Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Violence in Mexico

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
After spending a month in the heart of Mexico, in the state of Jalisco, in 2010, and a week in San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, in October, 2015, and after talking to dozens of expatriates from the United States, Canada, and Europe, I feel confident that the information I'm about to impart is reliable and unbiased.
A typical street in this UNESCO World Heritage City.
The answer to the question about violence is documented in an incident I managed to videotape in 2010, which is still relevant today. This tape briefly but accurately depicts the violence most expats will experience directly or indirectly in Mexico. Please take a moment now to click on the link and see the mayhem for yourself.

Yes, hummingbirds fighting it out at the feeder is about as menacing as it gets!

There is, of course, crime in Mexico just as there is in any other part of the world today, but the American press exaggerates the danger, as does the US State Department with travel warnings. The comment I heard twenty years ago from expats about feeling safer in Mexico than they did in their hometowns was true then, and it is still true today.

Many fountains highlight the city streets.
A couple weeks ago, I flew into the international airport in Queretero, Mexico, and took a shuttle--at night in the rain--to San Miguel de Allende an hour and a half away.  In San Miguel, I walked all over town with my friends at all hours of the day and night for seven days and never, not once, felt afraid. Or even nervous.
The organic market is held every Saturday.
On the contrary, I met Mexicans who went out of their way to be kind, They posed for pictures, answered my questions, and didn't laugh at my imperfect Spanish. They were as I remembered them from the years I lived in this wonderful country, a kind and gentle people.

That is why I hope you will not listen to the scaremongers, but will instead judge Mexico for yourself.  This series of blog posts about San Miguel de Allende will introduce you to a magical city which will, with luck, whet your enthusiasm for more exploration of the country itself.

Please don't be afraid of Mexico. Visit her in friendship and embrace all the culture, art, and history she would like to share with you.  You will both be richer for the experience.

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