1. Latin Americans are much more friendly and personable than people from North America and they are so much easier to get along with...excluding the southern U.S where people are friendlier than in other parts of the U.S.
In Latin America, most everyone says good day and if they know you, expect a hug and a kiss.
Remember this: If you get treated badly by a Latin American it is because they have had negative experiences with gringos. Unfortunately, when a few gringos become ugly with a local, we’re all treated by that local as one of the ugly gringos”. All you can do is smile and hope that one day the stigma will cease to exist.
Consider that NOT all gringos are patient and nice people and when they move to these touted countries in droves…well you get the point.
2. Latin Americans generally like gringos. The term “gringo” is not to be taken as derogatory but actually it is quite endearing to be referred to as a gringo.
Interacting with the people of Ecuador, Panama and Mexico has given us the wonderful opportunity to see that Latin folks are genuinely interested in how gringos do things, dress, eat, live, you name it. However, we always need to present ourselves in respectful ways and bide by the cultural norms of the country we’re residing in. One example would be greeting people appropriately when we meet them. As long as we are respectful, we will be treated with respect.
3. Latin Americans are not suspicious of differences in people and are not apt to call the cops because someone is wearing a black hoodie on the street or because she is looking into a closed store window. North Americans are so apt to call the police on anyone that looks just a bit different and everyone has become suspicious of everyone. So sad.
We’ve had the cops called on us in the U.S for walking down the road as a family. Yep, that’s right…all we we’re doing was walking down the road with our three teenage sons, enjoying our day. In most areas no one walks in the U.S and so it was looked upon as suspicious. Are you laughing out loud yet?
On another time, many years ago when we were traveling in our travel trailer and staying in a travel park, a rather nosy, retired snowbird called the cops because our children were not in a school. Of course when the police arrived and we told him we were traveling and home-school, he felt frustrated that he came out for nothing. He was really nice and bade us well for the rest of our travels.
The U.S is a place where you can’t be who you are if it’s different than the majority…it’s become inhospitable. Glad we live in Latin America!
4. Latin Americans have a “live and let live” attitude. They aren’t in a rush to call the cops because it’s 9pm on a Friday night and you’re playing your music too loud. Living in Latin America is nothing like living in North America. People enjoy their life here with fireworks, music, food, laughter and family fun…and Latins seem to be happier and more content with what they have rather than keep up with the Jones attitude.
Latinos are not sue-happy either; many times in a civil complaint or grievance they actually try and work things out amicably amongst each other until a compensation agreement is satisfactory between both parties. “Let me live and I’ll let you live”. Great motto!
5. Latin Americans are really family focused! One of the first things we noticed when we moved to Ecuador was how close the families were. Seeing parents walking down the street holding hands with their daughters and sons was an amazing picture.
And noticing the older children walking with their parents at events and fiestas was a sight for sore eyes. Coming from the U.S where rebelliousness runs rampant among teenagers and where families do nothing together anymore, this Latin American family scene was a positive culture shock and one we embraced immediately!
Thumbs up for Latin America on these scores!
If you would like to know more about the Latin American culture, don't forget to see these articles. Adios Amgios!
- What Are Ecuadorian Women Like?
- How Do Ecuadorians Protect Themselves from Crime?
- Marriage and Family Values Still Exist in Cuenca Ecuador!