8 things latin travelers hate: stereotypes and misconceptions


The world is full of stereotypes, as we know, and we, latin people are no exception. Here is a list I made about the questions I get most of the time, everywhere I go. Always with humor!

1 | Why do you have fair skin?

Photo: http://www2.crcna.org
Foto: http://www2.crcna.org

Latin people doesn’t have a specific race. We are all mixed either with indigenous people, europeans, arabs, asians or africans, we all look different. I might don’t fit with the brown skin latina stereotype, but I’m not a weirdo over here, my skin is not THAT fair. I met people from “white continents” —I don’t want to say which countries— that discriminate or make racist comments about the aspect of the typical latin people, but the truth is that a lot of them could easily be confused as Latin Americans.

2 | Are you a millionaire?

Photo: Flickr. It’s not me!

I’m not kidding, I have been asked this several times. There is nothing about me that indicates that I’m a millionaire. I’m not sure if there is any latin millionaries that would stay in a cheap hostel in an already very affordable destination —like Eastern Europe—. Maybe for the experience? If I ever win an important money prize, I would be an eccentric millionaire. I’m pretty sure I would miss hostel life so badly that I would still stay in them. Anyway, to travel I saved money and I bought a plane ticket, as any other traveller. Latinos also like to travel, even though is more expensive for us. 

3 | Latin girls are easy

Foto: Flickr.
Photo: Flickr. Who can look this good with braces? Again, this is not me!

The fact that we like to smile more doesn’t mean that we are sluts. Let’s say we are friendlier and we don’t get mad that easily, not even when people think Latin America is like one country… But believe me, you don’t want to upset a latin girl. And watch out, not every latina likes to touch or receive unexpected hugs. Personal space is priceless.

4 | Latin America is like one country

Photo: Flickr.

No, it’s not, every country has it’s own identity! There are so many folks over there thinking we are all the same because we all speak spanish. The truth is Latin America is shared by about 20 countries with different cultures. We have similarities, most countries speak spanish —in Brazil they speak portuguese and some countries speak french—, but each place has it’s own dialects, like quechua, aymara and guaraní. Even though most of latinos do speak spanish, we have different accents and slangs and sometimes we don’t understand each other. Let’s imagine Americans, Scottish and Indians: they all speak very different English.

5 | We have summer all year around

Photo: Flickr.

Sorry to disappoint you. The closer you are to the Caribbean, the hotter and more humid it gets, but if you go to the South, it’s colder. Even in Bogota, Colombia, the weather isn’t tropical at all. For example, in  Santiago de Chile we have four seasons: in summer, temperatures reach about 35ºC —95ºF— and it’s pretty dry. In winter, it gets as low as 1-2ºC —34ºF—. Chile shares the Andes Mountains with Argentina, where you can go skiing in the winter season.

6 | Everybody dance samba

Foto: Flickr.
Photo: Flickr.

Samba is a musical genre and style born in Brazil, the biggest country in South America, but it’s not the only one. Samba is a symbol of Brazilian culture, an icon of their national identity. The same applies for Argentina and tango. So don’t get frustrated if someone from Chile, Bolivia or Colombia can’t teach you how to dance samba.

7 | Everybody likes Shakira and reggaeton

Of course not! Latin people listen music from other places too, specially in English. For example, my favourite band is The Smiths, from Manchester, and I’m definitely not Shakira’s fan. For most of my friends, reggaeton is like poison to their ears. We also have great rock and electronic musicians in Latin America, like Gustavo Cerati (R.I.P.) and El Sueño de La Casa Propia —in the video—, who will be playing in New York in November.

8 | And last but not least: we don’t talk like Sofia Vergara!

Photo: Flickr.

We love her —as everybody else— but not all of us have her Modern Family’s accent.

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