The “hijitos de papi y mami” is defined as: girls and boys who enjoy having a huge economical inheritance from their parents and they show so by driving expensive cars, wearing expensive clothes, eating at the most expensive restaurants and going to the most expensive places in Dominican Republic. They all attend similar universities,which are obviously again…the most expensive ones. They are the ones who post on Instagram their pictures at Dubai or their weekend home in Punta Cana; the ones that spend up to 1000 dollars in a club; the ones that go to hippie or hipster places to try to appear “humbling” or “cool” (since the new cool is to be humble after all right?). These are the “hijitos de papi y mami” of DR.
First of all, clearing up my game, I do have a couple of friends who are “hijitos de papi y mami” so I don’t have a problem with them as long as they don’t get up into their own heads. I actually like to observe people in their natural surroundings…them including; and no, I don’t include myself in that category because although I like to dress well, and frequent some places they tend to go, I haven’t got enough money to buy a Longchamp purse yet and my parents don’t even know what a trust fund is…so, yeah, you can say I’m part of the hard working middle class that still hasn’t been displaces from this uneven society pyramid. During my observance during the years, I’ve come to notice that these “hijitos” share an awful lot of characteristics. I will break them down into the following:
- They all go to the same universities. Unibe and PUCMM are the most expensive universities in DR, where a semester can cost up to US$2000 (you may not deem it as expensive, but the minimum salary per month here is US$250). These universities are packed with the sons and daughters of the recognized families or with those who have an immigrant, fancy last name along with European like features such as: light skin, light hair color, and type 1 hair (sometimes they have a type 2 but they make it a a type 1 (see: The “whitening” of my latin hair). Don’t get me wrong, attending an expensive university doesn’t automatically make you rich, there are students with scholarships and student loans that attend there too but let’s be real…no “hijito de papi y mami” thinks about going to the UASD, a public state university where students protest with homemade bombs and you can find up to 80 students in a classroom with no air-conditioning, and sometimes you have to find and carry a seat from the first floor all the way up to the third floor because there are no seats left on the third floor.
- They all go to the most hip restaurants and bars in the city…and if they’re hip, they are definitely expensive. If you’ve gone to night clubs and bars such as: Moriqueta, Doubles, Maquiavelo, Boca negra, Lulú; Restaurants like: La placette. Pata e’ palo, Laurel…then you’re definitely an “hijito de papi y mami“. Yes, I been to like one of those places before, but I barely bought a drink or too because any more would’ve broken my bank. Places where a drink can cost up to US$20, or charge you double the price for a beer (normally US$2.50-4.50). These kids rarely go for the individual things…they like to share with their friends, and when I mean share, it’s sharing at a great level. Buying 4-5 bottles of Grey Goose vodka, which normally would cost about US$35, but clubs can easily sell them for US$50-55 dollars the unit price, that’s without counting the plate of food that would normally cost between US$50-60 dollars per person at one of those high class restaurants and the cover entry to a night club that can range from 10-15 dollars per person. Easily a group of 10 would spend around US $200 in drinking, US $500 in eating, US $100 in entry fess…which sums up to US$800 dollars a night (approximately, US$80 per person), without counting gas or clothing expenses. On the other hand, if I spend more than US $45 dollars a night, I feel I’m breaking the bank already. Obviously, this is just one day of the weekend. If we do the math and calculate it for one day every weekend (total of 4 days), these kids spend up to US$320-350 dollars a month just on “going out on Saturdays” expenses. We both know that there are people that spend way more than that, but we’re talking about the average Dominican young adult (18-22 years old) “hijito de papi y mami”.
- They have children of their own: Cars, Passports and Vacation Spots. You never see an “hijito de papi y mami” taking a bus, by foot or taking the train. Hell no! Those Valentino high heels and Oscar de la Renta shirt can get dirty and sweaty. No, the ones that use their parents ride don’t count. I’m counting those who drive Porsche’s, Ford’s, Mercedes and Jeep’s. They flaunt their rides on Instagram with pride and joy. They invest in them , just as their parents invest in themselves too. Passports? Of course! They have that schengen visa since they were 10 years old when they went to Paris for their Christmas family vacations. Pictures at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Check! Pictures at the Red Light District in Amsterdam? Check! Pictures at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong? Check! Pictures at the Miu Miu Runway at the Milan Fashion Week? Check! Don’t know what to do on Spring Break or that Labor Day weekend? No problem! They can pick between their father’s Yacht in Bávaro, the Beach House in Punta Cana or take a trip around the city in their uncle’s helicopter.
- They have nieces too: Clothes and Cellphones. Even though Dominican Republic is the 110th out of 189 most poorest countries in the world, we have the latest technology and the most high couture fashion brands in the world. From Rolex, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo stores to having the latest iPhone 7 plus on it’s release date on September 16, 2016, Dominican Republic has it all…especially for the “hijitos de papi y mami”. Just the thought of paying US$ 2,800 dollars for an Yves Saint Laurent purse makes me want to faint, but for these girls and boys, it’s like asking for a latte at a Starbucks (if we ever get a Starbucks in Dominican Republic). They obviously don’t have that fear of getting mugged in the streets by the fact that they get driven around by their chauffeurs, ride their shocking Porsche around the Blue Mall (home to the couture stores in Dominican Republic) or even go shopping with their personal guard.
- They’re trying that new wave hipster/humbling/organic trend… “Yeah, I like to go to warehouse parties with super unknown Dj’s just drinking some beers and enjoying the culture and music; by the way I bought this Ferragamo purse on my trip to Florence.”…the newborn trend among the “hijitos de papi y mami”. “Yes, I eat totally organic, no Gluten, veggie food, but the only champagne that doesn’t give me indigestion is Moet”. “I’ll go to Haiti to volunteer in an UNESCO project, and I’ll be staying at the Marriott Port-Au-Prince Hotel during my stay time if you want to contact me”. It’s not like they flaunt it on purpose, but since it’s part of their daily routine, it’s normal for them to have access to all the best and comforting things *life gives them (*parents), so they talk about it like if it was what the majority has or experiences, since from their point of view, the majority of people surrounding them are just like them.
The “hijitos of papi y mami” of Dominican Republic aren’t all equal, to be just. Not all of them fall into the hands of money and luxury. To be honest, the few who are rather close to me are the most humble persons I know. I have friends from diverse social statuses and cultural backgrounds, since I like knowing and experiencing different points of views on life with no prejudice whatsoever. If you are an “hijito de papi y mami” I hope you enjoyed the post; if you feel identified, then I’m glad that my observational study has hit the spot; if not, than I would love to hear how different your lifestyle has been than the status quo.