How Dangerous is Travel in Mexico Question for Expat Caitlin Evans
“With all the current bad international press that Mexico is receiving, travel bloggers trying to gain prominence by saying that they are going to a “dangerous country” when coming here, the US department of state travel warnings, and all the reports of decapitation and people having their faces sewn onto soccer balls, what has been your on the ground experience of living in Mexico City?”
I really don’t understand why people are scared out of traveling to Mexico. A couple friends of mine came to visit me in Guatemala. They said “we initially wanted to travel to Mexico but our mothers thought it was too dangerous so we should travel to Guatemala instead.” Uhhhh… right. As much as I love Guatemala, there is much more violence against tourists on average there than in Mexico. (I don’t have the exact stats for that but I’m sure if you looked them up that would be confirmed.)
Anyways, crime against tourists happens here but not to the same extent as many countries. Yes, there is a lot of crime in Mexico, especially right now, but it is really regionalized: the northern states, Guerrero and Michoacan. In those places it is possible right now to be caught in the crossfire so maybe you ought to visit other places in Mexico right now. (But actually I spent a few days in Patzcuaro, Michoacan in December and it was totally tranquilo, so violence is regionalized even within states.)
But I haven’t really directly answered your question. Ironically, amidst all the growing violence in the north, for example in cities like Monterrey which used to be really safe, Mexico City has gained a reputation for safety in the country. And indeed, both in terms of relative safety and absolute safety Mexico City has improved. It used to be that people would say “O no la capital… muy peligrosa.” Now they think “o la capital… es muy tranquilo ahora.”
I feel generally pretty safe in Mexico City. For the most part the streets are busy, and people in numbers usually brings safety. I walk around without being worried. I walk after dark, but not too late – depending on the neighborhood, I’ll walk alone until about 9 or 10pm (though I could probably walk later without problem.) I don’t go wandering into known dangerous barrios though, so it pays to know where you are.
Overall, I think Mexico City’s bad reputation is dumb. It’s a city of 25 million people. In that many people of course bad stuff is going to happen, but when you think of it overall it’s not too bad.
After traveling around the world for a number of years, Caitlin Evans has landing in Mexico City. After poking around the English teaching circuit here, she landed a real posh position and now calls herself, “expat.” She is Vagabond Journey’s travel correspondent for Mexico, and if you have any questions for her, feel free to send them over at Mexico travel questions.