Racism and discrimination in Argentina

This weekend I decided that I wanted to go and try a new restaurant and so headed into town to one of the local eateries. Now, imagine my surprise when I was handed a menu in English. Interesting, I thought to myself as all of the other patrons of the restaurant seemed to have a different menu and on that menu? Yes, you guessed it, the prices were much much lower. While I was accustomed to this in China and I am now becoming accustomed to this once again in South America I have to ask myself: Is this discrimination?

I have been thinking about racism in Argentina since I have arrived here as it is a country which is filled with such a great divide between classes, races and people in general. It is frequently said that there is no racism in Argentina because the country is basically mono-racial and mono-culture in nature, however, with immigration becoming a greater issue all the time The National Institute against discrimination, xenophobia and Racism recently published figures which claimed that discrimination against foreigners is one of the the most common forms of discrimination in Argentina. The study stated that Bolivians were the number one target followed by Peruvians and Paraguayans. While discrimation against Chinese, Koreans and black people aren’t on the list I can certainly attest to the fact that it certainly exists and that it is expressed most often and through the every day vernacular of people here in Buenos Aires.

This is apparent most obviously in the relationship with the Argentinians and the Chinese who have quite a strong presence here in Buenos Aires. The general relationship between the Asians and the Argentinans appears to be one of mistrust.  The very fact that here in Argentina corner shops are called los supermercados chinos or simply “Chinos” (which just means Chinese) seems to me to incate that the Chinese people and the supermarkets that they run have become synonymous with one another. This synoniminity also translates to the Argentinians relationship with the Chinese which seems to be mostly based on mistrust and misunderstandings. Many attitudes and myths prevail here including that the Chinese mafia has a strong hold in Buenos Aires, that the  Chinese unplug the freezers at night to save money, that they do not pay their employees fair wages, or that they do not pay taxes or are reimbursed for their taxes by the Chinese government. In fact, it is increasingly difficult for Chinese people to get legitimate visas to come to Buenos Aires due to this prejudice.

Pintassilgo-macho(Carduelis magellanica)
Pintassilgo-macho(Carduelis magellanica) (Photo credit: Paulo Côrtes)

Another term that I have heard used a lot here is “Cabecita negra”  which literally means little black head) and is a historical racial term which has come t have a wider meaning.  The word actually came from the Spanish name of a native bird, the Hooded Siskin. It is used to refer to people who have black hair and medium-dark skin, those who belong to the working class, criminals or lower class Argentinians who live in the villas.  Also, nicknames such as “Bolita” Paraggua” or “Boliguayo” are used as everyday expressions for immigrants from neighbouring countries and for me are somewhat telling about the cavalier attitudes to race that are on display in Buenos Aires. Let me clarify and say that when I have heard these terms used although they are clearly meant as disparaging comments the people who have used them clearly do not identity or think of these words as at all racist. While I am the first to say that in some countries, like my own, political correctness has gone overboard I also do feel that such a general acceptance of these terms constitutes as a problem for those people who may feel excluded or discriminated against

Scrooge's signature dive into money.
Scrooge’s signature dive into money. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coming back to my initial gripe about foreigners being taken advantage of I have to chime in with my own experiences here and say that I consider that the word “gringo” here is used in a somewhat rude and derogatory manner. While in itself the word just means someone who is non-spanish speaking in Buenos Aires it is a collect term for “foreigners from english speaking countries” in Buenos Aires the word takes on a whole other meaning in itself and the discrimination. The assumption in Argentina seems to be one that exists in many other countries in the world and that is that English speaking people go home at night and roll around in their vaults of money like Scrooge McDuck. The discrimination against gringoes is just as real, albeit different, as that towards other races and nationalities here in Buenos Aires. In fact, recently there was an extensive debate about whether on not a word like gringo is acceptable to use in certain situations due to a jounralist using this vernacular in one of her articles. It is in interesting debate but I am My treatment in the restaurant is sadly not the only place where I have to endure hiked up prices. When I book a hotel room I pay double; when I try to book tickets online in English the prices are higher; when I want to rent an apartment I pay a foreigner price (around double the “Argentinian” cost) and when I want to buy an airline ticket? Well of course the office is government sanctioned to charge me more. Foreigners appear to be nothing more than a cash-cow to be exploited. Of course this exploitation of tourists happens everywhere but nowhere have I felt the sting of it quite so much as here in Argentina.

afiches posters
afiches posters (Photo credit: TravelingMan)

Of course, in this article I have no way to delve into the complexities of race relations in argentina or any other country and I am certainly not condoning the idea that anyone who uses these phrases are racist or that Argentina is in some way a racist country or in fact more racist than any other country. What is interesting for me is how this kind of discrimination manifests itself in the language and every day lives of the people around me and how much I have actually noticed it since I have been here. The first time I heard these phrases I was in shock but now I have just come to accept that it is a normal way of life to talk this way for the locals. I guess that living before with the absence of this kind of vernacular has made me very sensitive to when I hear it.

I would love to hear some more views on this topic. Do you have an interesting story about tourists being taken advantage of? Have you been a victim of discrimination in your own or another country? Do you think that words which could potentially be deemed as racist be socially acceptable? 



 Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

41 Comment

  1. Maurício says: Reply

    Nuts… didn´t know that. I´m latin american but I´d kill someone who gives me a highly priced menu because I´m foreigner.

    1. admin says: Reply

      I guess they do it to every tourist…you just have to be smart enough to ask for the “other” menu or leave…as I have sometimes done and gone to a restaurant charging fair prices!

    2. Old Traveler says: Reply

      Hi, I have travelled and worked around the world (25 countries so far) since 1976. I am curently in Vietnam working as an English tutor. Most of the countries that I have visited are what used to be termed third world but now are termed LDC’s ( Less developed countries) Why? Well I guess I have been born with a philisophical nature and really enjoy learning the things our developed societies have forgotten many years ago. In the last 10 years, but the last 4 especially, I have noticed a big shift in people’s attitude to foreigners in general.
      I put this down not only to the fact that for most of the countries I have visited TV is a relatively new phenomenon. It has brought a much more national approach to racism that it is seen to be government sanctioned, and therefore a reaffirmation of being OK. Also, it is current, based on recent reported events that governments of all countries use to avoid the finger being pointed at them for their corruption or policy mistakes. Before this kind of media dispersal was done through the newspapers or magazines / books/ which were only available to the educated and therfore wealthy members of society. Otherwise it was handed down thorugh word of mouth/popular songs , which I believe to be a less potent method of rhetoric.
      This aside, the real change that has occured is in the two tier economies: the local economy and the tourist economy.
      You might be thinking, well the tourist economy has been around for many years and is the same in every country. Granted, but you must ask yourselves ” How long should a tourist have to live in a country to no longer be seen as a tourist?” Up until about 5 years ago I would have said only 1 month if you started to learn the language and were interested in the culture, nowadays one has the feeling that if you stayed in a country for 10 years you would still be asked the same prices ( currently 2x to 5x to 10x to 20x > times the local economy price) as a person on a quick holiday who stays in one place only for a day or 2 at the most and who doesnt work, live or even, in a lot of cases, try to have any in depth understanding of the country/ culture thay are visiting. After all they are on holiday from working all year and want to relax ( in their defence). The normal state of affairs in my own experience up till 5 years ago was to pay only 5 to 10 per cent above that of the local economy. Sure , if you didn’t bargain you could be charged 2x or more, but if you were aware you would know that most LDC’s ( Less developed countries) are all bargaining cultures. As to why this is all you need to do is read the history of your own countries if you do not understand. If you don’t approve of bargaining then maybe you should only go to developed countries, just a suggestion. More on this later.
      The question arises as to why this is? As I mentioned before TV could be one answer, also the internet. The internet allows people to look a prices all over the world without any need to understand the local economies of those countries. E.G. If someone looks at the price of something on the UK Tesco website they can see it is much higher than in their own LDC country and start to charge UK travelers the same.
      Now to the real reason that I feel the change has occured:
      1. Investments. There was a boost in international investment for cash returns since about 10 years ago. Speculators were growing faster than investors and were actively encouraging investors with outrageous, to good to be true returns. As we now know these returns were indeed to good to be true. We saw it in Spain and look at the state of the housing martket there now (2013).
      In Cambodia in 2005 land was being sold at apprx. 1000 $ US for a 1000 hectares. In only 3 years the price increased to well over a million $ US ( depending on what type of land and where – this is a minimum).
      In Kampong Som ( Shianoukville) for example a 100 Sq. metre plot of land away from the beach is about 800,000 $ US leasehold for 10 -20 years. 5 years ago it was apprx 100 – 500 $ US.
      This injection of cash into the landowning classes has increased inflation to incredible rates whilst pay has remained the same for most people.
      2. The type of tourist has changed greatly in the last 5 or so years. E.G. Before, most Europeans used to travel to more local destinations for their short term holidays. Because of their lack of awareness on the local economies of Spain, Italy, Greece etc. they increased the tourist econmies to a greater and greater degree untill they found it too expensive to travel there and had to look for cheaper holiday destinations. With the cheap flights available they discovered Asia made economic holiday sense and so took advantage of this. These countries were all LDC’s where bargaining is compulsory and local prices are so low as to not be able to comprehend without prior knowledge or listening/ learning from other more experienced travellers. They made the usual mistake of comparing prices paid in their home countries to those of their holiday countries usualy saying to each other things like ” Beer is only 1.50 $ US here it’s so cheap compared with my country” not realising that the local economic price of the beer was in fact only 25 cents US. This immediatley led the locals to exclaim “These people are so rich that they don’t care what they pay” or ” Wow, these people are really stupid! They like to throw their money away!” The obvious conclusion is that an immense lack of respect occured. Ask yourself this question – Would you respect one of your friends who you found out had paid 10 times more for something in your country than was the real price?
      As an example of the lack of respect generated by the ignorant traveller I give you one of my own experiences. In 2003 I went to Kenya, I had just broken up with my long term (7 years) partner and was feeling ready to blow out the old and start travelling again to see a new view on life by continuing my philosophical travels, I never travel for less than 3 months. You might at this point be thinking ” Well it’s alright for some!” Well I can tell you that I have sacrificed houses, long term security, having a family etc to achieve this, so don’t be too jealous:) The example is: I was travelling on a local bus in Nairobi when someone said something to me in KiSwahili. I had just arrived so hadn’t learnt much KiSwahili by that stage, but the locals told me he had disrespected me. They all started to slap him with open hands. In 2009 I returned to Kenya and I found that rather than defend me they would rather have joined in, not pyhsically but verbally or financially. This in Kenya has, I think, a lot to do with men and women from developed countries going to Kenya after reading about the sexplotation that occurs there in the newspapers and booking a flight to enjoy it themselves. Hardly surprising that with the lack of understanding of the local economies, lack of desire to bargain and the desire to exploit has turned the very friendly Kenyan people into haters of the west. I feel the same has definitely occured with the same and other types of tourism to Asia and just about evrywhere else in the world -since 2009 I have traveled to Zanzibar, Tanzania Bara, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam working and living. Most of these countries are return visits over a number of years , so I have something to compare their current attitudes with.
      I don’t blame the local people at all, to the most part they are desperatly poor. uneduacted to a large extent and suffering from incredible rates of inflation with no corresponding wage increases. I blame the governmebts, the upper and middle classes and tourists, or should I say human nature?
      Many of you will probably not like me after reading this article. I do not write to be popular, I write to understand and hopfully help others to understand with me.
      Regards to all sensitive people of the world.

      1. I totally agree with you oldtraveller. I am from Argentina studying in the USA. Being an international student and interacting with many other students from different countries it helps me understand that we all need to understand their culture, and languages… and as you said.. it is not people’s fault but the government.

        1. Carola says: Reply

          Dear Shall,
          I’m afraid I totally disagree with you. WE are to blame, government included. Language is the clearest way to reflect people’s attitude towards foreigners, and so are attitudes. I mean we just can’t hide from what we feel. The governements foster foreign investments and we all know that it’s much easier for a foreigner than for the local people to set up a business in Argentina and that triggers the first question: Why favour them instead of us? Now I’m writing to you I must agree with both you and Old Traveller. Yes, You’re totally right. The government is the only one to blame. Is this the racism inside me? I should think so, thoughts?

    3. Enzo - I want you all out - says: Reply

      No vengas a mi país. No queremos mas inmigrantes aquí.
      Y matar? Vos no podes ni matar las pulgas de un perro.

  2. I’m part Latin American (Puertorrican on my dad’s side) and my mother is white in Anglo terms. I call her my “little gringa” but I do it in a affectionate manner. I already knew about the racism in Argentina. I have yet to go there but I dated an Argentinian man for few years and when his mother met me and said “thank God you’re not dark” things started to go downhill from there. I will also admit that the term “gringo” in most of Latin america is used in a derogatory term, Puerto Rico included. It’s really sad that at this point in time people still give a shit about your skin color and where you’re from.

    1. admin says: Reply

      Wow…I’m really glad that you shared that experience. When I wrote the article I was worried because so many people denied the use of this work in a derogatory sense. It is interesting to see how it can be used in both senses proving that there is never just one truth!

    2. Arvind says: Reply

      I was watching an Argentinian film called “The secret in their eyes” (great movie btw!) where the Argentinian cops question two rape suspects. One of them is Bolivian and the other is Argentinian, and when the cop hears about the Argentinian, he goes “Oh atleast he is not black like the other”. I found it appalling. Of course the cop character was portrayed as a douche, but it seems to reflect a deeper national sentiment.

  3. Dagmar says: Reply

    This happened to me once when we went on a trip to the South of Argentina (Puerto Madryn). We were a group of five; I was the only non-Argentina member of the group. We wanted to visit a beach there where you could watch whales, and the signs clearly stated: “extranjeros” had to pay 50 % more.

    1. admin says: Reply

      Yes, it seems to be endemic here. It is very frustrating. You might think they would have just let you off the hook…as there were four others!

  4. sasa says: Reply

    I think Argentina has a big problem with discrimination and nationalism.
    And in my opinion, yes you can say that they are more racist here than in other countries! People from Peru and Bolivia are not really nice treated here. But the experience you made, that people try ripping you off, i dont think it is a racial issue. In argentina it is quite a common culture to get advantages from other people.

    Also i think youre absolutely right that “gringo” is really disrespectfully used by a lot of argentinians, especially because normally they refer “gringo” to people from the states. And for argentinians the USA seem to be like the evil–capitalist-country

  5. Annika says: Reply

    Hey, I’m from Finland but have lived in Argentina in various occasions. Just came across your blog and find it very interesting. I remember an Argentine history teacher at a high school in Mendoza telling us how there is no racism in Argentina and me thinking to myself, well, there’s no immigrants and you guys killed all your indigenous pple years ago, so.. but really, there is racism between the classes as well, I think. People talk about “negros de mier**” when they refer to others with a certain skin colour, let alone how they refer to the Bolivians, Peruvians etc.

    I suffered the foreign prices with airlines and such but I think less in restaurants and cafes due to my Argentine boyfriend and my quite Argentinean Spanish accent. I can’t decide whether it’s acceptable or not to charge foreigners extra. If you fly over from Europe and can afford the plain ticket, it doesn’t mean you have thousands and thousands of euros to spend on your trip or whatever. I have argued with taxi drivers and refused to pay them a certain amount just cause I thought they are charging me extra for being a blonde. 🙂 But when I traveled to Patagonia for whale and penguin watching we were three Finnish with a bunch of Argentine grannies and got to pay a local price, that was really fair.

    1. admin says: Reply

      Ah that is so great! I bet the grannies (and you) had a great time! Patagonia is really fantastic! Yes, well my husband lives in Argentina and gets paid in pesos so we certainly can’t afford to spend more money every day. The thing that annoys me about it that when someone comes to my country they pay the same prices as everyone else. There is no discrimination between foreigners and locals. I like to think that is how we welcome our tourists.

      1. Annika says: Reply

        Yes, that’s true. In most parts of the world there is only one price, I guess.

    2. Pepo says: Reply

      we killed all indians ? Thats stupid and ignorant. Perhaps some stupid progressive local told you so. Total lies.
      besides. If they all have been killed then why is it filled with indians an mestizos ?

  6. MissThea says: Reply

    I think there is a lot of subtle racism here in Buenos Aires. People love to say ‘there is not racism’ although I’m still not sure how a white person can tell a black person this. Afterall it is not their experience. How on earth can they know?

    I am a tango dancer and I really feel it at the milongas where I often times get completely ignored and spend hours sitting watching much poorer dancers than myself dance the night away. I know I am not the best dancer. I have some dance background so I am very aware of my abilities. However I see that people at my dance level dance ALOT more than I do.

    If I mention it to friends they immediately tell me that it’s because I’m tall or sitting in the wrong place. Funny that as the tall Scandinavians blondes aren’t sitting at all but are happily dancing the night away.

    If I ever do get asked to dance by a good dancer it is pretty much always someone from Europe or any other country than Argentina.

    I am rather keen to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences because it is VERY alienating at times.

    I could go on but I won’t and I certainly won’t get into how I am constantly overtly propositioned in the street or kerb-crawled ‘cos you know, ALL black chicks are prostitutes from the Dominican Republic!! It really is quite exhausting!

    And as for the local slang into which subtle racism is so sadly endemic, I just cannot get used to that. Yes it may not mean anything offensive in modern parlance but its genesis is where the initial offence lies.

  7. MissThea says: Reply

    By the way, I should add that I have lived here in Buenos Aires for almost 2 years and it has been a slow and painful realisation that covert racism is at the root of much of my sorry experiences in the tango world of Buenos Aires. I am contemplating throwing in the towel lest I become jaded and bitter. Oh dear.

    1. Enzo says: Reply

      As long as you stay in Buenos Aires you are safe. The only part of argentina possitively dangerous for a black person like yourself are the malvinas islands. DO NOT GO THERE!. down there we keep a bunch of hillbillies who had never seen a black person in their lives, they would freak out the moment you step out the ship and they’ll lynch you in the spot.

  8. Naila says: Reply


    Reading your article as really shocked me. I’m Indian (not South American but from India itself) and was planning on staying for a few days in Buenos Aires on my trip round South America.

    However after reading your article it really has made me think twice about going there. I would hate to go there and be addressed by some of the phrases you mention and don’t think that under any circumstances that these societal norms (racist terms) that seem to exist there could be acceptable to me.

    Can I ask? Did you hear these phrases during generic talk between Argentines?… or were they used when addressing individuals which you happened to hear?

    Would you also recommend Buenos Aires as a place for a coloured traveller to visit? ….It’s just, if these phrases really are as endemic it’s not something I want to be addressed by should I choose to go there.

    Thank you for your help.

    1. admin says: Reply

      Hi Naila,

      These are all phrases I have heard used in talk between Argentinians. If you are visiting for a few days I don’t imagine that you would hear them. The racism seems to lean more towards the people from other parts of South America…Bolivia and Paraguay in particular…rather than towards tourists. I see many tourists here from Brazil (who are darker skinned than the natives here) and I have friends who are Chinese American and they don’t have any problems on the street. It is simply that they are stared at more often (although I can say the same for the blonde Scandinavians as well)

      I would guess, and of course I cannot say for sure, that as an Indian tourist in Buenos Aires you won’t have problems. Of course you will be subject to people looking at you as since I have been here I think I have maybe only seen one person of an Indian background, so you will stand out. However, I certainly wouldn’t let this put you off coming to Buenos Aires.

      If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me. I’m sure you will have a great trip.

      1. Naila says: Reply


        Thanks for your email you’ve helped greatly in putting my mind at ease.

        I’m quite into history and architecture. If you don’t mind me asking…. would you recommend Buenos Aires as a good destination to visit from a historical and cultural point of view? It’s often referred to as ‘the Paris of South America’. Would you say this is true or is it more of an unsafe, crumbling faded city with lots of graffiti?

        Again, many thanks for your help.

        1. admin says: Reply

          Well, it is for sure a crumbling faded city with a lot of graffiti. If you come expecting Paris you will be disappointed. However, the city is very European by South American standards. I think at one stage it must have been very beautiful but now a lot of the city has fallen into disrepair. If you are interested in tango and the history of tango then of course Buenos Aires is THE place. It is also obviously historically interesting because of the immigration and the architecture is interesting, although not phenomenal.

          In my opinion, I’d say that if you are coming to Argentina to visit a few places (the countryside is beautiful) then spend a few days in Buenos Aires but I wouldn’t personally go out of my way JUST to visit Buenos Aires unless you are a diehard tango fan or have a particular reason for coming here. However, I have friends who visited here and absolutely loved it…everyone is different!

  9. Hello, this weekend is pleasant in favor of me, since this
    point in time i am reading this impressive educational paragraph here at my home.

  10. E Molina says: Reply

    My wife is Argentinean of asian roots. I was born in latin america but I have lived in Canada for more that 22 years. We visited BA last summer and I loved it. People were polite to me and to my wife. She has lost some of her accent. However, I heard a few racial slurs in the radio and on the streets. My kids speak mostly english, so people got right away we were not from there.
    I’ve realized that there is racism in Argentina among the older generations, but I it seems to be less with the younger and more educated people that were very polite and friendly. My hope is to go back soon. Oddly enough when I first met my wife, she had a bit of that argentinean arrogance that a lot o latin people seem to confused with racism. “No le di bolisha, viste” It is part of living there I guess.
    I’m trying to teach my kids respect for people regarding of their etnicity, religion, apperance, gender and sexual orientation (not because of politcal correctness mind you). I was a bit concerned with the macho culture. I was also surprised with some of the opinion some friends had about peruvians and bolivians, being themselves asian.
    Racism can be felt everywhere. Here in Canada I do not notice it, because I have assimilated the culture. However I know it happens more offten that we like to admit.
    I for one, I hope to be back para comer buenos asados, enjoy late night sidewalk cafes, the ocacional Havana alfajor and the easy going nature of the summer. I would encourage anyone that is considering visiting to do so. Just do your research and enjoy your stay.

    1. admin says: Reply

      Yes, I would agree that the racism is more prevalent among the older generation however my husband, who is Brazilian, also felt it quite keenly in the workplace. I’m glad that you are teaching your children to be respectful of other cultures. As to your advice…I think you are spot on.

  11. Drew says: Reply

    Argentina is singlehandedly the most racist country I’ve ever had the misfortune to visit.

  12. Julien says: Reply

    Your comments covered basically everything but i’d like to concur on the fact that there is a LOT or racism here (in Buenos Aires for the past 4 months).

    The worst thing is that it seems natural… people just don’t even ask themselves if it’s bad or not to say such things.

    And I heard it from all kind of people, from the most on the right to the most on the left.

    It bothers me more than racism we encounter in France (so far) because the general opinion on racism in France is that it’s bad and shamefull to be a racist and discriminate against people. (well france is in a whole new troublesome situation for the past 3 month but i hope it gets solved very quick)

    The racism here is very basic. It feels like some people really act like the settlers would have in an other time.

  13. Josefina says: Reply

    Argentinias are generally racist and arrogant. They called themselves the white nation when in reality 150,000 – 2,000,000 of afro-argentinians.

    They are like that and it is funny that in other countries of South America like Chile where black people were just a few in the North. Nobody even mentions the white stuff or Europeans thing when they have more right to say that.

    Afro-argentinians :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-Argentine

  14. Charlie says: Reply

    I have several friends from Argentina met through work, and I had to travel to Buenos Aires for a week. I am of South Asian origin and my colleagues had skyped me that even as a tourist I would encounter issues – partly to do with being dark and partly to being British. I’m fairly well traveled and sadly have experienced racism in many countries, I have developed ‘thick skin’ and I have learned how to stay out of most situations (But sometimes you just run out of luck – an incident in St Petersburg almost cost me my life, had it not been for several good willed locals)
    I got the impression that the racism in Argentina appears to be so deeply embedded into society many people may not even realise it. Within 30 minutes of landing into the country, I experienced hostility from a taxi driver who refused to even load up my luggage into his battered Fiat. When I said I was from England (and not presumably from Paraguay) he immediately took my luggage and no doubt charged me more than he should have. Luckily thereafter, a colleague took it to guide me, which helped no end.

    Outside on the streets, many people simply stared at me, but in the work environment I could have been anywhere in the world. The hotel staff – no doubt used to foreigners, were very good and helpful. We went out most nights, and again it was a pretty civil with some really happening places, although some of the bars almost stopped dead when we walked in! A little banter (cars, football and music) and I have to say it was generally a good experience – its a really exciting city.

    Perhaps I could assure anyone wishing to travel to the country as a tourist, that it is not dangerous (especially compared to other Latam countries) you are not likely to come across any far right elements, but it pays to know someone there, it saves you a lot of money and helps defuse potentially difficult scenarios. On my last night, we came across some drunken football supporters and there’s not a lot you can do to reason with them. I was spat at, but again sadly this kind of thing happens sometimes. I considered reporting it to the Police but I wasn’t confident that that would help. I must admit I was so glad to return to the multicultural UK, but I will take back some fond memories of some of the kind people who helped me.

    Thank you for putting this up here.

  15. Enzo says: Reply

    The reason why we charge double, triple or whatever to europeans and americans is because the moment they got here they start acting like they are something else. They dont mingle with the people, they buy all the shit and warnings your goverments issue about us, and so you all end up acting like you were movie stars when in fact most of you are employees back in your countries. ok then, if you wannabe a hollywood star Im going to charge you as a movie star.

  16. Enzo says: Reply

    And by the way Ms Administrator, if you feel so uneasy here to the point that you advise people not to come here unless they really have to, I suggest you going back to the country you come from. (Im sure you dont have cheats, robbers, gangs of hooligans and jerks up in the UK)
    Ive been there thank god only for 20 days, didnt like it so guess what I did? I got the F— out!
    thanks for watching

    1. John Ishmael says: Reply

      I don’t know about Argentinians as a whole being racist but your attitude and rhetoric would seem to single you out as one. You probably believe all the nationalist claptrap being spouted by your unstable president.

      1. Enzo says: Reply

        Id rather have an unstable president instead of an unstable unpredictable broken ass european or whatever economy. Stay away. we hate most europeans here. stay in your frozen ass countries. we dont like you. get it?

  17. Lucas says: Reply

    It’s not that we’re racist, its that we have no political corrections. As an Argentinean, I was raised to believe white skin is better than “black” skin or how Argentina is a European country surrounded by 3rd world indians. That’s literally how we think. I know it sounds weird, but that’s how we just are . Its not like the UK where if you were to say something racist, people would become hysterical. Here it somewhat more aceptable. I’ve also never thought “gringos” or yanquis face discrimination. If anything they’re more well received than the immigrants immigrants here, but many Argentineans do believe Yanquis are made of money. Other forms of discrimination: black people; they don’t exist. If you ever see a “black” Argentinean his parents came her illegally. British people; pirates who robbed the Malvinas. Asian people; all Asians are chinos. The Spanish; the Gallegos are all really dumb. Those are just a few I can think of but my point is we are a backwards country however our society does has a different prospective on what’s right from wrong.

    1. Noe says: Reply

      I’m quoting you: ‘I was raised to believe white skin is better than “black” skin or how Argentina is a European country surrounded by 3rd world indians. That’s literally how we think’.
      Ok, stop right there. First off no one EVER taught me white skin is better thank black. Second, no one ever taught me we are the Europe from South America. Don’t say that’s basically how we think because we all don’t think the same way you do.

  18. jorge says: Reply

    60% of argentines have native ancestry, mostly mixed with europeans immigrants

    is a lie that thing that “all argentine are descendants of europeans, and all the natives were killed”. is a lie of our racist education system

    they don’t teach people that not all are whites, we are mix, and with more indigenous blood than european, but well, many people here think that we are the europeans of south america

    so people of dark skin (because they have strong native blood) is treated in bad ways sometimes, that is the racism in argentine, against the natives, who are more percentage of people when you go down in the social class.

    so all the poor are “negros” (blacks, what is a racist term to refer to the people of dark skin, who are natives in really, not blacks), and the same word is used to talk about thiefs or ignorants. “indio” (“indian”, word refered to natives, not people from india) is another word used in the same bad way (maybe you can hear “don’t be indian” when you do something wrong or something of “bad taste”)

    that is the racism in argentine, is from our “eurocentrist” part of culture (impulsed by racist governments in the 19th century in the education and media) and attacks natives and its culture. but it’s about social class too (a combination), and the descendants of europeans normally are in better economic situation that descendants of native people

    and how peru, bolivia and paraguay have a really strong native culture, the people from these countries are discriminated

    sorry for my bad english, regards from north of argentina

  19. MT says: Reply

    I’m planning my first trip to BA and came across a Tripadvisor thread that stopped me in my tracks. The OP claimed to be treated rudely by the Portenos. He said, “I speak perfect Spanish, but apparently because of my racial background (I am not black and I am not Hispanic) the locals were unfriendly towards me.”

    The thread became contentious and lengthy. Some wondered what the OP’s ethncity was, but he never responded. Then one poster said, “The OP said not black or hispanic which leaves “white” or “asian” as in east asia or pacific islander. Everyone thus far is assuming “white,” so OP can you clarify?

    As a 9 year resident of Chile and traveler through the region, if the answer is the latter, I can understand what might have occurred.”

    Reading between the lines, that post seemed to suggest that Asians are discriminated against, not only in BA, but through out South America.

    I’m an Asian with a Spanish vocabulary of 50 words. Should I be concerned in BA? As an aside, I had no problem in my two trips to Brazil.

    The thread:


  20. Noe says: Reply

    That thing about the price, when they want to charge even more because you’re foreigner, that action is called ‘viveza criolla’. It’s like when Argentinians take advantage of something, and it’s not only for foreigners, sometimes it happens even if you’re Argentinian. If you wanna buy something in the streets (not in-stores) and it has no price, the seller will look at you like ‘scanning’ the way you’re dressed, the way you talk, and if they think you come from the high class or at least seem to have money they will charge even more. And I’m talking based on personal experiences.
    Btw, we don’t use the term ‘gringos’ much, Mexican do. We say ‘Yankees’, and I don’t use it in a derogatory form. In fact, my sister in-law is American and I refer to her as my ‘Cuñada yankee’ (Yankee sister in law), she doesn’t find it offensive and I don’t mean to offend. 🙂

  21. Faisal says: Reply

    Amazing work.. . Keep writing

  22. argentine says: Reply

    In Argentina we dont like inmigrants with dark skin

    if you have dark skin please get out of Argentina.

    Is not about pigmentation, is about culture, we like culture from white skin inmigrant .

    Liberal goverment want a white Genocide in argentina promotion mass inmigration

Leave a Reply