It would be an understatement to say that our family, friends and even complete strangers are worried about our safety in Mexico. We had similar concerns when beginning this process, so we began researching and listening to folks that have lived and cruised in Mexico recently. The culmination of our digging has given us a view that although the dangers in Mexico are real, they are limited to rather specific areas and are certainly not widespread throughout the country.
Some comparisons to the United States really helped us process this. For one, Mexico is huge, about ⅔ the size of the US, and the drug war violence doesn’t span the countryside uniformly. There are obviously very dangerous areas of Mexico – like Juarez (which we plan to avoid like the plague), but there are still very safe places, especially in Baja.
In fact, to give an idea of safety figures, the comparison between national crime statistics of Mexico and the US are terrifying. The US, hands down, is the more dangerous of the two countries when compared side by side. So, the motivation for this sailing trip is now to flee this crime ridden den of violence here in America, and settle into the tranquil seaside villages of peaceful Baja California. It’s not the country that’s dangerous – but WHERE in the country we will be.
Does that mean we’re going to go on long walks in dark alleys at 3 am just to prove the point? Probably not. Will we drive a brand new vehicle in the middle of the night on dark country roads to do some thrill seeking? Of course not (besides, if we had a new vehicle, we would certainly sell it to help pay for the sailboat). Will we use the common sense that our wonderful parents instilled in us to avoid risky situations? Absolutely. Are we still putting ourselves at risk? Probably, BUT it’s an acceptable level of risk that we are willing to take and one that we feel is not any higher than moving to a large city in the US.
We don’t plan to live our lives being terrified of what ‘might’ happen to us if we leave our comfort zone. We will use common sense to hopefully avoid getting our heads chopped off. That’s the plan as least.
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