All you need to know about Iberian America

The Fear of Disease by Foreigners in Latin America

Published June 9, 2021 in Health & Safety - 0 Comments

A week or so ago, I went to get some street food.

Specifically, I wanted to buy something called a huarache or something like that.

Here’s a picture of it.

I never tried it much before so I might’ve spelled the name wrong.

But it’s tasty.

It’s basically some thing with beans inside it and a bunch of stuff thrown on top.

As you can see in the photo above.

Along with the huarache, I also ordered a quesadilla next to it.

The guy who makes this stuff is the best cook I’ve seen so far of Mexican food in my area.

I go to him like 3 times a week because there’s always something from his menu that sounds good.

Recently, he stopped serving food for like over a week!

I genuinely thought he went under due to the Covid Recession and didn’t have the money to keep on serving food.

“Like shit, I did my part to support him by showing up often.”

I’ve had other businesses in Mexico City that I liked a lot close on me.

Like when I moved to El Centro last year for a few months and discovered right away this bomb ass nacho place in my area.

It was just around the corner of my apartment.

And they would serve you these bomb ass nachos with a SHIT TON of meat and sauces all over it!

It was literally enough to serve 3 people – no joke!

No exaggerations!

And it only costed 50 pesos or like 2.5 bucks.

For something that tastes GREAT and can serve LITERALLY 3 people!

No fucking joke.

In hindsight, I guess they were just offering good deals to get rid of as much food as possible before closing.

Because they closed like a month into me enjoying their food.

It was so good that I went there like every 3 times a week or some shit.

It was a great deal.

Sucks they closed but Covid Recession knocked it under from what I heard.

Anyway, back to the story…

So I went again to this street food guy to get a huarache and a quesadilla…

And as I was watching him cook…

I noticed something that isn’t unusual to me…

But got me thinking.

As he was cooking, he didn’t really use any typical sanitation methods or nothing.

Having worked in food industry in high school and college, I’m well aware of the rules I had to follow.

And some of the carelessness cooking the food could, theoretically, cause me to get sick.

But, in all honesty, I didn’t give a fuck.

I never got sick from his food before.

And you get used to seeing how food down here isn’t made necessarily in the most sanitary of ways.

As I wrote in this article here, street food never killed me.

Though I did get violently sick one time in Nicaragua as I wrote here!

But that was the only time that food in Latin America hit me hard because of contamination issues or some shit.

But watching the guy make the food how he made it…

It got me thinking of concerns about germs in Latin America back home….

“Be Scared of the Water!”

Back whenever I would visit the US, I remember having an aunt that was a bit on the older side.

She travelled around the world with her husband to places like the Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, etc.

Anyway, they came back to the US to spend their final years.

Over the years, she was the one in the family that always seemed the most preoccupied about getting sick abroad.

Perhaps because she lived abroad for a long time and maybe had a bad experience or two, I’d imagine.

But she’d always remind me “don’t drink the water!!”

And, to be fair, the water down here in Latin America doesn’t seem the most trust worthy.

Maybe I’m wrong – perhaps it’s better in Buenos Aires or something.

But I’ve always heard that and went along with it anyhow.

But some of the things about how dangerous the water is can sometimes be paranoid…

I’ve heard other family members or friends try to reiterate that point in other ways…

For example, when I got back from traveling through South America years ago…

I went back to college for my final year and met a guy named Kevin.

I knew him beforehand. We often met up at frat parties and stuff.

He was a cool guy.

But he always remarked to me about how “his parents wouldn’t ever let him travel to Latin America. They’d kill me!”

For safety reasons and all with cartels and shit.

But one other concern he had was the water also.

And how, in his mind, none of the water in Latin America can be safe to drink.

Not even the bottled shit or the water you can put through one of those filter systems.

I’ve had two apartments in Mexico City that had filter systems to put water in that will filter out the bad shit and make it drinkable in like 10 minutes.

But, in his mind, he assumed I must’ve always been drinking Coca Cola or products from the US basically.

No water though.

Beer. Coca Cola. Sprite. Pepsi.

Stuff like that.

As long as it isn’t water – because even the bottled stuff can be dangerous!

And it’s not just him…

I remember in my family also…

Other folks outside of that aunt mentioned above would say weird stuff…

Like how “you shouldn’t use ice cubes from there in your drinks! They have germs too!”

Or advice on how I should “be careful taking showers! What if you get sick from taking a shower?”

Because assumingly the shower shoots out water and not that safe Coca Cola.

But you don’t believe me that there aren’t folks who think this way?

That everything is dangerous down here when it comes to germs?

Well, shit.

Check out this video then from 90 Day Fiance.

Some guy goes to Brazil to meet a cute chick and has the entire house in his suitcase ready to be prepared against the most exotic diseases unknown to mankind!

Thankfully, I haven’t met anyone from the US who was that concerned about health issues, germs and disease.

To be fair also, I don’t think the concerns from those mentioned above is too ridiculous.

Well, some of it is partly.

Like how even the bottled water isn’t safe and I’d need Coca Cola?

Or how the ice cubes aren’t safe?


But also I just chalk it up to people not knowing what life is like here.

Granted, sometimes assumptions are weird like how, in this article I wrote here, people would sometimes ask weird questions like…

“Do they have internet in Argentina?”

“Do they have cars in Mexico?”

“Do they have phones in Colombia?”

“Do they have X basic product that exists anywhere in x Latin country?”

Check that article out.

I’ve been asked that also.

The Point

So, in part, you can argue that some of the questions or assumptions can border on being dumb at times…

Like some of the ones about germs and disease also.

But, as I said, I lean towards being understanding here.

None of them have experience being down here.

It looks like another planet.

Another life.

To those who haven’t been down here.

Plus, it’s just folks looking out for your safety and being concerned.

So it’s all cool.

But the point here really of this article is to point out in other ways in which family members and friends back home might be concerned about your time in Latin America.

While they are often concerned about safety when it comes to violence…

Germs and disease is another thing that folks from back home would be concerned about also.

Anyway, that’s all I got to say.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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