Our conversations about America with people we met..
We won’t be sharing names of the people we spoke with about life in America and about the country as a whole, out of respect for sharing their honest views. The best way we can summarize the people’s views on America is that it is complex. Even though they like our culture and the people that visit their countries, they feel disdain at American foreign policy and the idea of “American exceptionalism”. Wherever we went, we saw McDonald’s and KFC and other reminders of American culture (even though we will say that the fast food over there is much better than in America). Folks also told us that American tourists actually have a better reputation than other tourists. Pero we couldn’t escape politics. The couldn’t understand why Americans wouldn’t get vaccinated. Most couldn’t understand why Trump was President. They can’t understand school shootings. For some, they have never forgotten the CIA-led coups that have occurred in their countries. Some conversations do get difficult because we have to protect Laurie and her line of work. Having said that, we give honest answers back. We agree that America has done many terrible things in its past, and Danny always tries to show empathy to their opinions by bridging what’s going on today with the history of the things que se hablan. No es facil talking about your homeland in such a honest way, but it’s the cultural and historical burden we carry as Americans.
Of course, we complicate the views on America porque somos Latinos, and so other questions appear regarding life in America. Is the country truly racist? Do you have opportunities? Do you like living there? The conversations become more real because of the cultural connections there. Yes, our passports are American, but our blood comes from the “Third World”, and so it gives us an opportunity to speak freely about our worlds that perhaps wouldn’t happen between a white American and them. Just happens to be the reality we live in.
All conversations end well. We give our goodbyes and depart to our next destination. We hope that in our brief moment together, we were able to give an honest view of America as well as learn and be empathetic to their views. It’s part of being a good global citizen.
Vamos viajando. The world needs to see us!