But it has been a different story in 2010.
First there was the earthquake off the coast of the Maule Region on February 27th. It measured 8.8 on the MMS (the successor to the Richtor scale for those no in the know), lasted 90 seconds and killed 486 people.
Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed, 50% of the country was declared a 'disaster zone' and at least one prison riot ensued.
It is estimated to have cost the insurance industry 4-7 billion dollars. Humanitarian aid was plentiful from around the world, even though the Chilean government originally thought they didn't need it and, somehow, Chile survived (even the resultant Tsunamis).
And then, on August 5th, there was an accident at the San-Jose copper-gold mine near Copiapo bringing Chile into the limelight again.
A cave-in left 33 miners 700 metres underground for 69 days. While the accident may have highlighted some safety issues for the mining industry in Chile (and the rest of the world), the amazing rescue on October 13th left Chile the world leaders in mine rescue.
No-one could believe that all miners had survived. No-one could believe they managed to get the men out before their Christmas deadline. It was all smiles in Chile.
Here's hoping for a little less 'drama' in Chile in 2011.
What is your nomination for the most talked about country in 2010?