Last week’s newsletter we focused on sweeping dirt in Latin America and the reasons they do it. I love when we get responses from you (our readers). Last week Deborah responded by e-mail with the following message:
“Dave: In poor areas in Mexico I saw family wash hanging out and was so impressed at how the whites are so white. Families built homemade speed bumps in front of their homes to keep cars from going too fast and kicking up dirt. The dirt is so fine and dusty that all their work washing clothes would be for not if they didn’t either sweep and wet the dirt, or build speed bumps.
I enjoy your travel observations. Deb”
Thank you so much for your comments Deborah!
I just wanted to do a quick follow-up with last week’s newsletter and talk a little more about the activities that are done on the dirt roads in the pueblos. Since cars rarely pass by in the lower-income pueblos, the streets are converted to a sort of play place for young children and teenagers. In most of Latin America, as soon as a little boy can walk, they learn to kick a soccer ball. In fact, they seem to be almost everywhere in the streets kicking soccer balls and playing soccer. When the very little boys are not playing soccer, they like to play with marbles or with string tops called trompos [troam-poes]. Girls likewise use the streets for a play place. As soon as they are around age of say eight or nine, in many regions, they play volleyball in the streets. They set up nets from one side of the narrow streets to the other and if any cars happen to pass by, they simply lift up the net.
It is fun to watch the culture of the Latin streets and see everything all the events that goe on. The boys and girls are quite good at soccer, volleyball, marbles, and “trompos.” In fact, the first time I tried to play soccer with them, to my surprise, they kicked the ball right between my legs. I was a little embarrassed as everyone laughed at me, the “Gringo”, who did not know how to play soccer very well. Needless to say, I practiced my soccer playing and now enjoy it very much.
The sports played can vary region to region. For example, in the Dominican Republic, many of the boys participate in baseball instead of soccer. However, soccer is still the most widespread sport throughout Latin America.
To learn more about getting to know someone better or conversing about sports and hobbies, be sure to learn “Section 8 – Becoming Acquainted.” If you do not have the complete course yet, and would like to order it, we have a current sale going on at: www.spanishprograms.com/store.htmLearn Spanish, Spanish Culture, Spanish Words