Politically divided throughout its history, but not in the feelings of its own dwellers, the population of the Alto Palena Commune is made up by Chilean citizens from the central area of the country.
Late in 1966, the intervention of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain by request of both countries put an end to the territorial controversy with Argentina, and this region passed onto Chilean hands.
This was the best reason for many Chilean settlers who lived in the area but on the Argentinian side to cross the border with their animals and start cattle farming activities in the area. The typical Argentinian gaucho costumes also crossed the border and were recycled with Chilean codes.
Thus, Alto Palena has watched the development of both agriculture and cattle rising. Today, the latter has experienced a remarkable growth and become the main source of local income. Tourism will soon be a protagonist.