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Everyone is a Güero at the Mexican Taco Stand

Published October 1, 2022 in Mexico - 0 Comments

Some time ago, I was by the Metro UAM station by Iztapalapa.

I was headed home when I decided to get some tacos first.

In this area, I am glad the tacos al pastor are a little bit cheaper.

In the last area I lived in near the Tlahuac border, there was only one place I saw nearby offering tacos al pastor and the prices were not too friendly despite being in a bit of a shit area.

Anyway, I walk up to the taco stand and the dude making tacos asks me what I want and calls me "güero."

Which means blonde or white basically.

While I am not blonde, I am white.

And I don't blink an eye.

I have been called güero plenty of times.

I know some gringos new to Latin America or who don't know Spanish would maybe find offense to the term because gringos tend to be more racially sensitive.

And we don't go around calling each other by the physical skin color we carry.

Similar to what I wrote here about some black American freaking out at being called "negro" in Mexico City.

Anyway, I order my food.

And the wait begins.

He has a bit of a crowd around his place.

Which is a good sign that hopefully the food is pretty good.

And, for those worried about food sickness, that's also a good sign that probably the food won't get you sick if everyone and grandma wants to eat it.

Anyway, as I'm standing around, I notice something odd.

It's something I had seen before on many occasions in Mexico City but happened again right there in front of me.

Some brown looking dude -- medium brown skin -- walks up to the taco stand.

He is not white.

No blonde hair to speak of.

Any blue eyes?

None of that either!

Though neither do I.

And, as he walks up to the taco stand looking at the sign that displays his options, he gets the same treatment as I did.

He is officially, according to the taco man, a "güero" just like I am.

That is how the taco man addresses the very obviously non-white individual.

He is a white man.

The fake white man proceeds to order some tacos de suadero.

"Si" responds the taco man.

And life goes on.

Soon enough, I am asked what salsa I want, if I want "verde" and all the rest of it with my taco.

I respond.

And life goes on.

Everyone is a Güero in the Mexico Taco Stand

It is a small aspect to life down here in Mexico City that you might occasionally notice once in a blue moon.

In my experience, it doesn't happen often or, at the very least, I must not notice it much.

Maybe I'm used to it.

But you do see it once in a while when you are eating street food a lot.

Especially as much as me.

Where other individuals -- who are not white whatsoever -- are described as "güero."

The first time I ever remember noticing that was in my first year in Mexico City almost 5 years ago.

I had a reluctance at first to ever try street food but I ultimately tried it for the first time after a few months of living in the city.

In the beginning, I remember going to some street food spot that had to have been relatively close to Metro Consulado.

That's where a Mexican gal I knew named Angie was living at the time near or somewhat near that metro station.

We went to get some food one night and I saw it then.

She, despite being brown as fuck from Veracruz, was a "güera" in the eyes of the street food guy.

Addressed her as such.

And it was a little bit confusing to me.

At first, I thought it must've been my Spanish.

Maybe I misunderstood the word.

But I did not.

In hindsight, it just happened to be that she, like the guy I saw not too long ago near Metro UAM, had magically morphed from a brown person into a white, blonde person right there and then before the street food guy.

What could possibly explain this?

First, one theory is that every street food guy must be color blind.

Or, as an alternative theory, maybe brown people do magically morph into being white people when ordering street food and we, as white people from the US, are not able to see it and only Mexicans can.

Outside of those two theories, what else?

Second, on a more serious note, I've come to believe that it happens because they want a better tip.

As I wrote here or here, sometimes Mexicans and Latin Americans hold in higher regard white skin.

Like when they say stuff like "mejorar la raza" or "improve the race."

Or how some of them have a deep inferiority complex for not being white themselves and might even try to tear another local down for being whiter skinned by reminding them that they "aren't very Nordic, are they?"

This is the explanation that makes most sense to me given what I've come to believe about Mexicans already.

That, as a reason for calling non-white people güero, they are using the word güero as like a substitute for "good person."

It's a good thing to be güero.

And so they call the person güero to be nice, make them feel better or perhaps convince them that they are lighter skinned than they think they are or whatever the hell else.

Just positive vibe shit.

And so that, in theory, said customer will give a better tip.

That's just my real theory anyway as to why it happens.

I'm not 100% sure how true that is.

Only that it does happen obviously once in a blue moon.

And I emphasize "once in a blue moon" because, out of all the numerous times I eat in the street, it's not like it happens everyday or even most days from my observations.

At least not at the usual spots I go to.

But, when going to a new spot like I did that day by UAM, it happened again.

So it's a thing that happens but, given I'm not Mexican, I can only guess as to why it happens.

Your theory is as good as mine.

Anyway, that's all I got to say.

If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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