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tashby


Mar 31, 2009, 5:58 PM

Post #1 of 69 (11034 views)

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I saw a Gringo begging today

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Actually, it was yesterday.

This happened in Ajijic, outside a local supermercado. This person was not a twenty-something backpacker type trying to extend their endless trip through Latin America by selling handmade trinkets. I think we've all seen that. This was a man about my own age, near 50ish I guess, who I'd seen a few times around town over the last year. He appears to be healthy.

As I think about it, in the past I've noticed him hanging out in similar locations - just *there* not doing anything - but I've never heard him asking for money. Until now. He was not saying anything about befalling a recent calamity and trying to gather bus fare back to the U.S. (I'm guessing U.S.). He was just asking for help with his daily needs.....some money for a little food, the occasional medicine, soap, etc. It seems he plans on staying.

I've been trying to sort out my feelings about it. My initial reaction was quick and full of froth, lacking all compassion. After a day, I'm still having trouble finding much. Hardship can happen to anyone I know, especially these days, but still.

I guess I don't know what to think. Or I do know what I think and I just don't like it much.

(Sorry for the ramble. And feel free to move or delete this thread if it's wildly inappropriate here.)


(This post was edited by tashby on Mar 31, 2009, 6:03 PM)



bournemouth

Mar 31, 2009, 7:03 PM

Post #2 of 69 (10987 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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This fellow has been around for a long time - a gringo "panhandler" - I was amazed the first time I saw him and tried to find out more about him but failed. Someone alleges he has money etc. and is playing a game - I don't know. The supermarket people know he camps out in the parking lot behind the store and obviously tolerate the situation. I suspect we do not need to feel sorry for him and this is a life style he has chosen. I know that people give him money for food for his dog. Somebody has to have the story on him.


robbers

Mar 31, 2009, 7:04 PM

Post #3 of 69 (10980 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Yeah, I did, too. But it was in Nashville.


Sorry to make a silly joke out of this, couldn't resist. I think I'd have the same set of emotions you had, a tough one to sort out. Heck (a Nashville term), I have mixed emotions about people begging here. And, come to think of it, though we have a sizable population of immigrants, I've never seen one begging except perhaps for a solid day of hard work in return for very fair payment.


(This post was edited by robbers on Mar 31, 2009, 8:08 PM)


keith

Mar 31, 2009, 9:51 PM

Post #4 of 69 (10940 views)

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Re: [robbers] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Now that Ajijic has a gringo beggar, all it needs is to be considered a fully developed ex-pat community is a gringa turning tricks. Someone here must know, are there any of those around yet?


santiagostan

Apr 1, 2009, 5:33 AM

Post #5 of 69 (10917 views)

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Re: [keith] I saw a Gringo begging today

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I would think the most constructive thing anyone could do is to notify immigration and let them sort it out.


nancyyy158

Apr 1, 2009, 6:33 AM

Post #6 of 69 (10908 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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  Well if Lake Chapala only has one begger that not to bad come to Las Vegas and see the tent citys that are here any lot and these people can get help, but they don't want to it's very interesting. Here in Las Vegas they will stand off the freeway and beg for food or money, I for one give them a apple but no money. Some of they people are vets and have medical problems but really don't want your help. Several days ago I had a lady ask me for money, I am not a bank and I live on a fix income and what it made it more interesting she did not look homeless.


alex .

Apr 8, 2009, 1:17 PM

Post #7 of 69 (10658 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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I have two younger brothers that tried working once: they didn't care for it.
Alex


Hound Dog

Apr 9, 2009, 9:57 AM

Post #8 of 69 (10585 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Just a simple question. Why is the phenomenon of a "gringo" begging more significant than the phenomenon of an indigenous person of pre-Hispanic "Mexican" birth begging? Do the posters hereabouts expect that people originating from this area are more prone to peńury and less dignified than people born in more northern climes? Some of the most disreputable people I ever met are of Northern European stock including members of my own family born to high community status albeit in a small and insignificant community.

That word, "Gringo", by the way, is an unacceptable epithet in Chiapas unlike in Jalisco´s Lake Chapala Northshore region where the insult is widely used with impunity. If anyone in Chiapas calls you a "Gringo" and the description fits, prepare for battle.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 9, 2009, 9:59 AM)


tashby


Apr 9, 2009, 3:27 PM

Post #9 of 69 (10549 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Just a simple question. Why is the phenomenon of a "gringo" begging more significant than the phenomenon of an indigenous person of pre-Hispanic "Mexican" birth begging?

It's more significant in my mind because I don't think he has any right to do it in the first place. I think people who move to Mexico from the United States bare a special responsibility for being self-sufficient. (I admit that I'm being judgmental about this guy, and that I'm assuming he chose to move here from the U.S., chooses to stay, hasn't become a citizen of Mexico, etc. I'm betting I'm correct about all three assumptions.)

Do the posters hereabouts expect that people originating from this area are more prone to peńury and less dignified than people born in more northern climes?

Based on my assumptions, any "indigenous person of pre-Hispanic 'Mexican' birth" in this area has been offered far LESS opportunity in their life than this guy, and behaves in a far MORE dignified manner even while asking for help.

As far as I can tell this jackass is just a garden variety bum.


Hound Dog

Apr 9, 2009, 4:10 PM

Post #10 of 69 (10538 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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OK, Tashby. I now presume you mean that people who choose to emigrate have responsibilities those who remain close to their birth place do not assume regardless of where these people may inhabit the planet. I´m sorry but I fail to discern the layers of responsibility inferred by the simple act of having moved from, say, Mobile to Moline that you so easily place on the shoulders of nere-do-wells just because they have changed places of habitation.

Let me ask you a simple question, Tashby. Once, as is the fate of us all, your vital organs fail you and you are threatened with imminent death, will the physical place of your aggreived state be more important than the sympathetic care of those around whom you find yourself and if so will you be understanding when those strangers kiss you off because you are not one of their kind? For the rest of my sorry life I will thank God that when I was within hours of death that I was not among Alabamians who knew my dad but Chiapanecos who knew me not from Adam´s Housecat but saved my life. Do not judge those you take as simpletons and reprobates because one day you will wear their shoes.


(This post was edited by DavidMcL on Apr 10, 2009, 8:06 PM)


colibri1

Apr 10, 2009, 6:23 AM

Post #11 of 69 (10484 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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ˇˇˇAAAWWWCH!!! Are you sure you're NOT "Adam's Housecat"?
IMHO, Beating up on Tashby is a pretty judgemental reaction, especially from one who is decrying judgement.
Have you even read the whole thread...? People who've actually seen the guy are answering.
I would be surprised to see a "gringo" begging because INM requires foreigners to be self sufficient and not a burden on their adoptive country.
We have had some "gringo" drifters around here and I won't give them the time of day out of self protection.
It's also quite apparent that Tashby was asking for help with his feelings and not making a bigoted statement.
As for the "G" word...it does exist... and as much as some of us try to fit in and assimilate, we have to accept that we ARE different. Many times it's not said in a bad way, just a quicker way to say "Someone from the USA". Remember that "American" applies to all of us born or naturalized here in the Western Hemisphere.
That's my dos pesitos,
C1


santiagostan

Apr 10, 2009, 7:12 AM

Post #12 of 69 (10479 views)

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Re: [colibri1] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Doggie,

The issue is not indigenous beggars. It is a gringo openly begging in Ajijic. If he is on a tourist visa, he is publicy performing an activity that is prohibited by his visa. If he is on an FM-3 or an FM-2 then he is either a) not in compliance with his visa by not being solvent or b) scamming everyone by asking for money when he is solvent. Either way begging is not a legal activity for an FM-2 or an FM-3.

Focus on the issues. If you want to start a new thread discussing the lack of opportunities of indigenous peoples in Mexico versus extranjeros, then do so.


jerezano

Apr 10, 2009, 7:21 AM

Post #13 of 69 (10476 views)

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Re: [colibri1] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Hello all,

Let me weigh in on a "Gringo begging today". My thoughts are:

I don't like it. In general I don't like beggars at all, but I realize that for some people that is a way of life. Many not because they have to beg but because of their personality problems that is the way they choose to live.

So beggers are a community problem. The community needs to do something about them. Either be tolerant and support their way of life and try to ameliorate conditions for those who have not chosen that way of life but have been forced into it or act..

So a gringo begging on the streets is our problem. What do we do about it?

Either we tolerate it and help from time to time or we DO act..

Do we have a gringo sponsered home for the indigent gringos here in Mexico such as we sponsor for orphans and other people in trouble? If not, then....,?

My own reaction is somewhat cynical. A gringo begging on the streets is obviously not here in Mexico legally. It is not the responsibility of the Mexican community to help him or her. So I, personally, would report the individual to the Mexican Immigration authorities and let the Mexican community act as needed. What would happen if Immigration should be able to find the individual is that he/she would be declared an undesireable here in Mexico and reported to the nearest American Consulate or representative. They in turn would arrange transportation back to the USA or Canada or wherever and dump the indiviodual on the community services in the place of origin.

Does this seem cruel? Perhaps but it relieves both the Mexican community and the small gringo community here of the problem.

Of course it then puts the problem on the social network of the place of origin but isn't that where it really should be?

No consideration of the feelings and wants of the begger at all here, but then the life of a begger is hard and difficult. So he/she wants to live in Mexico. Too bad, change of life style necessary so as to return to Mexico legally.

As ever, jerezano


bournemouth

Apr 10, 2009, 9:41 AM

Post #14 of 69 (10447 views)

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Re: [jerezano] I saw a Gringo begging today

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The interesting thing is that a Mexican family tolerates him camping out on their property - I've seen him there for at least two years - but tolerance may be the key here. I'm surprised no one has turned him into immigration but I'm inclined to think he has no paper trail and it would mean sending out an immigration officer to take him in for deportation.


tashby


Apr 10, 2009, 10:21 AM

Post #15 of 69 (10436 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Hahaha.

Jeepers, I feel like such a terrible person, Houndog. Lately the fellow has been working afternoons outside El Torito. Perhaps one day you'll run into him there and after your encounter, you can relay to us all the lengths to which your generous spirit has been led.

Until then, I'll take no more "simple questions" from you, Professor.

(Thanks for making it interesting!)


Hound Dog

Apr 10, 2009, 9:21 PM

Post #16 of 69 (10312 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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My pleasure, Tashby. I enjoy the repartee.


colibri1

Apr 11, 2009, 10:21 AM

Post #17 of 69 (10268 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Bueno, obviously no harm done to Tashby's sensitivities...silly me.
C1


Hound Dog

Apr 11, 2009, 3:46 PM

Post #18 of 69 (10230 views)

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Re: [colibri1] I saw a Gringo begging today

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I´m beginning to like you Colibri1 but please don´t allow that weakness on my part to rationalize wimping out on me. I need the contentiousness even though my darlin wife is always on standby to diss me if people like you fail at your duties.


richmx2


Apr 11, 2009, 6:07 PM

Post #19 of 69 (10209 views)

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Re: [tashby] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Two things I find more interesting are that people think the word "gringo" is pejorative (not recognizing its root in medieval Castillian "greigo" ... Greek... as in the English saying "It's Greek to me": basically meaning people who use a different language) and that people seem personally offended to see beggars.

Mexican culture long predates our notions of the "deserving" poor. Poor and hungry is poor and hungry. Indigenous thinking (and law) required feeding those unable to feed themselves and recognized the rights of the people unable to care for themselves to take what they needed. Famously, corn within your reach from the path was yours for the picking... but only if you needed it.

Iberian culture has roots in Islamic, Judaic and Roman cultures. All recognized the moral value of giving charity (and saw it as a benefit not to the recipient, but to the donor... "better to give than to receive," as it says in the New Testament). That's taken literally. While people do write checks to the Red Cross, there is no quid pro quo of virtue in that. As recipient, you are exhibiting humility, a virtue not much encouraged in northern (Protestant) cultures, but more importantly, as donor, you are practicing charity in a much more personal way than when you send off a check (or make a paypal donation).

Famously, there is an order of nuns who beg on the streets in Mexico City, not because they are poor, but because humility is a virtue. Maybe your gringo beggar just is practicing humility.

Or he's unable to care for himself. Assuming the fellow is (a) gringo -- and not a Mexican of less indigenous ancestry than others or an immigrant or first generation immigrant, and (b) his visa is not one that allows him to earn his own income through his own effort, and (c) he's not just a very bored rich eccentric then the most likely explanation is that he is mentally ill.

Still, there's that unstated assumption that a "white" person should be immune from misfortune (and that "brown" people somehow earn their woes) which is much, much more troubling than a guy begging for a few pesos.


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


Hound Dog

Apr 11, 2009, 7:31 PM

Post #20 of 69 (10188 views)

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Re: [richmx2] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Two things I find more interesting are that people think the word "gringo" is pejorative (not recognizing its root in medieval Castillian "greigo" ... Greek... as in the English saying "It's Greek to me": basically meaning people who use a different language) and that people seem personally offended to see beggars

Yes, I know what you mean Rich.There are those who think the widely used racial epithet "nigger"is a pejorative word but we know, don`t we Rick, that that word is demonstrative of folks from Niger in West Africa and in no way should be considered a racial slur but tell me how people of your mindset continue to bless the planet with your cup of bile aimed at others not of your stripe or of your stripe which you find distaseful.

"Gringo" is an insulting word just as are all racial or ethnic epithets and if you don`t see that then hide behind your academician´s blouse as you wish but leave the rest of us to be.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Apr 11, 2009, 7:33 PM)


db52

Apr 11, 2009, 8:47 PM

Post #21 of 69 (10170 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Just a simple question. Why is the phenomenon of a "gringo" begging more significant than the phenomenon of an indigenous person of pre-Hispanic "Mexican" birth begging?

Answer: If observed in Mexico, the answer is obvious. Because it is a rarity, the difference between 'dog bites man' and 'man bites dog.'


richmx2


Apr 11, 2009, 8:51 PM

Post #22 of 69 (10169 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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There's nothing academic about it, "gringo" is used all over the Spanish speaking world to mean a foreign-language speaker. Now, if its prefaced with some other word, it may. I hate to use such a too high-brow an example, but Speedy Gonzales never called Sylvester a "gringo gato", but an "estupido gringo gato".

Maybe by feeling insulted, you are practicing some form of humility in honor of the Lenten season?


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


Bethie

Apr 12, 2009, 5:40 AM

Post #23 of 69 (10135 views)

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Re: [richmx2] I saw a Gringo begging today

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When we see beggars, we give them a dollar or two or some change, or a bottle of water or fruit, if it is in the car, does this help them to get some food in their belly? I don't know, do they go and spend it on a cheap bottle of booze, I don't know, I like to think that maybe, just maybe, it will help them a little. I remember getting free lunches from the City of Baltimore during the summer, one prepackaged lunch per kid, I "begged" for an extra one every day, knowing that my father would have lunch for work the following day, and I was thankful very thankful to get it, and it did make a difference.
Bethie


colibri1

Apr 12, 2009, 8:41 AM

Post #24 of 69 (10109 views)

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Re: [Bethie] I saw a Gringo begging today

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That's a great story about your dad's lunch!!!
I usually think of giving to beggars and of course the Red Cross, etc. as giving to my own particular charitable foundation. As I don't have big piles of money lying around, I can give in small doses. I like to think it does help. One has to use discretion, however, in order to not be "taken". This does require a great deal of thought and intuition. Some are faking it and don't deserve it, while others may be faking it but still deserve it. Those should be admired for their creativity, I suppose. I think this is what our OP was struggling with....yes?
I especially enjoy giving to old frail people. It feels like a blessing.
There IS one old lady in San Miguel de Allende, though, who begs on the Mercado de los Balderramas who makes my skin crawl and I refuse to give her anything but a recriminating stare. She makes a particularly sickening whine, & once when I really didn't have anything, she cursed me...that was IT for her!!!
C1


colibri1

Apr 12, 2009, 8:43 AM

Post #25 of 69 (10104 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] I saw a Gringo begging today

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Great, HD.....I'll enjoy the exersize.
C1
P.S. Maybe I'll re-post the one I deleted then, so I won't be wimping out, eh?


(This post was edited by colibri1 on Apr 12, 2009, 8:45 AM)
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