Sunday, December 12, 2010


The term pocho, as defined by the greatest source, Wikipedia, since the encyclopedias in your home that were sold by the door-to-door salesman:
  • A person of Mexican heritage who is assimilated and acts "American" (a "wannabe" American).
  • A Mexican-American who can speak little or no Spanish.
  • An American who speaks Spanish and acts "Mexican" (a "wannabe" Mexican).
  • A person who frequently crosses the U.S.-Mexican border and feels at home on both sides of the border.

Today I was in Normal Land, also known as Texas, although some would say "thar ain't nuttin' normal 'bout Tuh-ex-us".  Kind of hard to disagree with that one. Actually, Iowa is Normal Land to me.  I'm not saying Iowa is the greatest place to be right now because the temperature is hovering around 0.  That would be ZERO as in bone-freezing cold.  But from now on, Iowa will be known as Normal Land and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas will be known as Pocho Land.  The following is an actually conversation I heard this afternoon at Denny's between the waitress and the customer.

"Quieres los French fries?" asked the waitress.
"Si," replied the customer.
"Quieres los seasoned French fries?" questioned the waitress.
"Si," replied the customer again.

I've heard other conversations like this in the past.  My dear friend Norma who I worked with at a school in Mission was talking to another teacher one day and the dialogue went something like this:

"Vamos a Walmart so we can comprar los zapatos,"  (Let's go to Walmart so we can buy shoes.)
No puedo. After school voy a llevar mija to soccer practice.  (I can't. After school, I gotta take my daughter to soccer practice.)
And that is how 3/4 of the Valley speaks.  Some would say they are bastardizing the Spanish language. Others would say they should learn to speak English correctly.  I, personally, think Pocho Land is a unique blend between Mexican and American culture and as long as both parties understand each other, that is the most important thing.  After all, the word Spanglish is listed in the Oxford English and the Merriam-Webster dictionaries so it must be a recognized form of language? 

Excuse me. Tengo sueƱo. I am going to sleep porque estoy cansada.  Good noche!


  1. Rita, As I read your blog from Iowa my spouse says to me " A Que Hora we leavin?" My what we become accustomed to.

  2. When we are driving back to Houston we usually spend the night in Laredo. We have problems being understood in restaurants with our English or our Spanish. Even something as simple as Vino or translated wine. The waitress looks at us like we have asked for fish guts.

  3. Thast's funny we called "Pochos" Mexicans that were born in the usa ,but speak no English....