Peruvian society was divided into the Haves and the Have-nots. The Haves were divided between those born in Spain and those born in Perú, and the Haves born in Perú were divided between the whites and the mestizos (descended from European whites and native Inca). It can sound a bit confusing to us, but it’s the age old fight between Old Money and New Money; bluebloods vs. greenbacks. Mrs. Garcia is descended from Old Money whites born in Perú; Rosa is a mestiza.
Dinner parties were lavish affairs for the wealthy. A dozen courses was considered average and hosts were known to serve up giant empanadas (meat pastries) that had to be carried in by two or three servants. Close relatives would return to the house the next day to help finish eating the empanada’s crust.