A couple days ago I got a comment on one of my articles from somebody who asked me what Pitucos are and why I hated them so much. In truth, this is an article that I've been wanting to write for some time. Indeed, this is one of the MAJOR topics that needs to be written about in regards to Peru. However, I've been hesitant to write it since I start getting all worked up and pissed off (but it looks like I'm in for it now so here goes).
I remember reading an article in "An American in Lima" that defined Pitucos as "snobs." Well, that's an accurate but very incomplete definition. How incomplete? Well, the article was about how the Pitucos had passed a law which prevented their maids from swimming on the same beach as they (the Pitucos) did. THAT'S the kind of people we're talking about here.
Now, before I go any further let me just say that 99% of the people you meet in Peru are going to be the kindest, most noble, most generous people you're ever going to meet in your life (and I suppose it's because of this that I've hesitated to write about Pitucos in the past). Peruvians work HARD (much harder than I've ever seen ANYBODY work in America), but they're mainly poor. Why are they mainly poor? Well, the Pitucos are too busy SPENDING the money and NOT working that it never trickles down to the poorer people of Peru.
You see, the Pitucos represent the wealthiest 1% or so of the population. And although you'd think you wouldn't see too many of them (being as they're only 1%), there are about 10 times as many "wanna-be" Pitucos who pretend to have money and competence and all that stuff and who walk around all day with their nose in the air.
You know, I remember a joke my Uncle once told me about a minor noble woman in England from a couple centuries ago. Upon having sex for the first time she reportedly stated, "wow, that's FAR too good for the commoners." To me, that sentiment encapsulates the privileged Pituco attitude. It's the same thing as saying that some people aren't allowed on the beach because the beach is good enough for the Pitucos and thus is too good for everyone else.
I mean how fucking ridiculous is it to SAY or even THINK that a group of people shouldn't have SEX because it's too GOOD for them? I mean, Pitucos would DENY THEMSELVES A WORKFORCE (after all, sex is where children come from) just to spite poor people who they think they are superior to. And the thing is, most of these Pitucos haven't DONE anything! They're just the spoiled brat children of rich people who achieved their money probably through swindling somebody, slavery, the drug trade, or some other unscrupulous tactic. Sure, there are a few honorable wealthy people in Peru, just like there are honorable wealthy people in all parts of the world. Actually, the Pituconess isn't so much attributable to WEALTH, but the attitude of superiority and racism that many of these people cultivate.
Seriously, if you're walking down the street in Peru and you get in the way of a Pituco who is driving his car you better dive out of the way because he/she will have no qualms whatsoever about running you over. The fact that you're not in a car will prove to this person that you are of inferior fiber. I've actually SEEN fancy cars hit people only to have the driver jump out of the car and BERATE the person they just struck! However, if the Pituco sees you and recognizes you as a potentially wealthy person, they will be overtly polite, but don't be fooled, the second your back is turned you're going to be the gossip of truly repugnant, ridiculous, character bashing gossip beyond anything you can imagine.
Seriously, Pitucos are pieces of shit.
There are many Pituco clubs around Lima that simply don't let indigenous looking people enter no matter how much money they have. They always claim it's because there is a problem with the person's shoes or clothing or whatever, but it's plain racism (Larco Mar is full of racist clubs like this).
As a white person traveling to Peru, you'll probably never notice this nasty behavior because by virtue of the fact that you are white, you are generally granted all Pituco privileges. However, if you start dating a woman who the Pitucos don't accept as their own (or who they view to be beneath them) WATCH OUT and be prepared to be socially shunned.
You know, the funny thing is that there is absolutely nothing to justify this superior attitude. Pitucos aren't any better looking than anyone else, they don't have more money (most of them are mortgaged to the hilt as a matter of fact) and they aren't more polite or pleasant to be around. Most of them have had maids since they were 2 years old, so they're incapable of washing dishes or clothing and they can't even feed themselves. But they strut around with a judgmental attitude, are extremely discourteous, and they're even dangerous in their indifference to the feelings and needs of other people (hitting people with their cars is only ONE way that this plays out).
In a country like Peru where so many people live in abject poverty, the existence of this wealthy indulgent class is truly despicable. It is, essentially, a case of slave labor, and the treatment that many of the servants receive is simply sub-human.
Let me just say again, however, that the Pitucos are easily avoided during your trip to Peru. Just don't stay at $100 a night or more hotel rooms. Don't go to places where people are actually doing any work. Avoid clubs that charge a S/. 100 entry fee, and you'll be among the 99% of the Peruvian population which works hard, treats people with terrific manners, and feels no sense of entitlement or superiority. People like THAT are what make up the TRUE essence of Peru. The Pitucos are just pieces of shit from a bygone age that haven't yet been flushed...but their time is coming.