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Spanish Ethnic Labels: "Sudaca"



Pedro Marín Guzmán confirms the use of "Sudaca" in Spain. The word did not exist when I lived in Spain and there were very few South Americans there. Since then aviation has brought large numbers of them, including a surprising number of Ecuadoreans. Poor and desperate, they are viewed as outsiders. Pedro says:

"Sudaca is the name given to South American immigrants. It's mainly used as a derogatory term (SUD AmeriCAno). Spain is currently experiencing a huge influx of illegal immigrants from all parts of Latin America. These people are consistently exploited as cheap labor in agriculture as well as domestic employees in Madrid, Barcelona and other major Spanish cities.

The problem was recently highlighted when a minibus of illegal workers (including a whole family) were killed at a rail crossing at the beginning of this month. They were being paid some scandalous amount of money (about 50c a day) to pick broccoli, for a large agricultural concern.

Sudaca is used as a descriptor of someone of no particular skill who works very hard for little or no money in Spain (in the 'old days' you'd say : "trabaja como un negro"--"he works like a nigger").

Certainly, it's not a name one would call a South American person to his/her face."

Ronald Hilton - 1/21/01


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