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On Driving to Zihuatanejo

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Post by hound dog on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:17 pm

So, here we are preparing to drivefrom Lake Chapala to the Zihuatanejo area and,originally on south to Acapulco and Tehuantepec and then on to Chiapas and we read in the media that Michoacan has gone to the dogs and people driving through are having their cars commandeered and burned by roadside bandits and these same bandits are slaughtering federales by the score and the only way locically we can get to the Zihuantanejo area is by driving the autopista from the Uruápan area to just south of Lázaro Cardenas and then on down to Zihuatanejo and this drive skirts Michoacan regions and cities recently made infamous by thugs willing to use our only car as fodder for their absurd war so what are we to do? I guess we´ll go anyway but, instead of our original plan taking us south after Zihuatanejo to Acapulcpo and the Costa Chica we´ll head back to Lake Chapala after our visit to Playa Troncones and then head for Chiapas from Lake Chapala on our normal route through Puebla and Veracruz. Michoacan is turning into a real shithole. If we had no unrefundable deposit for that room in Troncones we probably would cancel that trip as well and may stiil do so. We have lived in Mexico for ten years and are not afraid of this place but we are also not totally stupid. Let the familia and federales have their field day in remote and lawless Michoacan. We´ll take the high road. Michoacan isn´t that attractive anyway. It amazes me how beautiful Chiapas, with its reputation as unsettled territory, is a hell of a lot safer than two-bit Michoacan.
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Post by Peter on Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:00 pm

Where is Playa Troncones? Did you say near Zihuatanejo? That is in the state of Guerrero. From Zihuatanejo you have about another 8 or 9 hours to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. From there a hop, skip, and a jump to Chiapas. There is a highway to Zihua from Toluca. It's not an autopista but I was on it a few years ago when they were widening the highway. Kinda the long way though.

Seems the immediate problem is over with in Michoacán for now. They said they killed the bad guy and the cartel already did their thing last Thursday. I just made the trip from Morelia to Zihuatanejo and back a week ago. You have about another month, just wait and see if there are any more outbreaks.

Do you think Michoacán is the only place anything can happen? Or that it has been the worst and most risky place? Think not. I've driven that highway to the coast at least three times in the past year and many more times before that. Autopista almost the entire distance from Morelia. You pay the cuoto and you are covered by their insurance.


Last edited by Peter on Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : to correct spelling)
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:25 pm

Here's a link to the official story of the events in Morelia this past week:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101211/twl-mexican-forces-kill-la-familia-drug-1a2730a.html

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Post by David on Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:03 am

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Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:31 pm

The trouble with Gringos is that they rely on sources like Gringo Yahoo for their news. A news flash: why not read the Mexican news for an accurate story?

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Post by Peter on Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:56 pm

yuri wrote:The trouble with Gringos is that they rely on sources like Gringo Yahoo for their news. A news flash: why not read the Mexican news for an accurate story?

Many of us do read Mexican news and newpapers, others have trouble reading Spanish. Do you believe Mexican news gets accurately reported in Mexico? Given the pressures put on journalists by cartels that seems doubtful as well, but at least they don't confuse the geography as much as foreign sources.

Do you have any particular Mexican news sites to recommend? Any favorites?
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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:41 pm

If you can't trust the UK media who can you trust???? Basically the same story in all the articles I have seen to matter where they came from. No?
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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:50 pm

yuri wrote:The trouble with Gringos is that they rely on sources like Gringo Yahoo for their news. A news flash: why not read the Mexican news for an accurate story?

Mr. Yuri, I have been trying to get this knowledgable guy with tons of Mexican news connections to post over here on our board but haven't had any luck with him yet. I'll keep trying........ Shocked

PS. What happened to your tiger??? Very Happy

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Post by hound dog on Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:05 pm

yuri wrote:The trouble with Gringos is that they rely on sources like Gringo Yahoo for their news. A news flash: why not read the Mexican news for an accurate story?

Really, Yuri? I´m amazed to find that out about myself. We two "gringos" (a racist put down I only use ironically here to make fun of you) have lived here for about ten years in Jalisco and Chiapas and watch the Mexican news almost every morning plus buy the Mexican press whether in Jalisco or Chiapas so I am wondering who the racist pig is here. Enlighten me. And, by the way, watching the Mexican news for an accurate story? Get serious.
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Post by bobnliz on Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:09 am

Looks like the Dawg does have a point there. After all... only a black man may use the "N" word with impunity, so... to extrapolate. The epithet "Gringo" may only be used by those who fit the term.
Interesting, as I learned that the word was a derivative of Griego (Greek) which was a reference to "stranger". Rolling Eyes Lizzy
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Post by Lehrer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:14 am

xxx


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Post by kipissippi on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:20 pm

Of course "green coats" in Spanish would sound nothing like Gringo.
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Post by Lehrer on Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:25 pm

xxx


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Post by bobnliz on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:59 pm

That it is derivative of Griego sounds more likely.
Sorta like "barbara": the original translation means 'stranger' and from barbara comes "barbarian".
I think we should do more research, eh? cheers Lizzy
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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:13 pm

Here's what I found:

Gringo - According to the Real Academia Española (the ultimate reference for the Spanish language): 1. Adjective: Foreigner, especially one who speaks English, in general one who speaks a language other than Spanish. 2. Foreigner 3. In Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua an American 4. In Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru a blond fair skinned person 5. Unintelligible language
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Post by bobnliz on Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:52 pm

How about...GRINGO, courtesy of Wikipedia. Lizzy

This article is about the Spanish and Portuguese term "gringo".
Gringo is a slang Spanish and Portuguese word used in Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries, principally in Latin America, to denote foreigners...

The American Heritage Dictionary classifies gringo as "offensive slang," "usually disparaging," and "often disparaging."[1] However, the term can also be used to simply identify a foreigner and does not carry a negative connotation according to the definition in the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy which defines the Spanish language.[2]

The word was used in Spain - although the word is nowadays rarely heard there - long before it crossed the Atlantic to denote foreign, non-native speakers of Spanish.[3] Although it has various anecdotal etymologies, and various connotative or interpretive meanings, its ultimate source appears to be "griego", the Spanish word for "a Greek person" that serves, in some countries, as a colloquial shorthand for any foreign (non native) person.
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Post by Lehrer on Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:57 am

xxx


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Post by espíritu del lago on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:12 pm

Folklore says it was generated when the US invaded mexico, wearing green uniforms, and the people shouted at them "Green Go Home".

The word originated in Mexico, when the United States of America invaded Mexico in order to appropiate half of its territory, back on mid 19th century. Of course this action against "peace and freedom" is not in elementary school textbooks in USA, but it is in any other serious document about USA history.

American soldiers entered the country through the Gulf of Mexico, taking down the main port of Veracruz and then heading towards Mexico City. The troops were wearing GREEN COATS.

Mexican people along the way from Veracruz to Mexico suffered the advance of the enemy and many battles were fought. However, the American army finally reached Mexico City and took the city down in an epic battle still remembered by all the Mexicans: The battle of Chapultepec Castle. This palace, in the top of a hill, is the highest point over Mexico City: there was the Mexican flag, so it was a symbolic target.

The headquarters of the Military College were in Chapultepec castle too, and when the "green coats" were climbing the hill, a few young cadets refused to leave and decided to defend the castle to death. Then, when the battle was helplessly lost, one of the cadets took the Mexican flag, wrapped himself on it and jumped off the cliff were the castle is set, dying in the rocks below, thus avoiding the American army to take the flag. When the American commander saw the corpses of the cadets, he said in amazement "They are only children!". So they became in death Los Niños Héroes, the...

Amongst others. There are over 9 pages to peruse.


See more:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gringo
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Post by Lehrer on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:34 pm

xxx


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Post by Peter on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:13 pm

The other word more commonly used in central Mexico is "gavacho" or "gabacho" which does have some derisive connotations, though most often it is not used derisively. Given the choice of gringo or gabacho I choose the former and let my friends here know my preferrence.

I think of it like the British using "yankee" to speak of American colonists and them in turn proudly accepting the name and making songs declaring themselves "yankee-doodle dandies."

Here I am a gringo and I am OK with it. If someone calls you a "yankee" it is usually followed by, "go home."
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Post by espíritu del lago on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:54 am

if someone calls you a "yankee" it is usually followed by, "go home."

lol, can't wait to hear that in Spanish.
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Post by bobnliz on Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:13 am

Peter wrote:The other word more commonly used in central Mexico is "gavacho" or "gabacho" which does have some derisive connotations, though most often it is not used derisively. Given the choice of gringo or gabacho I choose the former and let my friends here know my preferrence.

I think of it like the British using "yankee" to speak of American colonists and them in turn proudly accepting the name and making songs declaring themselves "yankee-doodle dandies."

Here I am a gringo and I am OK with it. If someone calls you a "yankee" it is usually followed by, "go home."

Peter ~ I think you will find it was the indians who were unable to pronounce the word "English". The best they could do was "Yankeesh" which became "Yankee."

I believe Gabacho, or Gavacho is a slang, sometimes derogatory reference to a resident of Mexico City, or so I was told in Xalapa. Lizzy
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Post by Peter on Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:49 am

bobnliz wrote:
Peter wrote:The other word more commonly used in central Mexico is "gavacho" or "gabacho" which does have some derisive connotations, though most often it is not used derisively. Given the choice of gringo or gabacho I choose the former and let my friends here know my preferrence.

I think of it like the British using "yankee" to speak of American colonists and them in turn proudly accepting the name and making songs declaring themselves "yankee-doodle dandies."

Here I am a gringo and I am OK with it. If someone calls you a "yankee" it is usually followed by, "go home."

Peter ~ I think you will find it was the indians who were unable to pronounce the word "English". The best they could do was "Yankeesh" which became "Yankee."

I believe Gabacho, or Gavacho is a slang, sometimes derogatory reference to a resident of Mexico City, or so I was told in Xalapa. Lizzy


A common name for those from Mexico City is Chilango. It is used both derisively or otherwise and some from Mexico City call themslves that. Still, it should not be used too loosely because for some it does have derogatory meanings.

Gabacho is always used for white English-speaking foreigners. It is commonly used but many Mexicans will not use it in front of us gringos for fear we would find it offensive. Ask around, you'll see. I have heard gabacho originally was used by the Spanish to refer to the French, but here it is reserved for English-speakers.

Thanks for that "yankee" story. The Brits may have picked it up from the local indigenous people and threw it back at us.


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Post by hound dog on Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:38 pm

Interestingly, the word "gringo" is almost never used among polite society in Chiapas and, unless one is speaking with a close friend or family member and using the word as a term of affection, it would be an affront to the person being referred if within earshot. The same with the archaic term "ladino" down there. In fact, if you are addressed as "gringo" or "ladino" by a stranger, be alert for a troublesome encounter.

The only time I have heard the term "gringo" used was one day when we were shopping with a mestizo friend from Ajijic in the Zapatista indigenous stronghold of Larrainzar in the mountains near San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The locals of Larrainzar thrive on the sales of various local wares to outsiders but have been instructed by Comandante Marcos and his followers to hate gringos but over time the term "gringo" has come to mean outsiders including non-indigenous Mexicans. They have even more pejorative names for local Chiapas indigenous they don´t know who hail from nearby villages. Our born and bred Mestizo friend from Lake Chapala was deeply offended when the matron of the house in Larrainzar featuring artisanal goods made there, reacted when we walked in and asked, "What are you doing here? We hate gringos." Once that awkward moment was over, she proceeded to show us various wares for sale but then, in the interim, a young child entered the room and suddenly noted this rather large white boy unexpectedy and recoiled in horror letting out a cry of astonishment at encountering this monster in his midst. He then fed the room. Out of the mouths of babes.

Chiapas can be a touchy place, especially in indigenous areas and there is much violence among the indigenous against each other so it is important to respect local customs to avoid unpleasantness no matter what your race or creed.

More to the point of this thread. Thanks Peter, for the comment on the drive to Zihuatanejo down the autopista from Uruapan to Lázaro Cárdenas. As for noting the violence in Michoacan, anyone who speaks adequate Spanish and keeps his/her ear to the ground knows that there is plenty of violence to go around in Jalisco including the Lake Chapala area. In Ajijic, widely misconceived as a "gringo ghetto", the gossip among locals supplemented by any morning´s airing of the news out of Guadalajara keeps one apprised of the latest attrocities plus terrible auto accidents and various criminal acts. It may be best that few receive these formal and informal bulletins.

In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the real news publicy aired is over local radio. The extreme violence and rank mistreatment of various ethnic groups and Central Americans along the border , including countless murders and rampant domestic violence, hardly ever makes the national or international news. That´s OK. Just keep your cool and mind your own business. The real hostility towards "gringos" is greatly overstated since "gringos" are hardly a factor down there. Now, if you are from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador, or even from down the road in the Lacandon, watch your butt.
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Post by bobnliz on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:38 pm

Peter wrote:
bobnliz wrote:
Peter wrote:The other word more commonly used in central Mexico is "gavacho" or "gabacho" which does have some derisive connotations, though most often it is not used derisively. Given the choice of gringo or gabacho I choose the former and let my friends here know my preferrence.

I think of it like the British using "yankee" to speak of American colonists and them in turn proudly accepting the name and making songs declaring themselves "yankee-doodle dandies."

Here I am a gringo and I am OK with it. If someone calls you a "yankee" it is usually followed by, "go home."

Peter ~ I think you will find it was the indians who were unable to pronounce the word "English". The best they could do was "Yankeesh" which became "Yankee."

I believe Gabacho, or Gavacho is a slang, sometimes derogatory reference to a resident of Mexico City, or so I was told in Xalapa. Lizzy


A common name for those from Mexico City is Chilango. It is used both derisively or otherwise and some from Mexico City call themslves that. Still, it should not be used too loosely because for some it does have derogatory meanings.

Gabacho is always used for white English-speaking foreigners. It is commonly used but many Mexicans will not use it in front of us gringos for fear we would find it offensive. Ask around, you'll see. I have heard gabacho originally was used by the Spanish to refer to the French, but here it is reserved for English-speakers.

Thanks for that "yankee" story. The Brits may have picked it up from the local indigenous people and threw it back at us.

You're absolutely right, Peter. As soon as I saw 'Chilango, it came back to me. Thanks for the correction.
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