Being in Mexico in a touristy side and not in a local pueblo has really taken time to get used too. Coming here to work and not just go visit my family has a different cultural climate. The community is very friendly, which I expected. I feel like at home while being a foreigner at the same time.
Coming here has given me different approaches to learning about the Mexico’s culture and history. Most definitely being here I have seen the good and bad about tourists.
During last week’s walk back home from the office, I witnessed something that angered me inside. A Caucasian male driving past us yelled out to an young fella that was sitting on the curb, “Here, throw this away” and threw his cup to the fella as if he was the garbage boy and that was his job. The fella was minding his own business sitting on the street curve when this male just threw him something. Surprisingly, the fella just responded “yes, jefe” As if this was something he was used to doing. I have witnessed many racist and rude people in my life. But it never gets easy.
I froze, I didn’t say anything. I was angered at myself for not standing up for him. This male had no right to treat someone like that. He angered my because he is one of those people that hit the “gringo” stereotype. The rude “gringo” that comes to Mexico and treats others like they owe something to him.
It made me think of power, privilege, culture and diversity. Although being here as a tourist I am realizing the diversity of this neighborhood. There comes a huge power passing by the plaza and all the artisans looking for you for a sale and with a simple “No, gracias” you are respectfully saying not interested. There is a cultural aspect in understanding the language of locals here. Which I love. You see this everywhere in the country and its undoubtedly one of my favorite things of Mexico.
Being here for learning purposes, I have understood responsible tourism in a hands on perspective. Living it is easier to understand the concept than to read about it. Social justice correlates with responsible tourism. As a tourist we have to understand the different cultures that are around the host community. With different environments we have to understand our responsibility as a tourist. Social justice is important to take under consideration when meeting people in the community.