I may have been an Ugly American,...butt Gracias.
I just stopped for a second and stared at it thinking what I could do as I didn't have anything with me to pick it up. I was in the touristy section and one of the sidewalk vendors started trying to sell me his wares. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I only wanted to pick up the cigarette butt but I didn't have anything to pick it up with. I thought the lady was just another tourist and I explained to her how the butt would go into the water and ocean and kill birds, fish and turtles and how that was so sad, so I always tried to pick them up, and that I wanted to pick it up but didn't have anything to pick it up with. She didn't have much of a reaction until the vendor explained what I said in Spanish. She bent down and actually picked it up! If I had known she was Mexican, I may not have said anything since I was a guest in her country. As she walked away to the trash can I called out a heart-felt, "Thank you! Gracias!"
Do you think me being an American visiting in her country should have anything to do with if I said something or not? Have you ever made a comment to someone littering? What kind of result did you have? Have you ever felt like saying something but didn't? What did you feel like saying? What could you say that would make a difference in their future actions?