The region of Alto Palena underwent several territorial disputes with the Republic of Argentina. Therefore, both the Chilean and Argentinian settlers of this area of the frontier spent long years living as brothers and moving from one side to the other.
At first, the settlement of Alto Palena was made up by Chilean people who arrived from the center of the country. Late in 1966, both countries requested Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to settle the argument and her decision put an end to the controversy with Argentina.
Then, many Chilean settlers who lived in the Argentinian area returned to their lands. They carried the animals they had been paid with in return for their work and they started to raise cattle.
They also adopted the Argentinian gaucho costumes, which they later adapted to the Chilean fashion.
Thus, the region was colonized through these rural activities: agriculture and cattle farming. The latter has experienced a remarkable development and become the main source of income in the area.