You’re not black here. The locals won’t call you black“.

These were some of the first words uttered to me by a (white, European, male) island inhabitant when I arrived on Big Corn Island.

You’s a white gyal,” another friend who was born and raised on the island his whole life, told me on the bleach-white sands, one blisteringly hot day.

I remember looking at all the other people, similar in shade to me and I felt… un poco confuso (a little confused).

Why could I not be black here?!