On our tour to Lago de Montebello, before we got out at the first stop, our guide said, in Spanish, “The kids just want tips. Ignore them. Don’t give them tips.” I didn’t know what he meant and decided my Spanish must be bad. Then I sadly realized my Spanish isn’t all that terrible and I understood correctly.
Children, as young as four or five, were tugging our sleeves, “Como te llamas?” They wanted to tell us about the lakes, for a tip. They were impossible to ignore and you couldn’t help but feel sorry. It seemed like their mothers were working the food and craft stalls selling things, but it just seemed sad. Why weren’t they in school? It’s hard to escape your family’s fate if you know nothing but your family and don’t get any chances.
At the bathrooms, which you paid a few pesos for, a 7 or 8 year old boy was collecting the pesos and handing out toilet paper. I wanted to cry.
The lakes are also known for lots of theft. My Spanish teacher warned me of it before I left, and my guidebook and others suggested that you go with a group and don’t bring anything of value as thefts are quite common. I had to wonder if the children were involved…and that made me so sad.