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Soltera in Santiago: The Gringa Hunter

Soltera in Santiago: The Gringa Hunter
April 12
06:00 2012

That’s right.  I went there.  And for the few of you who don’t know what a Gringa Huntr is, let me explain…

 SANTIAGO — Gringa Hunter: A local guy who particularly strives to date foreign women just so he can say that he is, going to get in her pants, or maybe even just improve his language skills. This guy may come from any class of life so looks can be deceiving. Be careful. Gringa hunters are not always very easy to spot. They can be very cunning about hiding the fact that they are out and about looking to meet a gringa just because she’s, well, a gringa.

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Watch out for guys hunting for gringas! Photo: Jennifer Barnard

Where can you find them creeping in dark corners or on the dance floor? They usually frequent events that are directed at foreigners such as Miercoles Po and After Office. Also, they are scattered throughout bars such as Bar Constitución and California Cantina.

The phenomenon is most present in Latin America. Trust me, it’s not just a Chilean thing but it is quite rampant here.  And yes, I know, there are most definitely gringo hunters and even Chilean hunters(gringos that just want to hook up with Chileans) but that’s a whole other story.  And please don’t confuse Chilean guys who genuinely like a gringa with this article. I’m only specifying those with much more shallow intentions.

But now you better understand what one is, you can throw it into everyday conversation. Such as, “All the gringa hunters hang out at such and such bar, it’s a great place to find a quick hookup.” Or…“Ugh, I would never date him… I’ve seen him with half the study abroad program. He’s a serial gringa hunter.”

There are friends of mine that have unknowingly and rather regretfully gone out with this particular genre of guy. The guy seems charming, says all the right things, and seems really interested in you for just being you.  That is until you realize a pattern.  For example, all of the guys ex’s have been from any country other than Chile. The guy only tends to hang out at events that attract tourists.  He always rolls in with a different foreign girl.  Another red flag is that this guy seems to have more gringa Facebook friends than you do.

So I’ve come to pride myself in being able to spot these guys a mile away.  A lot of them immediately approach you with, “Hello, where you from?” They typically don’t really care, they just want to initiate the conversation, showing off their ability to talk in English so to speak.  Also, they want to make sure you respond in English so they know that they have sacked their gringa for “la noche”.

If we are on the dance floor when I‘m approached, I just stop dancing and stand there. It immediately becomes super awkward for the guy and he walks away a few seconds later thinking I probably just went brain dead. Oh well. Or I follow up with, “Sorry, no speak the English or Español.” This actually works like a charm.  Because if they still want to hang out, I know they really don’t care about getting to know me since we apparently won’t be communicating verbally.

The other night I went out bar hopping and dancing in Bellavista with a few single girlfriends. We were basically just out to have a good time but if we met a cute guy so be it.  So lo and behold, we all shockingly start to lose each other on the dance floor as we begin to dance with different guys. Well, not so shocking. Then, later in the night I realized that my friend was with a guy that looked rather familiar. I knew I had seen him before but I couldn’t pinpoint it.  The next day over our favorite hung-over breakfast it hit me…

This guy had dated about six gringas I had known (some at the same time) over the past year and he was a bona-fide gringa hunter. Why didn’t I recognize him at first? Well, it could have been the dark club, the booze, and the fact that he was wearing some form of a t-shirt from the 80’s like every other guy in there.  But it was him.  So clearly I let my friend in on this and warn her to be careful. I had seen him cause some severe drama between a few girls I knew in the past because he was caught simultaneously dating them.  And it looks like he is back on the prowl.  My friend told me she would totally avoid him after that.  So she said.

The next day I found her texting G.H. (gringo hunter). I then warned her again to be careful. She said that it was all in good fun and that she wasn’t going to take it seriously.  But honestly, I could see right through it.  I mean, she was single, bored, and using the same ridiculous mind game on herself that most girls have used at one point or another.

She was in the “Oh, maybe it will be different with me” mentality. “Maybe I can change him.” I’ll tell you what this spells out…desperation.  And I’m not putting my friend down by any means. I’ve been there; more times than I would like to admit. But one thing I’ve learned in my dating life is that as much as you’d like to believe you can change a guy, it most likely will never ever happen.

When you try to change a guy, the only thing he will end up changing… is his girlfriend. Well, I tried to tell her what was up and she still seems to be texting.  But some lessons must be learned by personal experience. If she doesn’t find out now, she’ll find out later.

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Soltera in Santiago

Soltera in Santiago is a 20-something soltera expat living in Chile. Hailing from the United States, she moved to Santiago as a soltera in search of adventure, writing opportunities, and to improve her Spanish. She is a regular columnist on life, expat issues, and of course, dating. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring Chile, eating spicy food, and watching one too many rom-coms a.k.a. romantic comedies. Follow Soltera on Twitter: @solterasantiago
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