Home Dating Why Latin America Sucks: The Dark Side Of Latin America Nobody Talks About

Why Latin America Sucks: The Dark Side Of Latin America Nobody Talks About

by James

I could write about how “enlightening” it is to travel through other countries, how the cultural immersion somehow “changed me” as a man for the better, how the people are “mysteriously” nicer and friendlier compared to America, or how being outside my comfort zone somehow changed me for the better and made me a stronger man, but I won’t.
Instead, here’s a dedication to all things that I hate about Latin America.
Central America
The only words that come to mind when thinking back about my travels through this region: an authentically true third-world shit hole. Even looking back on my years of traveling, I have yet to find to find another place that rivals the region’s ability to showcase how bad things can get.
The big cities like Guatemala City and Tegucigalpa, the capitals of Guatemala and Honduras, respectively, are beyond seedy and dangerous and it’s best not wonder around after the sun sets.
Nicaragua is a bit better thanks to two decent towns, Leon and Granada, but just make sure to not stop for too long in the capital of Managua, when going from one town to the other.  If you’re a food buff, you will love stuffing yourself with Nicaragua’s culinary gift to the world: the deep fried whatever-you-call-it diabetes-in-a-bun oily goodness.
Panama City, thanks to the canal, is the only shining star city with its tall skyscrapers and a Miami-esque waterfront area, the nightlife on Calle Uruguay is always on full gear and secure thanks armed private guards, but wonder outside to the poorer neighborhoods of El Chorillo, which was burned down during the ‘89 US invasion, or the historical old town of Casco Viejo, worlds away from the secure wealthier districts, and you better watch your belongings.
Venezuela, the undisputed shining star of civilization in an uncivilized world.
You haven’t seen the pinnacle of civilization until you’ve witnessed an unruly hoard of angry airplane customers storm an airplane check-in counter after a standby flight was cancelled because of unruly hoard of angry airplane customers demanding to be put on the aforementioned standby flight.
Everyone knows that Caracas is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.  It’s also a dirty, polluted city, whose only allure is the constant bearable weather of 75F (25C) thanks its slight altitude near the Caribbean.  Thanks to Hugo Chavez’s successful propaganda, they hate Americans with a passion, although the taxi driver brimmed with joy when I mentioned being from California and asked if Arnold (ex-Governor) would ever run for president.
Looking for price bargains?  Forget it.  Unless you exchange your money on a black market, it’s a very expensive country thanks to a stupidly retarded overvalued exchange rate. Exchange on the black market and risk going to jail.
Chances are you won’t hear this from your travel agent or see it on your local billboards.
Lima, Peru’s capital, is a hard city to like.  If the constant overcast-bordering-on-fog-and-rain weather doesn’t get you down psychologically, the constant pollution from exhausts surely will affect you physically.  From the shitty, run-down downtown, with it’s crumpling cathedrals covered in bird shit, it’s not a place you’d see yourself spending a honeymoon anytime soon.
The affluent area of Miraflores offers some redemption if you love seeing McDonald’s on every block and shopping in traditional, American-inspired, mega malls.
Peru does have excellent food delicacies, however.  If you love fried guinea pigs, then you will surely love the country’s main dish: the cuy.  It’s a fried guinea pig, that tastes like chicken.  Just kidding — it tastes exactly like a guinea pig.
Off all the travelers who I know that passed through Ecuador, a small number came away completely unscathed.
To a common traveler, getting away from the gritty rat-race of the first world, a trip to Ecuador offers a unique cultural experience. One way is to get mugged either during broad daylight or while staggering home from bars in Quito, the country’s capital.  Another, more sinister method is when someone cuts a large hole in your bag and empties it on one of those long bus rides.
It’s a small, crime-infested, uninteresting country that offers absolutely nothing else to the visitor that can’t be found in the surrounding big crime infested countries.
It wasn’t Colombia that broke the camel’s back, but it sure happened in Colombia.  After spending four months in Colombia early this year, I remember feeling the exact moment that I started to despise Latin culture.  I was sick and tired of the gold digging women, the constant flakiness (from both sexes), and the general pretentiousness and arrogance of the people.  It seems that the overall unwillingness to be honest to your face, just to screw you over behind your back is ingrained in the culture’s DNA.
The country has tons to offer to a prospective visitor.  Take Medellin for instance, Colombia’s darling city.  The home of the late Pablo Escobar, it’s a city without any charm or soul, that was, in all likelihood, built on drug money.  It’s as authentic as the silicon breasts or the Americanized malls that you see everywhere you look.
One would think the capital, Bogotá, would be better, but the unending construction (that almost paralyzed half the city when I was there), dirt and pollution do not win the city, nor the country, many points.
If you are new to the English language and want to know what the word ‘arrogance’ means, look no further and just head to Buenos Aires.  The city and their residents pretty much personify the word.  Somehow the locals, called porteños, never learned geography in high school, and think they’re part of Europe, not South America.
The city is cool though, with a certain flair that reminds you of Rome or Paris, just watch out for the constant shit on the sidewalks thanks to tons of dog walkers with five, six, or fifteen dogs each parading the streets.
The language they speak is up for debate.  A tale has is that it’s an indigenous language first spoken by the local tribes after they came in contact with the Spanish conquistadors.  I beg to differ.  It sounds more like a drunk Italian tourist trying to speak a beginner level Spanish, but eventually stumbles and fails because of too much malbec.
Argentinian food revolves around three things: overhyped steak, crappy pizza, and edible pasta.  Anything else and you’re out of luck.  Want to stumble an Argentinian?  Ask them where you can get a bowl of soup.  Try it, it’s fun.
When God made a deal with Chile and promised to give them the most advanced and resilient economy of Latin America, but asked for their soul in return, Chile didn’t blink and promptly agreed.  If you’re airdropped into Santiago, the capital, you dare not to confuse it for any American city with its countless McDonald’s and Burger Kings, not to mention other quality American exports.
Chile’s culinary gift to the world is the “completo”: a big, fat hotdog stuffed to the gills with other fattening crap.  There’s more stuff, right? Nope. The “completo” pretty much highlights Chile’s culinary accomplishments.
Chilean girls are the most generic creatures on the planet, even rivaling their American counterparts.  When I lived in Brazil, my friends and I hanged around hostels in Rio, my Mexican friend who would pretty much chase any tail, would refuse to pursue Chilean women.  “They have no soul,” he would shrug and move onto a more interesting target.  I couldn’t come up with a better metaphor for the whole country if I tried.
Last and definitely not least, it’s the biggest and baddest country of them all: Brazil.  In many ways it’s worlds apart from other Latin American with its different language, different history and different traditions.  The previous sentence is not even meant to be taken figuratively — to most Brazilians the concept that there are other surrounding, albeit inferior, countries that, God forbid may speak an inferior Portuguese dialect, aka Spanish, is simply ludicrous.
To Brazilians their country is the only one that really matters.  In fact why remember all those pesky non-Brazilian nationalities.  Makes it ten times easier to just categorize someone as a Brazilian or a mere gringo (foreigner).
They have the world’s best beaches, the world’s best parties, the world’s most beautiful women.  In fact they don’t even make you pay a fine for overstaying tourist visa because they know you will come back!  But why stop there: they also have the world’s best favelas (shanty towns), best poverty, and best racial segregation.
Brazilian Portuguese sounds exactly like Portuguese but only when mumbled by a lazy drunk, completely wasted after a long night of cachaça and non-stop weed.
It’s no surprise that with such a big country, comes even a bigger ego.  Last summer, in Lisbon, Portugal, I saw a bus full of Brazilians proudly displaying Brazilian flags everywhere they went.  Right — otherwise I would never have guessed those were Brazilians.  One of the world’s greatest challenges is to pickup the sophistication, elegance and humility of Brazilians abroad.