There is an old Chilean saying that ‘Nothing ever happens in Chile’. Since Pinochet's coup that is no longer tenable, although it would appear that in the Chiloé archipelago, 1100 kilometres to the south of Santiago, time has largely stood still. I visited this group of islands over a period of seven years and lived there without electricity, hot running water or health care. It is a primitive life, rich in myths about the constant struggle with the sea and land. Still, it is an open question how long this lifestyle will continue to exist. With the arrival of new technologies, the development of tourism and salmon farms economic changes are inescapable – and with them the sapping of centuries-old social structures and cultural traditions. I recorded the Chilotes while that was still possible. The result is an account of a people who believe in ghost ships, witches, God, and the power of community.