Chileans are not racists, except perhaps toward violent, conniving, land-stealing, and treacherous Mapuche Indians in the south central part of the country (stay away from Temuco), and toward slimy Peruvians, who “work twice as long for half as much.” Of course my adjectives are applied to give readers a sense for how Chileans feel.
There are no black people in Chile to speak of, and there are hardly any Mexicans (at least none of the sort that many Americans hate). There are a few people from Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, etc. who are all collectively called “Chinos” and are not despised, even though the Chileans often use the expression “he works like a Chinaman” (trabaja como chino/a) to describe people who work too hard. Neither blacks nor orientals are hated in Chile. People from other Latin countries besides the upper classes of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil tend to be looked down upon. Bolivians and Peruvians are probably the most derided. There are some Arabs around, mostly from Palestine, and just a few people from India or Pakistan.
Chileans like gringos (i.e., Americans, Canadians, and Europeans) in general.
Chilean populations come from a variety of backgrounds, especially in Punta Arenas (on the Strait of Magellan near Cape Horn) where one can find Portugese, Spanish, British, Italian, French, Italian, Croatian, Russian, and several other ethnic influences. In Santiago, there are significant populations of these groups, along with Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and South Africans, plus a host of Jews, Palestinian Catholics, Eastern (Antiochian) Orthodox, Russian (Georgian) groups like the Molokans, and even a few Muslims.
Spain’s influence is felt and seen in almost all parts of Chile. The British left a significant influence in Valparaíso, Antofagasta, Iquique, Punta Arenas, and Santiago. French and Italians had some influence in Santiago. German immigrants (who often intermarried with Spaniards) had considerable influence in Valdivia, Osorno, and smaller areas of south central Chile like Panguipulli, Lanco, Rio Bueno, La Union, San Jose de Mariquina and Fresia. The Germans also had the most important influence all around Lake Llanquihue (Puerto Octay, Frutillar, Lllanquihue, and Puerto Varas) due to a major colonization effort in the 1860s-1880s which was sponsored by the Chilean government. One can still hear (old) German spoken in restaurants on occasion. Hitler was very popular during most of World War II in south central Chile, albeit much less so in Santiago. Relatively few Germans came after that war.
The Spaniards wiped out most of the Indian populations in the South, leaving a remnant of Inca descendants in the North. What was left of the Indians did eventually get mixed with European blood, creating a class of “morenos” or “mestidzos.” The upper classes have resisted intermarrying with Indians, or anyone with indian blood, up to the present day. European intermarriage is favored, including caucasians from America or Canada. But the other classes continue to intermarry with the darker-skinned mestidzo people.
As a result, most Chileans have light brown skin, brown eyes, and dark hair (which is most striking when seen a couple weeks after a morena (woman) has attempted to dye her hair blond). However, it is not impossible (or even uncommon) to find Chileans with blond hair and blue or green eyes, such as the beautiful young woman (chilena) in the picture below.
Such young ladies can be especially good fans of graying gringos.
Although people from Spain, Portugal, and Italy tend to have more of a golden skin tone, generally they are fair skinned like other Europeans and the combined effect is to have a lot of fair-skinned people in Chile. This fact is especially prominent from Santiago to the south, other than Mapuche areas around Temuco. Chileans also come in brunette, especially those with Italian, French and Croatian descent. Look at some of the young gals pictured below.
So don’t be surprised when you see light-skinned Chileans. There are not an anomaly. In Argentina and Uruguay fair-skinned people are even more prominent. But Chile has more than its fair share.