Monthly Archives: April 2010

Michelle Obama Declares It’s Safe to Travel to Mexico

19 April 2010

On her first solo foreign trip, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Mexico last week, kicking off an international tour in which she will be focusing on “engaging the world’s youth in conjunction with [a] broader vision of global engagement,” according to ABC.com.

After experiencing what she praised as rich culture, warm people, and great food, Obama was asked whether she thought Mexico was safe to travel to.  Her response:

Our embassies are not discouraging American visitors. I think that they are encouraging them to be aware and to be smart as they travel…I would encourage any American to spend time here.”

Obama flew into Mexico City, where she was greeted by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan, and of course, dozens of children.  While in Mexico City, she visited with children at the elementary school Escuela Siete de Enero, observed a youth performance at the National Museum of Anthropology which she toured with Mexico’s First Lady Margarita Zavala, and delivered a speech addressing the importance of engaging communities through youth outreach.

Travelers Can Check Safety Ratings for Key Mexican Destinations

2 April 2010

Drug-related violence in cities south of the United States-Mexico border has caused the U.S. State Department to issue a travel advisory for northern Mexico — but did you know most of the rest of Mexico is as safe as ever?  The U.S. government is actually advising against visiting very specific places where drug cartels are warring over the billions of dollars made yearly trading illegal substances into the United States. Unfortunately, after hearing “warning” and “Mexico,” many Americans perceive the advisory for the country as a whole, which it definitely is not.

There are, of course, caveats about travel in Mexico, just as there are for visits to any foreign city or resort area throughout the world, but many of these fall under the realm of common sense: Don’t stray from the well-known tourist areas, stay alert and don’t drink too much, avoid walking alone at night, only take public transportation or drive on the highways during daylight, don’t deck yourself out in expensive jewelry, and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

A recent article posted on the aol.com travel news blog discusses the difference between tourist travel to the border towns and other key travel destinations in Mexico, and there’s even a rating to judge the safety in different towns and regions of Mexico.  Check out the safety scores for such places as Cancun, Mexico City, Oaxaca, San Miguel and the Colonial cities, Puerto Vallerta and other beach resorts at: http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/03/31/how-safe-is-mexico?ncid=AOLCOMMtravsharartl0001

A quote in the article by an expat resident of San Miguel de Allende puts it more in perspective:

“The news media prefer to report horrible events rather than address the reality; Mexico is, in general, a very safe country — with the notable and news-making exception of Juarez and other border towns — and has far less violent crime than any large U.S. city,” says Barbara Erickson, one of more than a million Americans who lives safely in Mexico.

According to Erickson, a San Miguel de Allende resident,

“One would have a greater chance of being hit by lightning than being shot or kidnapped by a drug lord’s gang.”