Do Porteños have an acute split-personality when doing business with foreigners?


Nov 21, 2008
Do Porteños have an acute split-personality when doing business with foreigners?
why do you ask, please explain further
cricri58 said:
Do Porteños have an acute split-personality when doing business with foreigners?

Who do you consider Porteños? I always thought that it was someone born and raised in the city.

That being said. My wife is a porteña and I am surrounded by porteños. I think that doing business is difficult here for everyone. I can not tell you how many times we have stayed at home waiting for plumber, electrican, painter... to show up at a scheduled time. They never show and never call. So we repeat the process with someone new.
Are you referring to the "big smile, yes, we can! attitude" and the 1000 excuses for not performing as promised that come afterwards?

Because if you think that attitude is only displayed when dealing with foreigners, well, it isn't...Porteños are equal opportunity charlatans....

They say that you can get become rich by buying an Argentine for it's value and selling him for what he thinks he's worth...


I don't usually like to complain about my fellow compatriotas, it's such a porteño attitude...but today I felt like it ;)
I can speak with a lot of experience with this topic and I do not agree that Porteños or Argentines are more dishonest than others. In my experience I have had much more negative experiences from foriegners in Argentina than any Argentinians.

I found local people fair and loyal in many instances and I have been very suprised at how decent they have been to me when doing business. I have heard so much negative stuff here about viveza criolla and cunning behaviour but those types are obvious a mile away for me.

They may not be as efficient as Europeans or North Americans but that does not constitute unethical behaviour. For me loyalty and common decency are the best qualities in man and there are many people here in Buenos Aires that live with these values.
I have found in my business dealings that many natives think more in the short term than in the long term and will try to work you over for more money right away rather than do honest long term biz.

i have also noticed that argentines that have lived and worked in the usa and returned here have a much better business sense and are more honest.
In some cultures, e.g. in East Asia, South America and the Middle East, people tend to avoid saying no to requests.

They also intend to keep their promises (which are different in nature from e.g. a European or US promise), but as it sometimes turns out, they are unable to do so.

Try to live in e.g. Thailand, where people "even" smile, when they regret to have failed their promise, it's a culture thing.

You simply have to learn this and also slowly - guided by experience, yours and other's - hand pick the people who have the Western approch so they at least inform you that they are unable to fulfill their promise.