Yesterday we left Mexico. Ten weeks of traveling, which as Karen says, left a piece of our hearts in Mexico.
As we crossed into the US, at Laredo, TX, the US customs official said the following: “You guys are lucky that you made it here. Don’t you know how dangerous Mexico is? Especially this part of the border. They will have your heads for dinner over there.” With neighbors like this, who needs enemies…
Actually, Mexico needs a better PR firm. Obviously, we can’t judge the safety of Mexico based just on our trip, or on the anecdotal evidence of pretty much everyone we talked to – that’s hardly statistical evidence. But, to provide some numbers I wrote in a previous post that for Canadians, it is more dangerous to visit Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, China, and, most surprisingly, Australia, than Mexico. ( Canada provides statistics that are easier to use than the ones the US provides.) Nota bene: this may not be true of you are involved in the drug trade…
Sorry to start this blog post with the perceived dangers of Mexico, but it tends to be the first question asked by friends, “Isn’t Mexico dangerous”, and one of the first subjects that comes up when talking to other travelers in Mexico, “No, we’ve never had any issues, and we wish others would come see this beautiful country”. Suffice it to say that Karen and I felt safe as soon as we had passed through the border towns we used, Nogales and Nuevo Laredo, and we would go back in a heartbeat – we loved it.
Mexico is much larger than we, and most people, think,1,972,550 km2. This is the size the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy combined. And the diversity contained in Mexico is at least equal to the diversity of those five countries
( These maps come from Overlapmaps.com)
Mexico has spectacular beaches, scenic mountains, stunning colonial cities, incredible ruins, a large indigenous population, exquisite food, bustling markets, beautiful handcrafted blankets and pottery, cheap gas, established camping infrastructure, mostly good roads, decent beer, and tequila! Combine all this with friendly and polite people – what’s not to love?