Unfortunately, today Pisagua is forced to be just a shadow of what it was. At its most prosperous, Pisagua was one of the main ports in South America where its forte was the transport of saltpeter from the area. Once the nitrate boom ended, the locals were forced to continue working in the world of fishing.
With the passage of time, the population of this place began to age and the younger generations chose to move to larger cities looking for job opportunities.
Although Pisagua seems to be just a small port that lives in the shadows of its past, it is more than that. In the past it was used as a concentration camp for prisoners, being used for the first time during the Videla government, to hold those militants of the Communist Party prisoner while the Cursed Law was in effect. Later, it was used during the dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet to hold those members of the Popular Unity and opponents of the government prisoner.
A couple of years ago the houses of the historic center of the port were declared national monuments, although this may sound like good news, for the residents of the place it has become a nightmare, the houses of the place are too old and the protection of heritage of the government prevents these from being reformed and unpayable sums of money are demanded from the families for a complete restoration. as a consequence of this, many neighbors have chosen to leave their family homes or move to the outskirts where what is currently called "new Pisagua" arose.