- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- Homeless Foreigners Living in Latin America
Some few months ago, I was sitting down having a beer with a friend of mine named Bryan.
Another American living in Mexico City.
Well, to be honest, he was the one having a beer.
I was having some vodka.
No Corona Pussy Shit for me.
In all seriousness, we got talking in general about life in Mexico City.
Catching up and all too.
And we got talking about a particular topic that I feel is rarely touched upon by most foreigners who live down here.
Which is the sight of seeing another foreigner in Latin America being homeless.
It’s quite peculiar as one would wonder why in the hell would a foreigner from a more developed country be homeless in a country like Mexico.
Especially as it is quite possible that they would have better services for the poor in whatever country they came from.
Not always but that is probably the case when you compare it to a country like Mexico.
Anyway, Bryan was telling me how he saw some American dude near Polanco area begging for money.
He seemed quite homeless looking and all.
And it was just a weird sight to him seeing another American…
A foreigner in general from a nicer country…
Be homeless down here.
Reminds me of a time when I was chatting with someone else in some Telegram chat for foreigners who live or visit Latin America…
And someone mentioned how there is some American dude who is homeless around some parts in the city here.
Maybe it was the same dude?
Anyway, it’s an interesting topic.
Because while you see plenty of homeless folks down here….
Much more so than what I saw living back home in Iowa or Ohio…
It’s just another thing in general to see a homeless foreigner down here.
Quite a story they must have!
It would be interesting to hear their story regarding how they ended up homeless in Latin America.
So, based on my time talking with Bryan about it, I got curious about the subject.
And tried to see if I could find whatever few examples online of foreign folks from richer countries ending up homeless here.
So let’s get to it!
Taxi Drivers Hate This American!
Here’s a video below of some foreign dude living in Mexico City.
He’s actually quite well known among the foreigners who live in Latin America.
Anyway, to be fair, it’s not exactly clear if he is homeless or not.
Given how low rent is, you would hope the dude can find a way to pull in enough money to cover himself.
I mean literally…
He could even share a room with someone for 80 bucks a month in a not well known neighborhood.
Only 80 bucks a month!
Either way, the dude is well-known among those who have lived in Mexico City long enough.
What’s his nationality first and foremost?
Well, from what I have researched, he has apparently described himself as both American and Dutch.
Maybe he saves the American identity for tourists with North American accents and Dutch for the Europeans.
Does he also claim to be Thai for the Asian tourists?
Either way, the dude has been at it for quite a while now.
I have seen people talking about him where some have encountered him dating back to 2017.
As long as I have been here!
Maybe he has been here longer?
But his strategy apparently is always the same.
From what I have seen based on what other folks have posted on Facebook....
His story is the same usually.
Where he throws out the same excuse….
Essentially, he will claim that he was recently robbed by either a taxi or an UBER driver.
And how the cops don’t give a fuck about him.
Therefore, he needs 20 bucks.
But will take whatever amount of money – and maybe money only – that you can offer.
What is funny is that this guy has apparently been at this for a while now….
But I believe he has been operating in neighborhoods near me.
Some months ago, I got talking with another American named Alex in the last apartment building that I lived in by Roma Norte of Mexico City.
And he was mentioning how some foreign dude was begging him for money.
Was it the same guy?
I wish I had the opportunity now to find out.
Because it’s relevant to this article that you are reading anyway.
I would love to offer the guy a 50 just for a chance to get a real story from him as to what he is doing in Mexico City.
But, as I said, I have literally never been approached by him.
He apparently only hangs out in touristy areas.
Which might be part of the problem since over half of my time in Mexico has been in non-touristy areas.
Some areas like Cuatro Caminos or Pedregal de Santo Domingo that are sometimes deemed too dangerous by other foreigners!
So I can see then how I have never met the guy.
As I write this, I’m feeling motivated actually to find him.
Get his story.
Would love to hear it assuming he doesn’t throw bullshit my way.
Either way, in my circumstance given where I live, this is the first relevant story to come to mind.
But what about elsewhere in Latin America outside of Mexico City?
Homeless Woman in Monterrey
In this article here, there seems to be a homeless American woman living in Monterrey, Mexico.
Her name is apparently Jane and has been missing from Texas for 27 years.
Feared to be kidnapped when her disappearance happened.
Her disappearance anyway apparently happened in 1993.
The article doesn’t state if it is actually her since they didn’t do the DNA test yet.
But apparently this woman is a foreigner living in the streets of Monterrey in Mexico.
Similarly, here is a video below of another American who is apparently homeless in this country as you can see.
And much of this reminds me of a certain topic relevant to this….
Though I am sure it happens also in other Latin countries like Guatemala or Honduras…
There is an interesting topic about Americans living homeless in Latin America…
But some of these folks who are homeless are also folks who got deported from the US.
I remember watching a video about some of these folks who end up homeless and with problems living near the border on cities like Tijuana.
I tried to find the video again but couldn’t.
Though this video below here really demonstrates the problem.
Essentially folks who have lived a good deal of their lives in a country like the US…
But they don’t have the proper paper work to keep living there.
Maybe they were brought over as children…
Or maybe they crossed the border at a much later age…
Either way, I’d say this is a certain circumstance that isn’t uncommon…
Where, based on what I have seen online, it seems like some of them do end up homeless also.
Dealing with the frustrations and depression from being deported…
And, for some of them, being kicked out of a country that is the one they have known for most of their lives
That’s especially true for those who went to the US at a very young age.
Anyway, look back to the video I posted above of folks who got deported to a country like Mexico and living in not very favorable conditions.
And going beyond Mexico, I did find one other example….
Homeless in Colombia
Similar to the last section…
Here is another example apparently of some folks with double citizenship in both the US and Colombia.
I’ll include the video of these two folks here for anyone to listen to.
Here’s the story.
The Coffee Triangle
For the rest of Latin America, I’m basically looking up “extranjeros que viven en calle en x latin country.”
First, I started with Colombia as you can see in the last example.
As you can see in this article, it apparently has happened a few times in the city of Pereira and Manizales.
Either way, based on my understanding, it seems that there are a few foreign folks living in the streets in these specific Colombian cities.
One from Spain and one from the Czech Republic.
What are they doing in these cities?
Doesn’t seem clear.
Though the article briefly mentions the consumption of alcohol for example.
But not necessarily in reference to these specific foreigners.
Though I could see addictions being a contribution to some foreigners living on the streets in Latin America.
Aspiring Homeless in Costa Rica?
Finally, there is this comment section I found on Lonely Planet here.
Where basically two foreign folks are considering running around Costa Rica “backpacking” where they would be “scavenging for food.”
They are “used to living homeless,” but they are “concerned about the legality of it” as foreigners in Costa Rica.
It’s a funny little comment section to read so you should check it out.
Anyway, some of the folks picked up on what they mean and asked questions…
Like if “scavenging” means begging for food?
So on and so on…
You could possibly argue this is more of an example of more privileged gringos who are comfortable being homeless in a foreign country if it means they can “travel.”
Though I never understood the point of travel if you are homeless…
But apparently they aren't the only gringos in that area who are homeless!
Here's an interesting comment by one person in that Lonely Planet thread.
"There are homeless in Dominical, sleeping on the north end of the beach, mainly drug heads, down and out, thieves and low lifes. Its funny, you won't find many homeless Ticos (locals), but there is plenty of losers and broke moocher gringos begging and stealing their way around. It aint a pretty sight."
Reminds me of these foreign homeless folks in Asia that I heard about like in videos here.
Anyway, it was another minor interesting example that I could find on the internet.
Someone also replied to the comment section with their own article here as you can see.
But let’s wrap this up.
First, it might be no surprise that the countries closest to the US have more incidents of this.
Or Costa Rica maybe.
A lot less examples in Argentina or Chile perhaps…
Uruguay less so.
Simply put, I tried looking up in English and Spanish examples of homeless foreigners in Latin America…
And mostly had luck in Mexico with a few examples in nearby countries like Costa Rica or Colombia.
Also, as you can imagine, you will find more examples of “extranjeros” being homeless down here when they happen to be Latinos from neighbouring countries.
Like Venezuelans being homeless somewhere for example.
Or Colombians or whatever.
As you can see in this article here.
I wasn’t trying to focus on that.
Only foreigners from richer countries being homeless in this part of the world.
But that was an obvious element to this when looking up “homeless foreigners in Latin America.”
As it should also be no surprise that Mexico has more of it given it is close to the US and also the issue with folks being deported back to Mexico…
Either way, these were all the examples I could find on a brief internet search.
If you have any interesting examples yourself…
Let me know in the comment section.
Or if you have any comments in general.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.