In the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta, I walked back to my hostel with a group of female friends through what can only be described as a gauntlet; men lounging on either side of a narrow street, hands in their pockets while staring, whistling, hissing, and making lewd comments in Spanish at every foreign girl who walked the last few metres to the hostel’s front door.Not just annoying or uncomfortable – it was downright threatening.

I learnt to grow casually wary of old men, young men, street-cleaners and shopkeepers; all of them strangers, all seemingly unable to let you pass them by without a comment muttered under their breath.

Well, I was either alone or with other women, for starters.

During these incidences, I often wondered whether I was simply being too reactionary – too soft – and that other women might not find it a problem.

Hell, they might even enjoy the attention that I found so problematic!

So after eighteen months travelling through Latin America, I thought it was necessary to address the biggest issue I faced there.

The one and only facet of Latino culture I have still not changed my opinions about, because it tapped straight into a core part of my belief system.

Walking through the narrow streets of Cuba’s capital of Havana one day, I found myself behind a Cuban woman and slowed my pace.

We were both dressed for the July humidity; denim shorts, a thin, loose, sleeveless top, hair tied back, sunglasses over our eyes, umbrella on an arm. I wanted to see what treatment she received from the occasional groups of boys and men that punctuated each corner. As we approached a group, I saw their eyes switch to her body.

Soy un hombre caucásico DISCRETO, alta y atractivo, en forma, exy sin problemas o estrés, y muy positivo en general.