Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leave Mexico Alone!

Leave Mexico Alone!

Our neighbors to the Southwest have been inundated with horrible news over the past year and a half. It seems like once every few months there are news stories of bombings, heads being found buried on beaches in the sand, cartel drug crimes, and a host of other horrific news that finds its way into our headlines.

I've been to various cities in Mexico on numerous occasions in my life, and I can honestly say that not once in any of my visits have I ever felt unsafe, threatened or ill at ease. Now, with that being said, I do take precautions when I travel, but I take the same precautions when I am traveling (or even not traveling) anywhere - including in the United States. In my opinion, safety begins at home. Are there circumstances that are beyond our control when we travel? Absolutely, but there are things that I am certain that a lot of people do while they are home that carry over to their travels. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people run into a convenience store and leave their car running with an animal or child inside. Or the ladies who place their handbags on the back of their chairs, and then wonder how on heavens earth it got scooped up. I believe the people of Mexico are just as alarmed by the seeming escalation of crime, and for the most part, the vast majority of inhabitants of Mexico do not participate, nor encourage the crimes that have been taking place.

When I hear the news stories surrounding Mexico, and then the comments and conclusions that people automatically make, I think about a James Taylor song, "Mexico." The following lines sum up my feelings on those who continue to hold Mexico at an arms length because of the recent reports, "Oh, down in Mexico, I never really been so I don't really know..."

While many people are quick to judge and castigate the country, most of them have never even been before. I understand fear, but I don't believe an entire country should be looked upon with a jaundiced eye simply because some rogue parties have been able to use scare tactics to control a small portion of the country.

Safety is important regardless where you are, and I hope those who've always wanted to go to Mexico do not let a few isolated crimes deter them from their travels.

*photo used from: http://topnews.in/files/mexico_10.jpg


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