Santiago - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

We have encountered some very negative racial attitudes here, not directed at us, but related to us. Darker skin is generally viewed negatively and the Haitian immigrant community in particular is viewed with scorn by some locals. - Dec 2020

Haitians, which have arrived by the thousands, are viewed as hard working. One was diagnosed with leprosy and it has taken time to shake off that stigma for all Haitians living in Chile. - Jun 2019

Sometimes people will assume certain people are nanas or when you look different you will get stares. That's fairly normal anywhere in the word. You take anything not see often and people stare. So far I haven't heard of prejudices openly expressed except when it was directed towards all people from Columbia in a news story. All religions are openly practices as are political views. There are some gender prejudices as well. - Feb 2016

There are definite gender discrimination issues. Street harassment takes place. There are also racial discrimination issues as the racial makeup of Chile is very heterogeneous. Individuals who look different get stares. - Nov 2014

It's a very conservative country with very traditional gender roles. - Oct 2014

There are definitely prejudices against Peruvians and Bolivians. Lots of prejudices against indigenous groups in Chile. Probably against other ethnic groups as well. - Sep 2011

Chileans are reserved with people of different races and cultures, especially those with darker skins. It takes some time and patience to penetrate the conservative shell the Chileans have -- once you do however, you will enjoy your experience with the culture far much better. - Jul 2010

Yes, I've been shocked by some of the racist comments I've heard here. As a woman, I've also noticed the men can be aggressive. It makes things easier to dress very conservatively. - Jul 2009

Anyone with African blood is treated like a rockstar in Santiago. In clubs, black men will literally be groped and goosed - especially by aggressive Chilean cougars. A Chilean man would die to bed a mulatta. Yet it would be very unlikely for these same Chileans to ever openly date a black person. I chalk up this behavior to severe sexual repression. Re: gender bias - Chile is probably one of the most machista countries in Latin America. Despite having a female President, Chile has no female CEOs and very few professional women. I am a female and I often take male contacts out to lunch/dinner - the waiters will often laugh outright when I choose the wine or pay the bill. Another pet peeve is when waiters completely ignore me - the only woman at a table of men - and walk away without taking my order (I assume they think that since a man didn't order for me, I wasn't going to eat). Chilean women pride themselves on being mother-martyrs and uber-housewives, and education and career are not priorities. It was recently reported in the local newspapers how Chile scored poorly in world labor rankings due to the lack of women in the workforce. This is also likely due to ridiculously generous maternity packages which have the effect of disincentivizing the hiring of women. - Apr 2009

Racial Prejudice-Dominicans are a fun loving and great group of people, but they hold deepfeelings of racism towards the darker-skinned Haitians. Religious-nothing noticeableGender-nothing extreme, women are treated well, but still not as equal as in the USA or Europe. - Sep 2008

Not that I've noticed, although there is some class discrimination. - Jul 2008

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