Peruvian families are tightly knit. Their households may include parents, children, grandparents or other extended family and often domestic servants. The elderly are looked after within the family.

Traditionally, the family life of Hispanic mestizo people (who are half Native and half Spanish) were typified by strong male authority figures that controlled family life and the public presentation of the family unit. The wives organized the home and trained and supervised domestic help. Today a great number of women head households and contribute to the economic life of the family.

The Quechua (Native) households tend to be slightly smaller. They rely more heavily on a patrilineal kinship system. This stands in contrast to the system of the Hispanics which includes the mother's kin as part of the extended family.

Did you know?

Peruvians will offer you an item enthusiastically if you admire it and might be offended if you don't accept it.

Most Peruvian Natives live in the highlands and on the coast. Almost all highland Natives are farmers. Although most young people wear modern clothing, many of the older Natives wear traditional handwoven clothes.

People in the rural Andes do not have consumer goods such as televisions, stereos and appliances that are enjoyed by middle-class households in the cities. The lower-class households of urban areas are often characterized by harsh living conditions including houses made of scrap materials.

The upper-class white families do not mix with people outside their class. Their children marry someone from a family within their same economic group.