Over enough time in different Latin countries, you do realize that there exists a certain “rivalry” between different countries.
For example, when I first lived in Guatemala, a Spanish teacher I had would often boast about how “Guatemalans were a happier bunch” than the rest of Central Americans.
Among other things that Guatemalans can supposedly be proud for (regardless of how he measured relative happiness in each Central American country).
Funny enough, when I visited Nicaragua later, some local that I was having a conversation with commented on how “Nicaragua is a very safe country. We aren’t as dangerous as El Salvador or Guatemala.”
Would be funny, in hindsight, to get Mr. Happy Guatemalan in the same room as Mr. Safety First Nicaraguan.
Who would win such a debate about which Central American country is better?
Of course, the rivalry didn’t end just between Nicaragua and Guatemala.
You do have, as far as I can remember, Costa Ricans or those promoting Costa Rican tourism who say things like “Costa Rica is the Switzerland of Central America.”
Beyond that, those were not the only examples I saw of rivalry between citizens of each Latin American country.
Who Does Salsa Better?
Back when I was in my final days of college, I got into an argument with a Puerto Rican chick about who does salsa music better.
Puerto Rico or Colombia?
Oddly enough, being not Colombian in anyway, I felt the need to defend Colombian salsa against Puerto Rican salsa.
Now, before this argument came up, keep in mind that I had absolutely no experience in Puerto Rico…
Still don’t as of this writing in 2021.
But had some odd months of experience in Colombia and had finished dating some random Colombian chick.
Meanwhile, I personally didn’t give a fuck really if Puerto Rico or Colombia does salsa music better…
But, being honest, sometimes I do dig myself into the trenches if I feel the need to.
Like if I get into an argument with someone, regardless of if I am right or not, I am more than prepared to argue my case.
And, by my own arrogant estimation, I do feel that I argue better than most people.
I can more easily twist people’s words against them and come up with random shit to say that makes me sound like I am right.
And, given how much ego I can invest into an argument, I will summon all 9000% of my autism energy to defeat you in any argument.
So bring it, bitch.
Anyway, despite not being Colombian myself, I somehow found myself in a situation where I felt the need to argue with a Puerto Rican gal about how Colombia does salsa music better.
I felt like I won the argument.
I brought up the greats and all – Frukos y sus Tesos and all.
And other obvious Colombian bands to bring up.
Puerto Rican hoe was speechless --- “how the fuck does this gringo know these bands?”
I know, bitch.
I always know stuff.
Pointless stuff anyhow that nobody gives a fuck about seemingly.
Anyhow, I got a little taste of how, at times, it does seem like sometimes Latinos can have a stick up their ass about who makes which type of music better.
And it’s not just the music….
The Battle of Arepas
Some odd months ago, I was living in Roma Norte of Mexico City and we had this young Venezuelan dude living in the same building.
Anyway, it somehow came into conversation the topic of arepas.
For those who don’t know, arepa is a type of food you’ll more commonly find in Colombia and Venezuela.
I find the food tasty enough.
Anyhow, I decided to troll the guy a little bit by saying that “Colombian arepas are better than Venezuelan arepas.”
Being a better sport than Puerto Rican chick, he laughed it off and we had a little discussion about it.
But nothing big.
Anyhow, it’s actually a real disagreement that does exist to a degree – who makes better arepas?
Colombia or Venezuela?
But the rivalry doesn’t just end on food….
By far, one of the most obvious rivalries comes down to soccer.
Or football as most non-Americans call it, I suppose.
Though, being an American, I think soccer is a better word but whatever.
Anyhow, being someone who doesn’t watch soccer that much, I can’t comment that much on this section outside of a few examples I have seen here and there when it comes to this.
For example, when I was in Bogota, I remember leaving a bar with an ex-girlfriend of mine named Marcela and seeing the streets go crazy when, if I remember right, Argentina lost to Chile.
Similarly, I remember seeing Argentina play against Germany years ago when I was in Guatemala.
In the time, I thought it would be wise to cheer for Argentina because, like Guatemala, it is a Latin American country.
Though, quickly enough, I found myself to be an outlier as it seemed like most of the crowd was cheering for Germany due to the animosity against Argentina.
Which, from my understanding, basically boils down to the dislike some locals in Latin America have against the Argentine arrogance of being “better than the rest of Latin America.”
Unfortunately, not much love for the Argentine soccer team.
On the other side of the coin of people cheering for a certain sports team…
I also remember being in Cochabamba, Bolivia during some soccer game between Chile and Bolivia…
And, well, Bolivia getting its ass destroyed by the Chileans.
Consequently, everyone and grandma crying.
Funny enough, there was even a war called Football War between Honduras and El Salvador.
From my limited understanding, there was some influence by football on the war but it was mostly started by deeper conflicts over other issues.
Here's a small video on it here.
Anyway, let’s go back to that topic of “feeling superior” to others.
The White Superiority
One thing you do notice in Latin America is that people do seem to often have a superiority complex in relation to how light their skin color is.
Colorism and all?
Anyhow, Argentina is the most obvious example.
But it’s not just Argentina.
As I wrote here, you got folks in countries like Brazil for example who consider themselves to be “European” and not “Latino” because of their heritage.
Now, heritage wise, yeah they might be “European” or white basically.
Same with white Latinos of other countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, etc.
Still, as we all know, there is a certain superiority complex some of these folks have…
Some and not all…
For being less dark in skin color than others in this region.
On a national level, countries like Argentina, which does have a whiter population on average than most Latin countries, can sometimes come across as arrogant for that reason.
Like we saw with the most recent Argentine president making these comments below here….
Still, it’s not just the Argentines, as I said, who can come across this way.
Especially as colorism can work in other ways like non-white people of skin color that is less dark looking down on others with darker skin color.
Dominican Republic vs Haiti
As you can see in this video here, it’s not uncommon to hear about Dominicans who look down upon or deny their black heritage.
Outright trying to claim that they don’t have any African ancestry even when they do.
Now, for those who don’t know, the DR does share an island with another country called Haiti.
And Haiti does send a lot of immigrants looking for work and other reasons to live in the DR.
Generally speaking, people in Haiti do tend to be darker looking than those in the DR on average.
For economic and racial reasons, from my perspective, you do have folks in the DR who look down on those coming from Haiti.
Even though those in Haiti also share similar a similar racial heritage on average and are not white at all on average themselves.
At any rate, there does exist a tension between both countries for various reasons.
You can check out more of that in this video below here (among other online resources on this topic).
The Mexicans Aren’t Like Those Dirty South Americans
On Facebook some months ago, I remember someone sharing a meme on Facebook that was basically like the following…
In which the top image showed some Mexican who laughed about how “hahahaha dirty South America, we aren’t poor like them!”
Then the second image showed said Mexican living in poverty in some shack with basically shit to his name and all.
If someone could find the meme, please share it or something similar so I can put it in this article.
I tried looking but gave up after a few minutes.
Either way, it’s not an entirely uncommon idea in Mexico.
You do have some folks, and I emphasize some, who basically look down upon the rest of Latin America.
From my understanding, the idea seems to be this sort of “we are part of North America and the rest are part of South America….hahahahahaha…..so poor they are!”
Almost like seeing Mexico as being on similar level to the US in a way?
Or however it might be understood by this type of folk in Mexico who has this mentality.
And, again, I emphasize that not everyone in Mexico thinks this way but some seemingly do.
In which there is this mental separation between what is Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
Poor Bolivia: El Cornudo de America Latina
Finally, we have Bolivia.
Now, in my experience, Bolivians are not really the type to flaunt about how awesome their country is.
They seem to be, from my minimal experience, the type to more likely cry in a bar, after one too many shots, about how their country was fucked over.
At least in my experience!
In which they, most commonly, cry about those damn Chileans taking “our access to the sea!”
Now, funny enough, I actually had a moment just like that.
Back when I was in a Bolivian city called Cochabamba, I was sitting down at a bar waiting for a chick named Mariana to finish her shift.
A chick that I hung out with often that you can read about here.
Anyway, she worked at some bar that was much more for locals as you never saw a single foreigner there.
I was kinda like the “lone gringo” in the place always and the few regulars knew me pretty well quickly enough.
One of them being some Bolivian guy named Mau who was a professor of Mathematics in his 30s.
He was a cool but kinda socially awkward guy.
But cool to hang out with a this bar anyhow.
Anyway, after one too many shots, he ended up getting all emotional about “damn Chile!”
Being from the US and with 0 roots to South America in anyway…
And basically limited understanding of Latin American history at the time…
It was interesting listening to this guy at the time….
“like alright…sure….those damn Chileans…alright…yeah..access to the sea?....yeah, sucks man.”
Anyway, even some odd years ago, as you can see here, Bolivia has tried suing for access to the sea again.
And, from my limited understanding, it does seem like Bolivia lost land to other countries also.
So, unlike other countries, from my limited experience, it always felt like Bolivians were less the type to feel superior to other Latin countries and more the type to feel sorry for themselves.
Pobre Bolivianos – los cornudos de America Latina.
Anyway, there were many other examples that I am sure I could’ve brought up.
I’m sure people with more experience in Brazil must’ve noticed maybe some superiority complex that some Brazilians have relative to the rest of Latin America.
And, from what I know, seemingly plenty of Venezuelans had such a complex before their country turned to shit.
Nowadays, as I wrote here, it sure seems like they are more mute on that issue!
Anyway, here’s a fun little video on this topic of rivalry between different Latin American countries.
If you have any examples to bring up yourself, mention them below in the comment section.
Or anything else really that you want to mention.
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Thanks for reading.