You always hear the same story – don’t go to Mexico, you’ll get shot. People will attempt to sell you drugs on the avenue. It’s not secure, and the entire community is corrupt. It’s like declaring not to shop at the grocery store because one rotten fruit means it taints the entire stock. Mexico has its share of troubles, yes. What you do not know is the state with the lowest murder rate is the state of Yucatán, the Gulf of Mexico state known for its beaches and Mayan ruins. Its murder rate of 2 per 100,000 was comparable to Wyoming and Montana. Next door to the state of Yucatan is the state of Quintana Roo, the state famous for all-inclusive resorts, the island of Cozumel and so much more. It is a state equally safe as Yucatan.
I may have introduced this post on a grim note. I want to tell you about neon-blue oceans, the best-damned guacamole I’ve ever consumed, and the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered. I live in Cozumel, but here’s the big secret, folks: stay away from the troubled regions (near the US border), and you stay away from trouble.
In a place where almost 25% of the population live below the poverty line, places like Cozumel have developed enormous resorts to attract outsiders, and it works. We’re all searching for an escape. We flock to foreign communities and dish out dollars expecting the finest service imaginable. Bartenders whistle while they work, affirming it to be happy-hour 24/7, and they groom Airbnbs’ grounds to perfection. Service is consistently polite, even when the workers don’t rely on tips. Despite Mexico being the most populated Spanish-speaking country in the world, most people in the service industry have become bilingual. That’s right, we go to their community and expect to converse in English.
It would be a dark world if we passed up a moment to find amazing people, seek new food, or test an unfamiliar country because we live in fear. When you get over the concern everyone is out to get you, life gets a lot more entertaining. Trust me. Instead, go snorkeling, get knocked over by ocean waves, witness bikini action, and eat the best ceviche on the planet. You can walk around Cozumel and the only danger you will encounter is zooming scooters.
So yes, the danger is genuine, but it’s worldwide. Get educated about the places to go and the places to avoid, don’t go venturing down any shady alleyways, mind your own business, and be polite. Do your analysis. Being smart will get you a lot further than being afraid.