Definition: a female of western origins. She can come in any color, and may be from Europe, Canada, the US, Australia or any other country considered to be the West.

It’s a weird fact of life here, but if you’re a gringa, you have a Cubano. Other than the women in this apartment (and some at the Burlington program), every gringa we’ve met so far has come with a Cuban man in tow. Or more often, the other way around. I wonder how genuine these relationships are, on both ends.

How are the women not more skeptical? Don’t they know what will happen when the next pack of Americans come? We’ve seen that happen firsthand. What about all the money that comes into play? It’s hard for a woman to feel wooed if she pays for absolutely everything, including frivolous things they don’t partake in, or stuff for their guy’s friends.  And I know I know, guys often pay for everything in the states, so this could be a small bit of justice.  But it’s still a very real cultural difference that can be jarring.

What about the obvious elephant in the room, the green card? How does she shake the feeling he wants one, and how does he shake the feeling she could get him one?

How are the men not more skeptical? It oddly reminds me of Dirty Dancing, when The Swayze tells Ferris Bueller’s sister how hard it is to say no to the rich, beautiful fancy women who slip diamonds in his pockets. He knows that next week he may be eating skittles for breakfast, so how can he say no? But he still realizes he’s being used, because next week he’s eating those skittles and they’re back in the city spending their husband’s money.

I don’t have any answers on this one, but we see it so often that it gets at me.

4 thoughts on “Gringa”

  1. Delia, you really “Get It”. Good for you! Stand your ground, and DON’T be “Taken for a ride you can’t get off”. Do yourself a favor: don’t take any extra “Baggage” on your return home. As you may have to pay a stiff fee for it. Stay cool. And by all means, enjoy. Uncle Joe O.


  2. I love your blog, I enjoy seeing what you guys are up to and how your experience has been. This entry obviously caught my attention because I am one of those gringas. First of all, yeah, I wouldn’t recommend anyone going there because hit the situation spot on and there are im sure always alternate motivations for being with a gringa or being with a cubano. Unfortunately I didn’t listen to my brain with this one and fell in love and now wonder about all these things all the time. I guess it’s better than being blind to the reality, but it definitely doesn’t make for an easy or even promising relationship. But Jose is pretty great. I am curious though about whether he is one of those Cuban friends with whom you have seen this happen? I know his friends are gringa crazy and go from one to the other and he has always played it off like he hangs out with the Americans once in awhile and then does his own thing but I know you guys hang out with him and I was wondering if you could give me some honest insight into what goes on when I’m not around…?


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