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- Bringing Haiti & Jamaica to Pedregal de Santo Domingo
A few days ago, I left my new place in Pedregal de Santo Domingo of Mexico City to go get some tacos.
One thing I do like about this neighborhood, among other reasons, is some of the pretty solid deals you can get for tacos down here.
Back when I lived down here, I could literally get 16 small tacos de pastor just over 60 pesos or basically 3.5 USD.
While that deal from the same place is gone last I went there, you still can get 10 small tacos de pastor for 50 pesos or 2.5 USD.
Meaning that, if I wanted the full 16 small tacos again, it’d probably cost me closer to 80 pesos or something.
An entire dollar increase from last year.
That’s inflation for you. Thanks Biden.
Anyway, I felt like stomaching the high cost of 2.5 USD for some 10 tacos and went to get them at around 10 PM more or less.
Once I got there, I walked past some small Mexican family who were waiting for their food that they already ordered.
I ordered my food then.
After ordering my food, it probably took around 5 minutes at most for most customers to show up.
What was strange about these customers though was that they were speaking English.
In this neighborhood, you just don’t hear English literally ever.
Though that might be changing – for the first time ever, I saw what looked to be another white gringo or European last night as a side point.
Not sure if it was an actual white foreigner or if it was just a white Mexican who happened to be 2 feet taller than everyone else with light brown hair.
That was literally the first time I ever saw another person like me in this neighborhood over my entire year of being around here (counting the last time I lived around the area).
“Where Are You From?”
Anyway, back to the original story, two black dudes showed up to the same taco spot speaking English to each other.
However, they were different from the white foreigner dude because they spoke with a very different accent.
These two folks seemed nice.
After walking up to the taco spot, they were talking to each other about whatever.
At first, their conversation went over my head very briefly as I’m not used to the Jamaican accent.
But I could understand easily enough what they were saying right after a second or two.
Their conversation soon turned to what to order.
Like the family next to me, they decided to order some tortas (sandwiches).
However, they seemed to have some minor difficulty in getting the order done.
The shorter dude decided to do the ordering for both of them but seemed to be stuck on trying to get the right words.
That and the waiter who came out was having trouble understanding his accent in Spanish from the look of it.
Funny enough, the waiter nor the taco guy didn’t try switching to broken English to handle the order.
If that was me struggling, perhaps they would have.
Given they were black though, it could be that neither the waiter nor the taco guy spoke enough broken English or the waiter might’ve assumed that they don’t speak English out of the idea that they might the Haitian.
Who knows really.
Ultimately, I cut into the conversation when it looked like some communication problems were present and the waiter finally understood that they want two tortas.
From there, the waiter left to get the order in and we got talking.
Basic conversation though.
“Where you from?” being asked of me.
I asked the same and they were Jamaican.
“What are you doing in Mexico?” was the obvious question asked both ways.
“I live here” I said.
And they explained how they came to go to the US someday but are in Mexico City for now and supposedly find it risky to go any further north apparently.
Which makes sense given all of the extra security Mexico has these days targeting folks for deportation.
At any rate, my tacos got there and I went back to my apartment.
If they had not said a word, I probably would’ve assumed that they were Haitian.
In Mexico City, we’ve had a lot of Haitians move in over the last two years.
Plenty of them are illegal here from my understanding and just doing whatever they can to get by.
For those curious about an interesting story, I actually stumbled across an entire house that had like 50 of them as you an read here by Buenavista area of Mexico City.
Though, in this moment, we were far from Buenavista as Pedregal de Santo Domingo is closer to Metro CU in the south.
Now, it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see Haitians in this area because Santo Domingo has some very cheap prices for rent down here.
And, since I have moved down here again about a week ago, I have seen numerous Haitian folks walking around and speaking a language that doesn’t sound like English or Spanish.
There are plenty of them!
But, over the last few days, I have noticed some Jamaicans also.
Never knew Mexico City was getting any Jamaicans either and I had never seen them in the city before.
Though, as I said, this particular area of Mexico City seems to have a handful of them.
Like the two guys we are about to talk about, they overall seem nice.
Like the Haitians, they seem to mostly stick to themselves from what I have seen.
And, given their recent arrival like the Haitians, you don’t see any cultural influence from them in the neighborhood.
Their presence is only noticeable whenever either a Haitian or Jamaican is seen walking outside with someone they know and speaking a language that sounds foreign to the area.
But that’s it really.
And they don’t make a significant portion of the people outside either.
Either way, it’s definitely a change compared to the last time I lived in this specific part of the city.
And, as I said, they’ve always come across as friendly like these two new folks that night.
At any rate, there isn’t much else to say outside of just some basic reporting on the ground about this small change to the neighborhood from how it was a year ago.
As you can see in this video here, sometimes these folks, like other immigrants, carry with them their own cultural changes to the community like making their own restaurants, creating murals, raising a family in the area, etc.
Will they do the same here in Pedregal de Santo Domingo or other areas of Mexico City?
Time will tell.
As some do plan on going to the US and the plans of others might be different.
But that’s all I got to say for now.
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Thanks for reading.