The alternative to becoming a gaucho would be to remain a “gringo” thing. In Porto Alegre and in southern Rio Grande do Sul, the white descendants of rural Italian and German immigrants are called gringos. In this scheme, in a marriage between a gringo and a gaucho, if the child turns out white, a gringa is born; if not, gaucho. The status of gaucho can be achieved by the gringo via customs, but no one becomes a gringo, which is a physical type. To describe the physical type of the gaucho without a European appearance, there is the term “hard hair”. This explanation was given to me by a gaucho from the border like Uruguay, who did not hesitate to categorize my host as a gringo. Afterwards, other gauchos from Porto Alegre confirmed his classification, which is in accordance with the usage of the south of Rio Grande do Sul. But even so, the usage differs: the people from Porto Alegre understand that “settler” is the gringo of the countryside (or, on the other hand, that the gringo is the urban settler), while the gaucho on the Uruguayan border understands that “colono” designates the MST invader. So, both would say that Stédile is a colonist, but each one wants to say something with it.
It’s curious that the uses of these words vary so much in such a small space and people don’t even notice. And what will be the etymology of “gringo”?