As most countries do, Chile exhibits a difference in wealth and socioeconomic status. Living in Viña del Mar, Chile, a populous city (I have only lived in suburbs up until now), there are a mix of burroughs around the city that have distinct levels of wealth. The ones in the lower class are generally called, "los flaites" whereas the ones higher up are called, "los cuicos". I live in a upper-middle class home in a middle-class neighborhood. We do live close to upper class homes as well as low-income housing.
When I discuss meeting and hanging out with Chilean friends, I am always asked where they live and what they're last name is. When I tell them where they live, they respond, "Oh, that's good". I was confused at first by this, but it matters to my host-family who I spend my time with and their socioeconomic class. Generally those of the "lower class" are uneducated and you can tell who they are by their poor speech. The classes are usually distinct in a way I am not used to.
The classism in Chile could be more apparent because of the switch from suburb to city life, however I do think that the classes are an important facet of the culture here in Chile. Because there are these more distinct lines yet communities of all classes, us gringos have been taught what to do in certain situations, for example with the beggars or gypsies. We are always told to make sure we have our items secure. Robbery is a much bigger problem here than where I grew up, that is for sure.
All a part of the learning experience, I suppose.