on a navy ship. Occasionally, tourists on cruise ships will briefly stop by.

Luarte told El Pais he doesn’t mind the seclusion.


“At other jobs, I abandon my family for most of the day,” he said. “But here, where we’re all abandoned, we can be together.”

The outgoing lighthouse keeper, Chilean navy First Sergeant Jorge Becerra, met Luarte earlier this month to provide advice before their swap, telling him of the long history of families that have lived on the island.

The greatest motivation, Becerra said, is having the chance to represent their country while stationed at the end of the world.

“It is a tremendous pride to represent each one of the Chileans here,” he said.