I was sitting on the Caracas metro during rush hour and it was packed. I had my luggage with me, a giant backpack and a smaller backpack, as I was on the way to the airport. There was no place to sit and people were pressed against each other. A woman and her daughter boarded the train. This girl was absolutely adorable, an eight year-old Venezuelan version of an American Girls Scout. The woman I was sitting next to sat the girl on her lap. A complete stranger. I had asked that same woman where my stop was located. Every stop she told me, “Don’t worry, we’re not there yet.” She made sure that I reached my destination safely.
The night before, I was taking a bus to my friends’ house and I was unsure of where to get down. The woman next to me started talking to me. I was thrilled because she actually thought I was Venezuelan for a few minutes. She asked me where I was traveling and suggested places I should visit within the city. She also ensured that I got down at the correct stop.
I honestly think that Latin Americans are the nicest people in the world. Complete strangers will strike up a conversation at the drop of a hat. Everyone wants to know your story and help you out. And it’s not just the poor people or the students; it is something that traverses economic and social class. I’ve had rich people, farmers, slum dwellers, old men, young girls, strangers on the street, and even the host of a sex talk show equally ready to help a hand to a foreigner. That’s why I love Latin Americans.