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Spanishing In Guanajuato

Feb 10, 2008
I've been in Spanish classes for the past two weeks. It's been great. As a non-native Spanish speaker, it is important to refresh your Spanish by having a professional correct your mistakes. I tend to pick up bad habits along the way and to go back to the class, every now and then, is excellent for retuning my Latin Linguistic Skills.

What has been equally excellent and most refreshing are the contacts I've made with Americans who have been in the school. There have been the usual bunch of the "way-out-there" crowd. There have also been some individuals who have been simply marvelous. They've managed to help restore a little faith in me to discover a "New Wave", so to speak, of potential expats, not Fakepats, who realize the dire importance of learning Spanish as the key that unlocks the door to the culture.

Amazingly, in talking with several of those planning on retiring full-time to Mexico, I've found those who have been making the same observations I have been writing about and for which I've garnered the hatred of the Gringolandians in San Miguel de Allende and the city of Guanajuato, where my wife and I live.

One example is the clannishness issue with the Guanajuatenses. You would have thought that because I observed this region of Mexico is different from other regions in that the people of Guanajuato tend to be more clannish than other Mexicans in other parts of the country, that I had spoken a sacrilege. One fellow who has been coming to Guanajuato for more than thirty years and who has lived here full-time off and on, spoke to me about the clannishness of this city.

Another example is the issue of anti-American sentiment. Another American told me of a group of the younger people who are students in the school who went to a club over the weekend here in Guanajuato. They ended up having to leave the club because of the hostility they encountered from the Mexican young people who told them, very frankly, they were not welcome in Guanajuato and that they should "go home."

I have been talking about these incidents for years in my blogs, articles, and columns, and for my efforts I've received death threats, wishes, and have been told I am the most hated gringo in all of Guanajuato, if not Mexico itself.

Interesting, don't you think?

I've been encouraged. I have felt renewed. I feel giddy that there are those heading for Guanajuato who have every intention of never having one thing to do with Gringolandia or her Lord of the Flies Gringolandians. This is good.

I am also renewed with a better understanding of what I need to work on in my Spanish learning adventure and am looking forward to taking private lessons in a couple of weeks.

To save your money in coming to Mexico to study Spanish make sure you've got as much Spanish under your belt before coming to Mexico. Take advantage of all the many home-study course available and listen to the until you sicken of them. That way, you will be prepare for sitting in a Spanish class where there will be no spoken English at all. The instruction will all be in Spanish!
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