Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gringo Pricing

A friend of mine started a sh*tstorm on Facebook by complaining about having to pay the "gringo" price on a lancha (boat) as opposed to the local price. This isn't the first time this discussion has been had. In fact, I've started similar discussions myself.

First, let me define gringo pricing. It's when you get overcharged because you're white. Simple as that. Otherwise known as racism.
I love taking the lancha across the lake!
White people get charged more for a boat ride across the lake. It is well known. I've experienced it myself.
Tourists get hounded by street vendors and quoted ridiculous prices for textiles, paintings, bracelets, etc. (When I say hounded, I mean they follow you down the street, interrupt your dinner, and won't take no for an answer.)
Store owners attempt to charge non-locals extra on everything from bottled water to fried chicken. (The other day I ordered two chicken combos from a stand and the guys said the total was Q25. Really?? You're telling me that one combo is Q12.50. Yeah, right! *snort* He tacked on Q5 for himself.)

Now, as in most any Facebook discussion, there are disparate viewpoints on this issue. I will sum up the main characters in the scene.

1. "If you don't like it, go home." A person who likes to say things like, "It is what it is," and never fights for anything. Probably doesn't want for much. Fits in well.

2. "Those people are so poor. Just give them the 25 cents! They have suffered so much!" Usually a woman with a Nightingale complex and intense guilt over anything bad that's ever happened to anyone. Lacking logic. Super nice.

3. "It's not fair." Supreme idealist who can't see reality. Fighter. Seeker of justice. Blind. (This is me.)

4. "Perhaps we should do this and this." Helpful people who ignore the arguments and look for a solution. I like these people. :)

Rather than rehash the entire mud-slinging, eye-rolling, headache-inducing argument here on my blog, I will tell you what Bert said.

"I know when I'm getting ripped off most of the time. I pay them, but I never go there again. I know which stores to go to that treat me fair and don't overcharge me."

Solid advice!

The boat prices are compiled at Grow Your Own Cure's website. Very helpful. Can't honestly tell you if those are the gringo prices though. *sigh*
A tuk-tuk in Panajachel is Q5 per person for anywhere in town. If you leave town, then it's usually double or more. Prices can increase late at night. When in doubt, ask before getting in.
Think of the gringo price not as a tax on you, but rather as a discount for the locals, like a commuter pass. That's what I do!

1 comment :

  1. Morning thank for adding a link to Grow Your Own Cure's website, prices for boat service works this way.

    Yes a local price exists for works traveling to and form work around the lake. I would not call the posted prices gringo prices they are for all tourists, travelers, other then workers.

    Santiago to Pana boat prices are Q25 each way. Some boat captains will try and charge Q30 ignore them and pay Q25.

    In San Pedro are 2 boat docks, the main dock is on the San Juan site a new nice looking dock. You pay Q25 from San Padro to Pana. There are direct boats and boats that stop at all the villages to and from Pana and San Pedro. Prices vary depending on the village you get off at. Never pay more then Q25.

    On the other side of San Pedro is a dock on the Santiago side of San Pedro. You will see it is more a less a broken down looking dock. Service from this dock only goes to Santiago, times depending on the boat captains. Q25 is the price, again some captions will try and get Q30 or higher ignore them and pay Q25.

    Hope this helps