Travel to Mexico – It’s Safe I Swear!
The day before I went on my trip to Loreto, Mexico to visit Villa Del Palmar, my mother said to me, “You know 45 people died in Mexico yesterday.”
That quote right there, is a perfect example of the irrational fear many Americans have and why they don’t want to travel to Mexico. Nevermind that I had just spent a year and a half living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is actually a fairly dangerous place. Forget about the fact that I had been to Guadalajara years before, which is a much bigger and thus riskier city to visit. My mother heard about 45 deaths, which means the entire country of Mexico is dangerous.
Does anyone else think that sounds just a tad illogical?
First of all, my mother had no other information about these deaths. They could have died of pneumonia for all I know. Even if they did die due to foul play, is 45 really such a staggering number for an entire country? I should note that I live in St. Louis, Missouri, which ranked #1 in murders in 2010 and 2011, and only dropped to #3 this year. I’m pretty sure 45 people die in St. Louis every day and it’s probably not of pneumonia.
The press makes people crazy
The press in the US is constantly portraying Mexico in a negative light and making it sound like a place crazy people go to get shot in a drug war. Yes, there are drug wars in certain parts of Mexico, and I wouldn’t recommend taking a stroll on known drug turf. But honestly, do any of you want to take a walk down a dark alley in Detroit? Or hang out in Queens after midnight wearing some fancy clothes? Anyone up for a drive in your BMW in East St. Louis? I didn’t think so. Every country has sketchy cities. That doesn’t make the whole country a threat to your safety.
The press coverage of Mexico in the US focuses on isolated negative occurrences and they usually get stretched way out of proportion. Let’s take the swine flu scare back in 2009. Everyone was absolutely losing their shit over the freaking flu. Newsflash people: the flu happens every year, and people die of it all of the time. The press shoved huge, scary numbers in our faces, but they never put it into context. Sure, a lot of people died of the swine flu, but most of them were babies and elderly people – the same people that die of the regular old flu.
I went to Guadalajara in 2009. Everyone thought I was out of my mind. I was urged to wear a surgical mask everywhere I went. You know what? No one with the flu was wandering through the streets, coughing on people. The sick people stayed at home, just like they do in the US. The worst thing that happened to me was my unexpected allergic reaction to a bee sting. The Mexicans I discussed the flu with mostly shared my view and thought the panic was over the top and a little funny. I even saw a shirt that said “Sobreviví H1N1” (I Survived H1N1)
Mexico is safe. You should go
I freaking adore Mexico. If I could spend several months of the year there, I’d be thrilled. Yes, in some busier cities I have to guard my belongings and keep my eye out for scams, but that is true of basically any big city. The small inconvenience of keeping my purse in my lap instead of on the back of my chair does not overrule the delicious tacos, the incredibly friendly people, the lively music, or gorgeous landscapes. Mexico is a massive country full of towering mountains, stunning desserts, and incredible beaches. If you are going to let some negative press keep you from a country so rich in culture, beauty and to-die-for tacos, you’re crazy. Take a look at some of Mexico’s awesomeness:
I’m not even a very good photographer, but Mexico kind of speaks for itself once you see it. Visit Mexico. Seriously.