Sunday, September 28, 2008

Group post: Como somos (percibidos) los gringos

How I think gringos are perceived by Chileans:

**note - "gringo" - has two meanings 1) all white people from Northwestern Europe or whose ancestors were from Northwestern Europe. (perhaps including whites from Eastern Europe and the Balkans) 2) people from the States

I'm mostly refering to the second meaning.

trusting, naive (weones) – Gringos trust too much, they walk around in Chile with really expensive cameras, their cell phones, money, etc. and other things totally in sight. Several times I’ve told random gringos who cross my path to put their cell phones or cameras away when they are not using them.

trustable – I’ve found Chileans often trust me more then their fellow people. And to be honest, I trust random gringos more than I trust random Chileans.

paranoicos, paranoid - (what with the “pre-emptive” strikes and being super prepared for everything, boy scout style)

styleless – hooded sweatshirts, jeans, hair in a ponytail or covered with a baseball cap – this isn’t true for all gringos, but it’s common (Chileans obviously have some of their own style peculiarities –especially among pokemonos, o sea pokemones)

uptight – Especially some gringo tourists of the male sex who come to Chile and everything has to be exactly as they imagine it or else they complain a ton and get their panties in a bunch over trivial things.

approachable/friendly – I don’t know how many Chileans have asked me for directions in Santiago over the last couple of years…a lot.

I ran out of ideas and asked V what gringos are like

He replied the ones he’s met are:


they do what they propose they’ll do (hacen lo que proponen hacer)

they’re honest

they have money

I agree.

See other points of view here:



nyGRINGAinCHILE said...

thanks for the definition of gringo! also yes, gringos are too trusting - or i would just call it ignorant. even in the US you shouldn't leave stuff sitting around while you go to the bathroom - but here, you'd have to be retarded and one look at ANY guidebook would explain that to you. maybe it's just that too many gringos come here and don't really have any clue what they're getting themselves into.

Sara said...

Good on with the trustable aspect.
I think you are right about how they will try to speak spanish asap. But, what I hate is when my Spanisi is better and they insist on speaking english like when my suitcase didn't arrive and the lady at LAN would not speak to me in Spanish because obviously a holder of an American passport would not understand her or whatever, and I left confused.