Don’t be exposed as a tourist in Mexico!

Most tourists do THIS in Mexico. STOP doing it to blend in!

If you are coming to Mexico and you would like to blend in with the locals, and not have Mexicans look and immediately recognize you as a tourist, then you have come to the right place.

I am Spring Spanish teacher Paulisima from Mexico, and I will teach you 5 things to not stand out as a tourist in Mexico.

1. La ropa que usas (The clothes you wear)

Mejor dile adiós a las cangureras, los shorts y los pantalones cargo. (Best to say goodbye to fanny packs, sunglasses, shorts, and cargo pants.)

And unless you’re in a beach town or a place where it’s really sunny, you can skip the sunglasses as well.

Observa cómo se visten los locales e imítalos. En México, por ejemplo, no importa que tanto calor haya, es super común usar pantalones de mezclilla. (Observe how the locals dress and imitate them. In Mexico, for example, no matter how hot it is, it is super common to wear jeans.)

2. El idioma (The language)

Está bien si hablas poco español o incluso si no hablas nada. Lo importante es que intentes comunicarte en español. (It’s okay if you speak little Spanish, or even if you don’t speak any Spanish at all. The important thing is that you try to communicate in Spanish.)

Puedes empezar por aprenderte chunks básicos para saludar, para agradecer y para ordenar en un restaurante, por ejemplo: (You can start by learning basic chunks to say hello, to thank, and to order in a restaurant, for example:)

  • Buenos días (Good morning)
  • Buenas tardes (Good afternoon)
  • Muchas gracias (Thank you very much)
  • Me da 3 de pastor con todo, por fa. (Give me 3 pastor tacos with everything, “please”.)

Chunks are phrases or word combinations that the native speakers of a language use consistently. They can do wonders for fluency. Try learning the most important chunks of Spanish, just download the list from the description below.

También tenemos una playlist aquí sobre todo el español que necesitas para cuando viajes a un país hispanoparlante. (We also have a playlist here on all the Spanish you need for when you travel to a Spanish-speaking country.)

And most importantly, we have this jewel of a video that Mariana made about the Spanish alphabet. Les cuento un secreto: (Let me tell you a secret:)

I believe the best way to start your Spanish lessons is with a thorough review of the alphabet; this is key to make sure that even if you don’t know all the words, people will understand you when you speak Spanish.

Hay una diferencia muy grande entre decir: (There’s a big difference between saying:)

Para mí, el pescado asado con puré de camote.
(For me, the grilled fish with mashed sweet potato.)

Que decir: (Than saying:)

Para mí, el pescado asado con puré de papa.
(For me, the grilled fish with mashed potatoes.)

3. Los lugares y la forma en la que comes (The places and the way you eat)

Si no te atreves a comer en la calle, te vas a perder de una gran experiencia. (If you don’t dare to eat on the street, you are going to miss out on a great experience.) Don’t be one of those people that only eat in places that appear in tourist guides.

Algunas de las mejores comidas mexicanas se pueden encontrar en pequeños puestos en la calle, donde vas a ver a los lugareños comiendo de pie o comiendo parados como decmimos en México. (Some of the best Mexican foods can be found in little stalls in the street, where you’ll see locals eating while standing up, or eating “parados” like we say in Mexico.)

Si estás en México, vas a querer comer tacos. (If you’re in Mexico, you’ll want to eat tacos.) Here’s how to have one properly, like a Mexican.

Mucha gente en México, sobre todo en las áreas rurales, acostumbran a comer con las manos. Usando la tortilla como cuchara, así: (Many people in Mexico, especially in rural areas, eat with their hands. Using the tortilla as a spoon, like this:)

If you were lucky enough to have been invited to share a meal with a family who come con las manos (eats with their hands), don’t act all shocked. Recuerda que: donde fueres, haz lo que vieres. (Remember: “where you go, do as you see.” (When in Rome, do as the Romans.))

4. Arréglate (Get ready)

En general, en Latinoamerica, la gente se preocupa por su apariencia. Así que peinate, ponte perfume, ¡arréglate! (In general, in Latin America, people care about their appearance. So, comb your hair, put on perfume, get ready!)

Some societies in Latin America are more concerned about grooming than others.

Por ejemplo, si yo fuera a la ciudad de Monterrey en México o a Colombia, sería muy fácil que los locales se dieran cuenta de que yo no soy de ahí, porque no me arreglo tan bien como las mujeres de ahí. (For example, if I went to the city of Monterrey in Mexico, or to Colombia, it would be very easy for the locals to realize that I’m not from there, because I don’t groom myself as well as the women there.)

Here are some chunks of Spanish to talk about getting ready:

¿Cómo vas? ¿Ya te estás arreglando?
(How’s it going? Are you getting ready?)

Sí, ya me estoy arreglando. No me tardo.
(Yes, I am getting ready. I won’t take long.)

¿Qué estás haciendo?
(What are you doing?)

Me estoy arreglando.
(I’m getting ready.)

5. Respeto (Respect)

Aunque no seas religioso, respeta las iglesias y las figuras religiosas. (Even if you’re not religious, respect the churches and religious figures.) If you want to visit some of our amazing cathedrals and churches, keep your attire modest. ¿Y a qué nos referimos exactamente con “modesto”? Pues, a que no enseñes mucha piel y ¡no uses nada con imagenes satánicas o de sexo! (And what exactly do we mean by “modest”? Well, don’t show a lot of skin, and don’t wear anything with satanic imagery or sex!)

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