Environment and Location
The Chango people inhabited the coast of the Atacama Desert at least as far south as the modern city of Coquimbo. The coast in that part of Chile is a narrow strip of land running between the Coastal range and the world’s driest desert on the East, and the Pacific Ocean on the West, where the Humboldt Current carries cold water from the seas around Antarctica.
This current nourishes abundant and varied sea life, and climatically it prevents the formation of rainclouds. All the same, breezes blow moist air over the land, creating a weather pattern known in the region as the camanchaca – dense fog that carries enough water to allow a richly biodiverse terrestrial ecosystem to thrive along some parts of this desert coast.