Thursday, February 4, 2010

Peru: Etiquette

The official language of Peru is Spanish and the customs and traditions are influenced mainly by the European-descended cultures. Peruvian etiquette is similar to other Latin American countries, but a few traditions that are unique to Peruvian cultures have been preserved.

Tipping: Some say that Peruvians are not big tippers, however, it is unfair to put ALL Peruvians into one group. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation to the people serving you and to have your money go straight into the pockets of the people that earned it. A 10 to 20% tip will be warmly accepted at any restaurant and will put a surprised smile on a person's face.
• Taxis do not expect tips.
• Hotel porters and bell boys expect a tip equivalent to $1 per bag.

Events: Peruvians are not known for their punctuality. If you are invited to a house, you will normally be expected to arrive at least 30 minutes after the invitation time.(Fashionably Late!)You should bring a bottle of wine or flowers for the host.
• Food will normally be served after 3 pm, for dinner after 10 pm.
• When wine or drinks are poured, everyone waits to be served and everyone says "salud" before you start drinking!

For the Business Traveler: January through March are vacation months for most Peruvians so avoid scheduling business meetings, if possible, during this time.
• Address others with professional title and last name. People with no title can be addressed as "Senor" for "Mr.", "Senora" for "Mrs.” or “Senorita for "Miss". Names can be somewhat confusing since most Hispanics have two surnames - one each from their father and mother
• Business attire for men or women is formal but conservative. It's acceptable for women to wear make up and jewelry.