This came across my desk today, a flyer found in Mexico City.
This is reminiscent of a flyer posted around the Poblado section of Medellin, Colombia a few years ago, albeit without the atrocious grammatical and spelling errors. See my write-up on that one.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard that Mexico City is filling up with our expat brethren. See this comment from Matt, in response to my observation that Peruvians weren’t as enamored with big, blue-eyed gringos as they were in 2008:
Here in Mexico, we have seen much of the same over the last two years since Covid started. Mexico City was one of the top choices for foreigners looking to escape Covid restrictions back home and/or for those who just love to travel but found themselves restricted from entering most countries on the planet due to restrictions they had early on.
Since then, we’ve become even less of a novelty than before (we already had plenty of expats before Covid to be fair). Also, with more of us flooding in, you obviously will be triggering the xenophobia of certain locals who think that way. Add in those who get pissed about the many they see not wearing a mask (they still do even if said expat is vaxxed and boosted). Don’t forget the few gringo expats who get mad at more gringos moving into “their corner” of Latin America making it feel “less authentic” or whatever else. And, above all, you got rising rental prices in very select few neighborhoods, forcing out a handful of upper middle class Mexicans who were never the wealthiest in the area and so now have to settle for a more normal neighborhood that isn’t dangerous but not one to tell others about for fewer status points.
Having said all that, I still think there are numerous areas in Latin America where the more negative attitudes of some of the above are not as common. Of course, they usually (but maybe not always) involve going to areas few (sometimes none) gringos would ever travel to for understandable reasons (much poorer, more dangerous, less tourism infrastructure, less English speaking locals, more boring, etc).
In Mexico City, the vast majority of gringos move to a very select few areas and so it’s not overly difficult to move to a normal (not always dangerous but those can be fun to live in also in my opinion) area where “the haters” of the above are less of a common sight (almost non-existent) and where you have more local curiosity and friendliness than what you’d have in the areas where the vast majority of gringos go. I should know, I’ve spent maybe half or more than half of my time in Mexico in both normal areas and a few dangerous ones.
Even outside of Mexico City, you can choose to pick a more normal city that few gringos ever go to also that would bring the same effect. A place like Pachuca de Soto might work…
Is the beloved city of my second honeymoon, where I spent a whopping five days, is sick of gringos? Say it ain’t so.
What’s my globalist, establishment neoliberal take on all this? I think it’s great for Mexico and the region in general. Many of these countries are going middle class and developing sufficient security to attract sizeable tourism. That is positive despite the negative externalities for us.
Once upon a time not too long ago, the entire region was only known for cartels and kidnapping. Most Boomers, Gen Xers and “geriatric Millennials” (as I’ve heard myself called) have anecdotes of mentioning our plans to visit Latin America and hearing retorts from our compatriots to the tune of, “Don’t get kidnapped!” I heard that less than a week from moving to Peru.
Abusing the tourists is a normal growing pain and sign of a healthy economy. Those same generations may still carry the perception that Paris is Europe’s all-continent champion of abusing the tourists. I’ve read that Paris has made great strides in changing their citizenry’s attitude toward foreigners, and the new champs are in Florence or Amsterdam. Not sure, I’ve never been to Paris.
In Latin America, the party had to end some day.
What do you think? How is it where you are? Discuss.