SOAR - Santiago Chapter

Santiago joined the SOAR family in March 2016. The southwestern lands of South America, called “Chili” by its native people, became home to many immigrants beginning in the late 19th century, and Armenians were no exception. While fleeing the Genocide in 1915, many Armenians landed in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile. The first Armenians are believed to have settled in the small town of Llay-Llay, near the port of Valparaíso. Like most capital cities, Santiago developed gradually, and many also settled there.

One of the first Armenian families to settle in this “long petal of sea, wine and snow,” as Pablo Neruda described his country, were the Baloians in 1923. As the years went by, more Armenians arrived. In the 1940s, the Chilean state encouraged immigration, luring even more Armenians into the country. At that time, Antranig Baloian was a successful Chilean businessman who deeply loved his homeland. There was no formal local Armenian organization yet, but Antranig placed an Armenian altar in his factory to keep the Armenians united. Thus the Armenian community in Chile was born. This is also how the “Hai Dun” (the “Armenian house”) came into existence, originally envisioned as a meeting place for Armenians. The Hai Dun came to house a choir, theater plays and Armenian classes, eventually developing into a social club, whose legacy is still alive today.


Carolina Derderian

Carolina received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile, and her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychoanalysis from the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez and the Chilean Society of Psychoanalysis (ICHPA) where she is currently a candidate in their psychoanalyst programme . She has 10 years of professional experience in therapy and diagnosis in children, adolescent and adults, in her private practice and also as a forensic psychologist. Her practice includes forensic evaluations for the courts, court-referred children and families, and has been an expert witnesses in court proceedings in the area of development and memory in children and adolescents.

Carolina and her family are members of Armenian Community in Chile, where she has served as a Director in 2009 – 2010 and 2012-2013. She believes in the mission and vision of SOAR, which she joined in 2016, and in supporting Armenians around the world.