Culture

15 Stereotypes About Foreigners Visiting Latin America

Oh, stereotypes. What would intercultural relations be without a few simple-minded preconceptions of foreigners? Stereotypes surrounding gringos who visit Latin America are numerous. Some of them are actually a bit true, but, like most black-and-white views of the world, most are a huge exaggeration.

Tourism from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe brings considerable income to Latin American countries. Commercial relations between the Anglo countries and Latin countries have always been a cornerstone of the economy. So it is pretty common to spot rubios y rubias in the region. Here are some stereotypes that are common and sort of chistosos.

1. They fall for all the tourist traps
Real? A bit, but not too much. 

Credit: 0a94b0c0bc05108d9763972a93f4f2a2. Digital image. Pinterest

People believe that all foreigners will walk into the first establishment that offers crappy food and mediocre musicians performing “local” music. Fact is that most tourists are well-informed, particularly in the age of the internet. Ranking systems like Expedia and sites like Lonely Planet often advice against falling for the infamous tourist traps.

2. They are scared OF EVERYTHING
Real? Nope, not at all.

Credit: robbery-thief-robber-burglar-steal-money-bag-vector-20804951.  Digital image. Vector Stock

There is a misconception that gringos are afraid to go out because of the insecurity that plagues many big cities in Latin America (that is sadly true). Fact is, the contrary generally happens: many tourists fill emboldened and do not take the necessary precautions. Gladly there are always good, honest locals to guide them.

3. They encounter poverty for the first time and ask why people just don’t “work more” to solve it
Real? YES

Credit: mexico-poverty. Digital image. International Business Times

This is VERY common. When encountering poverty in the continent, many foreigners naively ask why people don’t just do more work, implying that locals are lazy. That is not how disadvantage works, compadre.

4. They just cannot consume spicy food
Real? NOT.AT.ALL

Credit: 150804122715-chili-peppers-large-169. Digital image. CNN

Most cosmopolitan cities are exposed to food from around the world, so many foreginers are well-seasoned eaters. Many can, in fact, out-chili the most daring Latino. Other foods that are widely consumed in the United States, such as Indian or Sichuan, have even more chili than, say, Mexican, so be prepared before you challenge a foreigner on a chili eating contest.

5. Foreigners are damn funny!
Real? Por supuesto

Credit: 43679_0. Digital image. eBay

Foreigners have la fama of being bien chistosos once that have a beer or two on them. Well, this is true… particularly when they attempt to wishiwashear songs in Spanish! Foreignerss that are definitely not funny, however: spring breakers who trash hotel rooms and throw up on the street como Pedro por su casa.

6. They walk around disinfecting EVERYTHING
Real? Partially

Credit: 84abb89cc44588566b56dafcc6a25d242eb67af01beeda90ac93923cc9266b26. Digital image. QuickMeme.

One of the biggest fears that foreign visitors have in Latin American countries is catching diseases. They walk around with a disinfectant in their purse and drink bottled water even in five-star resorts. A little precaution is fine, but too much actually turns insulting.

7. Some expect everyone to speak English
Real? In many cases, yes

Credit: american-tourists. Digital image. Modern Diplomacy

The worst tourists get offended when not everyone bows to them and speaks English. When someone asks you if English is your second language as if to insult you, just elegantly say: “Yes, actually, yes, and what is yours?” Even though English is one of the dominant languages in the world, so is Spanish.

8. But some really make an effort to speak broken Spanish
Real? Claro!

Credit: 43b14ffa92791f6259d172c05912405ba09fa23f. Digital image. Smashwords

Many awesome visitors make a huge effort to prepare before their trips and spend months learning basic words and phrases and actually attending Spanish school. We have met many that totally try to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Bien por ellos.

9. Older foreign couples fall in love with cute little towns and move there to open an B&B
Real? Yes!

Credit: changing-my-mind-about-san-miguel-de-allende. Digital image. The Travels of Bbqboy and Spanky

Towns like San Miguel de Allende in Mexico have become retiree central. Many couples buy a property and turn it into their dream business. They live an Eat Pray Love life well into their seventies, creating employment in the meantime. A win-win situation. These type of resting spots have become famous for celebrities like Johnny Depp, who made San Miguel his go-to place for chilling out in the early 2000s.

10. Young wild foreigners leave everything behind and open beach bars…. livin’ la vida loca
Real? Yep

Credit: zenzi-beach-bar-and-restaurant-at-calle—v6195748-720. Digital image. Oyster Hotel Reviews

Just like their older counterparts open chill Bed and Breakfast venues, young foreigners, many of which try to escape corporate life, open beach bars in places like Belize and Costa Rica. They live a life of sand, booze and one night stands. They change the suit for the rastas and become central figures in expat communities. Problem is: most of these expat bars are not intended for the locals, so there is not much attachment to the land.

11. Foreigners, in general, cannot sunbath without ending up like camarones
Real? Hahahaha

Credit: Sunburnt-Shoulders. Digital image. Scuba Monkey

It is not uncommon to see unprepared foreigners rojos como shrimps or a mandril’s butt. This is a bit funny, but also dangerous and something that should be discussed. Skin cancer is the real deal: wear sunscreen, chaparritos. It is not uncommon to see foreigners lather themselves with coconut oil to get a tan, a very dangerous practice that actually burns skin cells beyond repair.

12. They will eventually run to the first McDonald’s they see
Real? Nah

Credit: McDonalds_cropped. Digital image. Josh Healey

Even though sometimes foreigners need the comfort of their food, not all go to Mackers for a Big Mac fix. Part of traveling is eating and most foreigners know this. Tacos, enchiladas, chiles en nogada… bring on the Pepto Bismol!

13. They ask for the Mexican, Chilean or Cuban word for whatever comes to their mind.. It’s Spanish, so.
Real? Sadly, yes

Credit: the-spanish-language. Digital image. K International

Many foreigners believe that people in Latin America speak… Mexican… Argentinian… Cuban…. and even though we all speak different variants of Spanish, we are united by a single mother tongue.

14. “I know a guy called Juan in New York, he is also from Colombia, do you know him?” Dude, there are millions of Colombians.
Real? Yes, and it is damn funny

Credit: d1566_066295-c1c3e05c-1236-11e4-ae81-95568c4ed36e. Digital image. The Apricity

It is true and super funny. Would you ask a gringo is he knows a John in Missouri? No last name, no other indicator… just John. No, right? Well, many americanos are sure that every single person of Latino origin must know each other. Oh, it is so silly it is kinda cute.

15. They think the whole region is either a tropical paradise or a godforsaken desert
Real? Carajo, esto pasa muy seguido

Credit: Arbol_de_Piedra. Digital image. Never Ending Voyage

The geographical reputation of the whole region is that every single landscape is either a desert where Speedy Gonzalez roams around, or a tropical Brazilian rainforest with massive iguanas. Well, Latin America does have those types of places, but also forests, snowy mountains and everything in between. Learn some geography, guys, it is not that hard.

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Women Are Marching In The Dominican Republic As Part Of A Green Wave To End The Country’s Total Abortion Ban

Fierce

Women Are Marching In The Dominican Republic As Part Of A Green Wave To End The Country’s Total Abortion Ban

For years now, women across Latin America have been fighting for their rights. In too many countries women are literally fighting for their safety and lives, not to mention access to equal pay, education, and safe and legal abortion.

Recently, these activists have started to see victories pop up across the region in what many are calling a green wave. With Argentina having legalized abortion late last year, many are hoping that the momentum will carry over into other countries.

Dominican feminists are demanding an end to the nation’s total abortion ban.

The Dominican Republic’s current penal code (which penalizes abortions) dates all the way back to 1884. It should go without saying that the time to update these archaic laws is long overdue.

The group of feminists use the hashtag #Las3CausalesVan and wear green, representing the latest in a green wave of reproductive rights that has spread across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We are manifesting in front of Congress to demand respect to the life, health and dignity of women, emphasizing the inclusion of the three causals in the penal code,” Saray Figuereo, one of the activists involved in the movement, told the APP. “And we won’t let them make up an excuse that they’ll include them in a special law.”

The movement for the “Las 3 causales” (3 “causals” or “grounds/circumstances” in English) demands the approval of abortion in three extreme cases:

  1. When the pregnancy is a byproduct of a rape or incest
  2. When it represents a risk for the woman (or girl)
  3. When the fetus is nonviable

It’s the first time in generations that there is hope to update the country’s laws.

In 2020, the Dominican Republic held a historic election where Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party won the presidential elections—the first time an opposing party won after a 16-year rule by the Party for Dominican Liberation.

In an interview with El País, he said, “Look, I disagree, as does the majority of the population, not only in the Dominican Republic but in the world, with free abortion, but I do think that there must be causals that allow the interruption of pregnancy. That has been the official position of our party.”

Reproductive rights in the Dominican Republic have long been an ongoing issue. The ratio of maternal mortality in the country is 150 per 100,000 births, higher than the average of 100 in Latin America.

“It’s been over 25 years fighting for this and all the lives that we keep losing, especially marginalized lives that are not even valuable enough for the media and the press to cover them, because the erasure of these voices is constant in the Dominican Republic,” activist Gina M. Goico told the AP.

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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