After finishing secondary schooling, Luis Abarca worked at a variety of jobs, including cleaner, mason and construction labourer. At age 24 he entered la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad de Chile, where he studied journalism from 1969-73.
In 1971 Abarca began to write for the youth magazine Ramona and the success of his columns motivated la Editorial Quimantú to publish a book bringing together a selection of the best of these. The book, Viaje por la Juventud, sold more than 50,000 copies and is held in the collections of the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile (as is Ramona). The book describes Chilean youth in the first years of the 1970s. In 1973 Abarca was detained during the coup of September of that year and was later expelled from university.
In September 1974 Abarca migrated to Australia and in 1978 began to write for Spanish-language newspapers and magazines in Sydney. He has been a newspaper editor and a radio journalist for SBS's 2EA in Sydney. Beginning in 1978, Abarca wrote a column titled 'Crónicas de un Bladi Woggi' which appeared over the years in several publications. In 1992 a selection of these columns was published in Sydney and Santiago, Chile as Las Historias de un Blady Woggie.