mexico: friend or foe?

Being raised in Texas has created a bond between myself and Mexico. The sugary-sand and turqoise beaches, the elaborate open-air resorts rising from the jungle and the tequila shots waiting by the door way to each souvenier shop. What’s not to love?

I grew up traveling south on Continental and happily crossing into the Yucatan Peninsula, sunscreen in tow, knowing that my family, friends and I were all going to have a blast. It was always so afforable, an easy 2 hour flight and the guacamole was fab. We would have lobster dinners with pitchers of margaritas all while singing “Quan-Tan-Ameda” (you know the one– you’ve probably sang the Gringo version, “One Ton Tomato”) and happily threw down our pesos, knowing we definitely got the better end of the deal.

Enter the year 2011.

I was recently the topic of conversation to un-jaded Mexico lovers– ones who frequently drive across the border to their vacation home. I think the conversation was something along the lines of “They raise ’em stupid here in Texas. Jaime won’t go to Mexico anymore.” You’re damn right… and I especially won’t drive across the border.  And then I started to reconsider. In the age of media fueled information, am I the one who has unreasonable views? Honestly, I don’t really want to die in a barrel full of acid, but maybe that’s just me (my imagination isn’t making that one up- it’s for real– See here). Is my life really endangered by the drug cartels/gangs of Mexico? Is the corrupt government bad enough to forego a vacation destination that has meant so much to myself and my family for decades?

What are your thoughts and experiences with Mexico? Do you feel safe traveling to the country and if so, do you take any precautions?

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