What to expect when you move from Latin America to the UK

Spoiler alert: The chocolate here is way sweeter!


People don't always know your country

A lot of people know Mexico and Brazil, but when you tell them you are from Panama, Chile or Uruguay you might get some blank faces.

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Getting used to the way people say hello

Normally in Latin American culture we kiss everyone on the cheeks when we meet them. Here you are generally greeted with a hug or a handshake, and so we might come across as a little too affectionate.

Never understanding what anyone is saying

I love British accents, but if I ever have a blank look on my face when you talk it is probably because I did not understand anything you said.

Going out for "latino food"

There is no such thing as "latino cuisine". Every country has their own cuisine.

So when I see restaurants that say "latino cuisine", I can't help wonder what this could possibly mean…

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Being asked about Narcos

Drug trafficking in Latin America is not a funny subject for us. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by cartels, so when you make jokes about Pablo Escobar it might actually kind of hurt our feelings.

Getting used to European alcoholic drinks

Nothing will ever be as good as a Pisco Sour, Aguardiente, or a proper Mojito.

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This is how we drink it back home

The weather

Yes parts of Latin America can get cold, but a lot of it has pretty nice warm and sunny weather most of the year. Moving to the UK means you start noticing your skin get a little less tanned and that your wardrobe is not suitable for this country at all. Sometimes we might notice local people wearing a light jacket while we are barely getting by in five layers and a scarf.

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Warm Christmas

For most of us, the concept of a white christmas does not exist, because it is either seasonally summer where we are from, or it is pretty much alway summer for us. We might get very excited about the local christmas traditions and you will probably see us taking pictures of everything.

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Not a fireplace to be seen

Being too loud

I have conversations with my mother on the phone and my friends ask if I am okay, when in reality we were discussing how to properly make rice. Sometimes when I talk to my brother people think we are fighting but we are actually talking about the new episodes of Modern Family.

I have been told by several people I am very loud but, when I hang out with other Latin Americans I am known as "the quiet one" – so how is this possible? Are latinos born with an extra set of vocal cords?

Getting used to the prices

Every good thing comes at a price, right? Well, the UK is very expensive, especially if you compare it to many price ranges in Latin America.

Being told you don't "look" Latino

There is not a Latino look! People look like anything in Latin America because it's a very diverse region, so no one really "looks" Latino ok?

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So "latino"

Being really surprised when you try Cadbury chocolates

This may come as a big surprise to you, but British chocolate is a lot sweeter than chocolate back home, maybe because a lot of our chocolate is mixed with coffee.

Of course, this means the sugar intake is bigger so we might not be able to indulge as much here, but its definitely surprising when you take a bite of that sweet, sweet british chocolate.

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A regular chcolate from back home