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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Dear Mexican: We have Mexican teenagers in my apartment building who are chronic troublemakers. My question to you is: Why do Mexicans break the rules, refuse to be corrected, and harass us senior citizens? Why is it always the Mexicans who are the worst? Is it in their culture? Or are these just uneducated low-lifes? Their fathers are nowhere in sight.

The management here and the cops can hardly keep up with them—probably because they’re Mexicans, too.

Frustrated

Dear Gabacho: You didn’t give me specifics, so I’m not sure if the young Mexicans in questions are merely playing in the hallway in violation of apartment rules or making you pay a protection “tax.” I’m thinking the former, because Mexicans are taught to revere viejitos as if they were their own abuelitas, so they rarely disrespect the elderly.

Since you’re claiming Mexican cops and apartment managers are conspiring to protect the kids from punishment, I’m going to mark you down as a nasty old bigot, the kind who remembers when Mexicans were referred to as “wetbacks” and everyone laughed at Sy the Little Mexican. In the case you actually are a kind old soul, and a bunch of asshole kids are truly harassing you, call up an old Mexican grandma: Her chancla will have them scrambling faster than a gabacho running to the restroom after eating habanero salsa.

Dear Mexican: Why do the women on Mexican television wear so much eye makeup?

Mascara Maven

Dear Gabacho: The same reason American women on television do—patriarchy.

Dear Mexican: I was in a Mexican restaurant and saw a map of Mexico on the wall with all the states shown. I’d previously assumed that Chiapas and Yucatán were cultural regions, like Appalachia or the Pacific Northwest, not states in a republic. I never really liked or learned geography.

In public school, maps always showed North America as Canada and its territories, the U.S. and all its states—but Mexico as a unitary region. Wikipedia says that Mexico’s official name is United Mexican States (in English). Cartographers might say that Mexican state names won’t fit in available space, but they still draw Rhode Island on the map of the U.S. Showing Canadian territories makes Canada seem “like us,” while showing Mexico as a single region makes Mexico seem undeveloped, under-governed and homogenous.

Other countries also have states or provinces that aren’t shown, like Brazil and China. Mexican states probably vary more than Canadian provinces do. Is the snow in Manitoba different than the snow in Ontario?

Why do you think that most maps made in the U.S. show U.S. states and Canadian territories, but not Mexican states?

“F” in Geography

Dear Gabacho: Because the U.S. and Canada are English-speaking neighbors, while Mexico ain’t.

Meanwhile, Mexican maps don’t offer the same courtesy to its Central American neighbors in showing each country’s departments (their version of states)—further proof to chapines, catrachos, ticos and guanacos alike that Mexicans are brown Hitlers.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican

Dear Mexican: I have a hard time believing that the immigrants we see at Home Depot are the best Mexico has to offer. Why can’t we entice more cream-of-the-crop of Mexicans to come up north? (Mexico has the richest man in the world, so someone has to be doing something right.) Are the laws fucked up, or are these people better off staying? It couldn’t hurt the other immigrants if we had more well-educated immigrants messing up our stereotypes.

We Can’t Do Better?

Dear Gabacho: Keep laughing at those Home Depot wabs, because they’re going to have the last risa.

All immigrant groups feature a few highly educated folks in their teeming masses, Mexicans included: Entire swaths of Texas are now the playgrounds for the middle and upper classes of northern Mexico, mostly because they’re fleeing the narco wars. And thousands of Mexicans get TN-1 visas (the NAFTA version of the smarty art H-1B visa) every year. Besides, it’s the dirty immigrants who have always pushed this country forward, from the Pilgrims to the Irish to the Dreamers of today. If all we allowed into this country from the beginning of the republic were well-educated immigrants, we’d be just like Japan—aging, crumbling and obsessed with tentacle porn.

When I was a kid, my grandmother always told me that Sonora was a beautiful place to live … that is, until people from southern Mexico began moving to Sonora. The guachos, she called them; she considered anyone hailing from south of Obregón a guacho. She had a serious dislike for anybody not from Sonora or Chihuahua. She said they had “piojos y lombrices” and spoke with funny accents (although I’ve realized people in Sonora are the ones who have accents). My grandfather considered Mexico like three different countries: north, central and south.

Can you please help me understand why the hate for guachos? I love the shit out of Jalisco, Puebla, Guerrero and even Chilangolandia. Also, why is it that in the rest of Mexico, a guacho is a slam to a soldier, but in Sonora, it’s anyone from the South?

Sonora y Sus Ojos Negros

Dear Sonora and Her Black Eyes: Regional rivalries are as much a part of the human experience as breathing, so you shouldn’t be surprised at your abuelita’s hate for the rest of us. So is thinking up of new ways to insult your rivals: While Sonora is a beautiful state, too many of its residents have a Jalisco complex about them, in that they think their ancestors never intermixed with Indians. As a result, guacho (a term originally from Quechua, and meaning “bastard”—as in, someone with no mother—in almost all of South America, which is also used to slur poor people in Cuba and soldiers in the rest of Mexico) turned into an epithet in Sonora referring to any other Mexican; the thinking was that all other Mexicans were mestizos, while sonorenses were pure-blooded Spaniards.

Come on, Sonora: If you think your grandparents weren’t getting it on with Yaquis, then you must also think flour tortillas are nothing more than water and paste. (Sorry, readers; I but don’t know too many Sonoran jokes—they’re not easy to make fun of like, say, people from Jalisco).

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Published in Ask a Mexican