People around the World: The Americas

Over the past several months, I have shared a series of portraits – staged and unstaged – of people from various ports of call around the world. The last three entries focused on the Eastern Hemisphere, broken down as Africa, Asia, and Europe. For today’s entry, I thought I’d “cross the pond” to North, Central, and South America.

I hope you enjoy the photos in this latest entry in the series, as well as the stories behind them. 🙂

I thought I’d open with a few pictures from my beloved Mexico City, a place of vibrant color and a photo opportunity around every corner. The picture above was taken in Iztapalapa’s Cabecera Market – there’s a market like this in every neighborhood.

Although the photo above doesn’t look like what you might imagine North America’s largest city to look like, it is, in fact, set in Mexico City. In it, gondolier, Octavio, steers our boat through the waterways of Xochimilco. Our destination: La Isla de las MuñecasDoll Island!

My friend (and possibly the world’s biggest Stephen King fan) Jorge, posing on the grounds of the Basilica of Guadalupe.

Proud taggers in Condesa’s Parque México, lamenting their country’s incompetent president, Enrique Peña Nieto, whose party was voted out of office earlier this month.

While many Mother Superiors’ are downright frightening, this particular nun, volunteering at an outreach event at the Ex-Convento de Churobusco, was all smiles.

Lollipop vendor during Easter Sunday at Bosque de Aragón, a city park that one might consider the poor man’s Bosque de Chapultepec.


Afro-Caribbean dancers in Plaza Vieja, which literally means “Old Square,” and which, like pretty much everywhere else in Havana, features a photo opportunity around every corner.

Tour guide in Callejon de Hamel, a pedestrian alley that is decorated with Santería-themed murals and home to weekly drumming sessions. Look closely and you might see Mick Jagger in one of the wall pictures behind the guide.

La Forteleza de San Carlos (The Fortress of St. Charles), which dominates a hillside across Havana’s harbor, was originally used by the Spaniards, and later by Che Guevara. Today it caters to tourists, especially as night falls, and people migrate to see the famous Cañonazo ceremony, in which actors, dressed in colonial attire, fire a cannonball into the harbor. Vendors such as the mujer above line the corridors selling souvenirs. I bought a baseball keychain from this vendor as a gift for my father…and lost it before the end of the trip.

Casting lines for dinner along the malecón (sea wall).


In some of the posher neighborhoods of Cartagena, local teens busk for sidewalk dining patrons and quite literally rap for their dinner.

Rio de Janeiro

A fútbol jersey vendor passing the time just inland from Ipanema Beach, Rio. It should be noted that the soccer-loving nation is, at press time, predicted to make it to the finals of this year’s World Cup.


In Mexico City, on the grounds outside the Ex-Convento de Culhuacán, this local beauty models her Quinceañera dress…

…while a Cartagena teen does the same, with a simple city wall as the backdrop. Which one do you like more?

In Mexico City, young lovers canoodle behind the Palace of Fine Arts building…

…while a patient Cuban male dotes on his girlfriend at their quiet section of malecón. Which one do you like more?

In a seafood restaurant on the tiny island of Cayo Granma,  near Santiago de Cuba, buskers sing “Guantanamera” for a photo taken vertically, without flash…

…and for another photo taken horizontally, with flash. Which one do you like more?


Davy Crockett impersonator Jim Claborn of Morristown, Tennessee. Crockett Tavern, where this picture was taken, was built by Crockett’s parents and lived in, briefly, by the Alamo martyr himself.

Every year, veterans groups such as the American Legion raise funds to send veterans of such international skirmishes as the Vietnam War by plane to Washington, DC, for a whirlwind monuments tour. The trio of Korean War vets in the picture above, accompanied by their tour leader, stroll past the moving World War II Memorial.

Two Chileans, one Canadian, and two gringos, somewhere in Hollywood.

All pictures were taken with a Nikon DSLR camera. All images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise, and should be used with permission only.

Author: gringopotpourri

Gringo - aka Scott - was born outside of Chicago and has lived most of his life in or around big cities. He spent two years of his adult life in Mexico City (talk about big cities!) and fell in love with Mexican food and culture all while weathering the challenges of life in a city with over 20 million people. Life's unpredictable journey has since brought him to Tennessee, where he is close to family and to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Scott also enjoys movies, hiking, top ten lists, and travel in general.

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