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And do remember that "incidents" including drive-by shootings, muggings etc happen all the time, everywhere in the world. But YOUR odds of being in one of these incidents isn't particularly worse in Mexico than anywhere else, including the USA.
Ohh come on people!! That is a non event, happens all the time here in the states. I have personally been beat unconsous in no less than 3 states Florida, New York and New Jersey. All this for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The odds of getting accosted increase if you hang out at an isolated beach. Im planning on a trip through the Baja and will definitely camp out on designated beaches - being solo it would behoove me...We had two young persons on a california beach up north not too long along ago that were shot point blank in the head for no reason other than being isolated...don't be a victim...be smart...
Originally posted by jklotz: Hey Guys, be safe out there in Mexico:
You are dreaming Grant. I live by the border of Mexico and it is much safer on the US side for US citizens. Yea stuff does happen all over but the odds increase in Mexico unless you look Mexican. People in the world are mostly not happy with the US as of late. Our pres is to thank for that. And the way we deport Mexicans at the border doesnt help. A dose of understanding reality will help keep you alive.
AZBill, I meant IN Mexico - as in NOT near the border - I do realise that near the border is a problem area, but then near most borders is, particularly when there is a rich country bordered by a poor country. Even Costa Rica/Honduras has the problem.
Elsewhere, it's not really a problem, certainly not enough to make it a no-go. What frustrates me is the "You're gonna die if you go to Mexico" folks. They haven't a clue.
Some of the friendliest, most helpful people I've met in all of North America are to be found 100 miles south of the US border. Most Mexicans are great people - just as most Americans and Canadians and Aussies etc are. There are always a few bad guys, everywhere you go.
Use a little common sense when you're away from home, and you are unlikely to have a problem. (Common sense includes things like: don't go wandering around in back alleys drunk out of your mind after flashing a wad of cash in the local bars, don't drive at night, and don't hang around dodgy looking places near the border)
Agree with Grant entirely on this one. We travelled round the world, including the Middle East just after 9/11. By the time we got to the USA/Mexican border we were apprehensive about the 'scare' stories we'd heard about Mexico - mostly from Americans who'd never been there themselves! We took the usual precautions that we practised in all 32 countries we'd already been to and had a great time.
errr ummm, thanks for the vote of confidence Jacob - (if that's what it is ), but you have no idea all the mistakes I make, I'm just good at covering up! A lifetime of putting my foot firmly in my big mouth has taught me that much at least!
This stuff is all a matter of perspective anyway. The more you travel, the more you see, the more people in other cultures you meet, the more open you become to the world and it's wonders and fantastic people.
[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 12 November 2004).]
Originally posted by AZBill: You are dreaming Grant. I live by the border of Mexico and it is much safer on the US side for US citizens. Yea stuff does happen all over but the odds increase in Mexico unless you look Mexican. People in the world are mostly not happy with the US as of late. Our pres is to thank for that. And the way we deport Mexicans at the border doesnt help. A dose of understanding reality will help keep you alive.
Here is something I wrote to a friend about my first experience with the Mexican border on a motorcycle:
My first land crossing into Mexico, from the US, was in 1997. I had done a couple of airplane trips to Cancun and Cozumel, but that doesn't count. I was crossing at Mexicali, and I approached from the north through a US military range where jet fighters flew over at 500 feet frequently, that set the stage. As I got nearer to the border, I started to see things like Chevy Blazers with Lexan bubbles on top, with Border Patrol officers looking out with binoculars, and occasionally using parabolic dish microphones. As I got closer yet, I saw more Blazers, towing truck tires on their sides with a rope, on the East-West roads, to sweep the dirt, the better to track people crossing going north. I stopped at a convenience store to call back to work , to check on a project, since I didn't know how hard it would be to call from Mexico. As I talked on the outside phone, a border patrol car drove by, made a u turn and stopped on the shoulder opposite me. The driver got out, took a picture of me, and then walked across the road to get closer, and took another picture, all while I talked on the phone, then went back to the car without a word and drove away. I crossed in to Mexico and Mexicali traffic was insane. I was passing cars, cars were passing me, every intersection had busted glass and smashed car parts littering it. I thought I had just entered the bowels of hell.
Now having said that, I'm sure glad I didn't turn around and go back. I have since made 4 more trips to Mexico and Central America without any significant trouble. Borders are nasty. Endure them and get the hell away from them. I almost got beat up by some merchant sailors at the US-Canada border at Sault Ste. Marie, and that is supposed to be the easiest border in the world.
I have found that Latin Americans are completely capable of understanding the difference between the US governments actions and an individual citizen. The only people that have ever hassled my about my nationality are Europeans, and that is rare. Bad things happen everywhere, but if you use common sense, I believe you are as safe in Mexico as in the US. I can only speak from my experience, and if yours has been different, that's unfortunate, but I believe it is the exception.
am I right remembering you are on your way to mainland Mexico?
I think that ATTITUDE IS VERYTHING.
First I would throw away all mental terrorism found in the internet, and then make shure to feel confortable and confident that there is nothing bad going to happen.
I have only traveled for 30 continous days in a solo trip and found that being afraid is the first obstacle to fight.
As I told you, you are welcome to my town and place when you arrive to Guadalajara, you will love Mexican hospitality for shure.
But, SOME American people attitudes sometimes make poor people in Mexico get angry, who knows what these surfers did during the day, maybe.
But as Grant said, there is a lot to see about our Mexican Frienship.
I hope this trip helps changing that point of view.
Have a very nice trip, hope to see you when you get here.
Originally posted by bmr39: Just DO NOT camp in Latin America, you can find very cheap and decent hotels along the way with out having to risk you safety just to save a few bucks.
Nowhere? Having enjoyed camping in Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brasil without any problems, this seems a bit cautious. Do you mean "don't camp near groups of suspect locals"? To miss out on what camping offers in Latin America would be a shame.
Safety is all about judgement, keeping an eye out for risk but not surrendering enjoyment and serendipity to paranoia. Interestingly enough, the only time in my big trip that I've been physically threatened was in Santa Monica, California...
Traveled through Mexico last year. Texas to Mazatlan and back. Rode through Chihuahua - Parrel and on to Mazatlan then back through Durango and back up through Camargo. Had a bad exp in Placio - speeding on a bike (yea right) the usual bribe was called for. It cost my bud and I 300.00 american to get out of the state of Durango with our bikes in tact.
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