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Old 26-03-2013, 11:29   #1
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How To Not Look Like A Gringo.

In central America, I am a little to tall, fair skinned. wear a big hat, shorts, tee shirt and sandals and my hair is gray. I don't feel like I am doing anything flamboyant but we still stick out like a sore thumb.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:34   #2
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I was born in Ecuador, I speak like an Ecuadorian and I try to behave as such. But my head is bald, my skin is white and my behave (nobody can take a Swiss away from me)....keep going, maybe in a hundred years weŽll fit in....
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:35   #3
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

When we lived in Chille I thought that we looked like everyone else. When the World Trade Towers were destroyed on 9/11/2001 people came up to me on the street with tears in their eyes expressing sympany and horror.
I felt like I was wearing a Norte Americano sign. They just knew!
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:43   #4
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Don't ever wear shorts no matter how hot it is.
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:44   #5
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

They always know. I am of Polish descent, and look Polish-ish, but they all knew I was an American (except for Italy, for some reason. The always started out speaking to me in Italian).
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:51   #6
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

My wife is from Ecuador, our daughter was born in Quito, and I'm blond haired and blue-eyed as they come. We visit every summer and there is no way to "not look like a gringo." What you can do is try to look like a European. You're still considered a gringo but without all the animosity. Maybe some slacks and dress shoes with a collared shirt or knit sweater?Dress up, lose weight, less arrogance and more patience. (And stay alert.)
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Old 26-03-2013, 11:58   #7
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

With red hair and blue eyes I can't pull it off, but I have my going-to-town clothes I put on so I don't stand out like a sore thumb: nicer shirt with collar, long paints, shoes, but I still need to wear a big hat or I get burned and will look even more like a gringo. As noted above, stay alert and look like you know what you are doing, even if you don't, and you might not look like the tourists stumbling off the cruise ship. Strangely, wherever I am in the world, even if I don't speak much of the local language, people come up to me and ask me for directions. It is a family joke that never fails to amuse. I might have just stepped ashore from the boat and without fail someone will come up to me and ask for directions, which often I can give because I do tend to study maps and the lay of the land when arriving somewhere.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:09   #8
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

I'd rather look like a gringo than dress as you guys are suggesting.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:14   #9
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

In my experience you go from Gringo to Amigo as soon as you learn to communicate in their language.
Seriously, once you can carry on a conversation with anyone anywhere in their language you psychologically become one of them and get a different level of respect from that given to strangers, especially GRINGO's.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:16   #10
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

The Gringo look is one of sloppiness.

Plain colors, pale skin, ungroomed hair, beard, and fingernails are all elements of that look.

Shapeless bland clothing is another part of that look.

Learning how to use sunscreens in a way that develops an attractive tan without damaging the skin is valuable. It is second nature to Latin Americans to have a selection of quality oils and lotions in different UVPF's. Gringos tend to either forget to do it entirely, or cover up in a thick layer of cheap PF50, with nothing in between.

Latin Americans like to be neat and well groomed at all times (in my experience), even when just hanging around the house. They prefer clothing that is of good quality, and has a distinctive shape and color - faded, frayed, and frumpy clothing are not appreciated.

When you get used to living this way, you get used to it. Eventually you yourself may find yourself looking down on those sloppy gringos who don't even bother to put on a decent pair of pants before going out into public
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:18   #11
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

When we were in Italy a number of years ago, the weather was such that I wore long pants almost all the time. Many locals did come up and start speaking to me in Italian, which I don't speak. The one day near the end of our trip it was hot so I wore shorts. Got ignored completely.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:19   #12
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

Here's another way to think of it.

When you go out to a club or restaurant, what do you like to see?
1) Cheap, trashy decor with grimy surfaces and faded, old fashioned furniture, or
2) Elegant stylish decor, well maintained with comfortable quality furnishings

In the Latin style, PEOPLE are a part of the decor. You enjoy seeing them well kept, neatly groomed, and beautifully dressed, so you should return the favor by doing the same. To do otherwise to be an observer rather than a participant - an intruder rather than a guest. An unpleasant "sore thumb" on an otherwise neatly manicured hand.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:20   #13
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

How to Be a Hot Latina: 11 steps - wikiHow
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Old 26-03-2013, 15:03   #14
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

At latest when you ask the taxi driver "Me quiere ver la cara de Gringo?" heŽll know youŽre NO GRINGO..... and donŽt forget you should know the regular taxi rates of the town. Otherwise, youŽll end up inmediately again as THE GRINGO....
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Old 26-03-2013, 15:29   #15
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Re: How to not look like a Gringo.

No matter where you find yourself, if you look at what the local age and gender cohorts wear, and emulate that, you will "fit in" better, visually. Some people think that following that simple practice is part of being a good representative of one's country of origin. It shows respect for the local culture.
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