Chile: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Chile: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

Chile is a land of contrast and surprise, flanked by the PacificOcean on the west, the Andes to the east, the forbidding saltbasins of the Atacama Desert to the north—with a verdant CentralValley and Cape Horn at its southern extremity. The Chilean people,too, are surprising: on one hand reserved, family-oriented,Catholic, and conservative; and on the other fun-loving,entrepreneurial, neoliberal, and modern. Their geographicalisolation from the rest of the world, their colonial past, and thenear 20 years of repression under the military dictatorship ofGeneral Pinochet have had a profound influence on theircharacter.Today, traditional Chilean values are being questioned by theyounger generation. In fact, the country's position as the LatinAmerican stronghold of Catholicism is being challenged by Chileansof all generations, and pressure has led to unprecedented changesin family and censorship law. Chile is also one of thefastest-growing economies in South America, and thanks to ambitiousstructural reforms, has sharply reduced its poverty rate in thepast few years. Culture Smart! Chile provides vital information onwhat to expect and how to behave in this complex and dynamicsociety.