There's a certain argument you might hear some gringos say that I don't necessarily agree with.
It's the idea that Latin Americans respect the property of your apartment or house less than people back home.
Of course, we're talking about basically the whole planet, right?
Hundreds of millions of people in Latin America and where exactly is home when discussing this topic?
Home for you could be the US, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Canada, China, Japan, etc.
While I've never been to Japan, I have heard that supposedly they are very respectful of other people's property and don't litter as much.
If I had to guess, perhaps it's the same for some Scandinavian country too.
On the flip side, some countries of Latin America, as I wrote about here, do have more littering than others.
Even locally in a country like Mexico, some places are cleaner than others and people are more respectful of your property.
So, to a degree, I could see what someone means if they were to specify which country of Latin America they are talking about and which country is "back home."
Still, just the other day, I was talking with a friend of mine named Blayde in some bar and he brought up the topic.
He doesn't necessarily think it's true either. I guess, being he's from West Virginia, he doesn't see his neighbors in Mexico City being disrespectful of his space.
Granted, we both agree though that littering here does seem a lot worse than back home when you are talking of public spaces.
Anyway, let me summarize all my memories of both and then wrap this topic up as there isn't much to say.
Life Back Home
Back home in Iowa, I think I remember my parents having some dispute with the neighbors over a tree.
A common issue you find among folks back home where maybe the neighbor wants your tree cut or something.
I vaguely remember some issue about a tree growing up.
Also, you have the issue of fireworks.
Fireworks are technically not allowed in Iowa on 4th of July by common people.
If you want to follow the law, you'd watch them explode at some nearby event.
Perhaps held at a school or something.
Though we didn't give a fuck about that and always got a shit ton of fireworks in Missouri before setting them off back home.
Our neighbors never cared too much about it there was one across the street that didn't like it.
For the reasons we all know -- it scares the pets, someone nearby has PTSD, leaves junk in their yard when it falls back down, maybe starts a fire, perhaps they hate it when the neighbors are having fun and they aren't, etc.
Finally, one other issue that comes to mind is when people are taking care of their lawn and some of the grass gets onto the road.
People aren't always good on taking care of that properly.
Anyway, outside of that, I don't remember any other issues.
No dogs pooping in the yard.
Neighbors taking care of that easily enough.
No homeless dogs or cats anyway running around causing a mess or being let out unsupervised.
Nobody throwing trash in our yard purposefully.
Let's move on.
In Latin America
Before I begin, I just wan to say that a good deal of my time in Latin America has been in poorer areas.
Not always but definitely as of lately.
Back home in Iowa, we were not super wealthy.
Though, by the time I was closer to Middle School more or less, my dad was definitely making a lot more money.
We were never too poor though outside of the 2008 Recession fucking up the family income and the first house my parents lived in being OK.
But nothing like my life in Latin America.
I never once spent time in "the barrio" or "the hood" or "the ghetto" or anything like that.
Down here, I've lived in such areas and spent time visiting for various reasons.
I just wanted to start with that because, in my opinion, poorer areas do have worse problems obviously.
More people littering.
More homeless dogs or cats or pets in general that are left outside unsupervised.
Those same pets shit everywhere and nobody takes care of it.
Or they shit in front of the owner walking the dog and the owner still doesn't take care of it.
Empty beer bottles smashed in half just laying around.
When I lived in Santo Domingo of Mexico City, we did have a mini front lawn of sorts and there were some people who occasionally just threw a empty bag of chips, a random hat or some other occasional piece of trash over the front black gate.
In short, people absolutely do not respect the property as much in poorer areas versus back home.
But I think that's a poor comparison to make because not all of Latin America is like that.
Though, having said that, Latin America is poorer on average than the US and most people do not make even a decent income really.
Generally, if we are speaking in broad terms, yes it might seem that there are more people here who don't respect your property by doing any of the things above.
There's also another issue I wrote about here where people park in front of your house and block your way out.
That's not just a poor person thing either.
Also, now that I think about it, I have lived in average income places too and just some of the above is still common enough.
Finally, one other thing to mention is the lack of respect in terms of noise.
Where the neighbors are yelling at each other, talking loudly or whatever else outside late at night until like midnight.
I've heard that before on numerous occasions.
Or they are blasting music out loudly until like 4 AM.
Be it a bar doing that or just someone's house.
When it comes to noise, I'd definitely say that it's been my experience that people in Latin America are generally worse than people back home regardless of income.
I've seen it happen in nice, average and poor neighborhoods.
That is one thing where people here are much worse at.
So let's wrap this up.
Like I said, Latin America is poorer on average and so many of the habits might seem more common down here than back home.
But, like I said, it heavily depends on what part of Latin America you are in and where is home.
The US is by far not perfect on this issue either.
In fact, compared to other developed countries, we definitely have a lot to learn.
Compared to Japan or Sweden?
Yeah, they probably do respect your property more in those places.
Above all, I don't think it's much of a topic to bring up.
The "lack of respect" doesn't seem that shocking or different to me.
Even though I see more of it here than back home arguably, I might be used to it but also I can see why it might be the case given where I choose to live.
But, having said that, for some foreigners, this very well might be a shock to you.
A detail that you notice.
Depending on the community you are coming from.
Not just with the lack of respect for public spaces but also private ones as we discuss here with people throwing trash onto your property, letting dogs shit on your property or whatever else.
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.