I know that Mexico uses tlacuache, but by action of the TV zarigüeya is entering to Mexico, so I'm curious about the countries were the word is actually used. I'd like to know if there are countries where zarigüeya is not the prefered word.
It also depends of the region of México, for example here in Yucatán they call the zarigüeya "zorro" and that's just limited to some parts of the mexican south, in Veracruz we maintain the name and don't use the nahuatl depiction of since Veracruz is historically an olmec region, also Yucatán is a maya region so that's why they don't use traluache either.
tlacuache. (Del náhuatl tlacuatzin).
- m. Méx. zarigüeya.
zarigüeya. (Del port. brasileño çarigueia).
- f. Mamífero marsupial de tamaño mediano o pequeño y aspecto que recuerda a la rata. Las extremidades tienen cinco dedos y las de atrás el pulgar oponible; la cola es prensil, lisa y desnuda. Es mamífero nocturno y omnívoro, que hace nido en los árboles y su preñez dura trece días.
Zarigüeya is used in any Spanish speaking country, it is a word borrowed from Portuguese-Brazilian language. So I dare to say that is not by the action of the TV.
Tlacuache has been maintained in Mexico because Náhuatl was used as lingua franca in some regions before Spanish appearance that borrowed this word. Náhuatl is currently spoken by more than one million and a half only in Mexico where is an official language.