In 2012, during our Summer Cruise for Teachers, we stayed at a local hotel in La Paz. The hotel is located right in the heart of the famous Malecon sea walk. One morning Jeremy McComb, one of the teachers from Canada, dropped his wallet while on a morning stroll. Somewhat distressed Jeremy, with the help of the hotel staff, contacted the police and the tourist cops to let them know, in the event the wallet showed up. In the wallet was $450.00 US, credit cards, drivers license, etc.
My comment to Jeremy was that he had a 50/50 chance of getting it back leaning towards it being found and returned. The same morning Senora Adriana Porta, a local resident of La Paz, was walking her dog and found the wallet. Adriana said she was so concerned that Jeremy had lost his wallet, with everything in it, that she looked inside the wallet and found a business card of a car salesman and phoned him in Canada to let him know that she had found Jeremy’s wallet. The car salesman phoned his wife and the same day we picked up his wallet. Senora Porter would not even accept a gift of thanks. Simply relieved to know Jeremy’s vacation was not ruined!
The wallet was returned with the $450.00 and everything intact. Senora Porta is a great representative of the people of La Paz. Kind, considerate and always going the extra mile to help.
Does this sound like the Mexico in the news?
With respect to Mexico, I can only speak to my experience in Baja California Sur for the past 40 years. It remains a beautiful and peaceful place for tourists looking for sun-filled holidays and amazing adventure travel. To be quite honest, the areas we play in between La Paz and Loreto, are actually safer than most cities in other parts of North America.
Like anywhere else, when one visits another country, sensible tourists should exercise courtesy and respect. It is not a good idea to walk off the beaten track unless you are with someone who knows the area. It is courteous to be aware of local customs (what is appropriate and what is not). It is essential to be aware of the political climate where you are visiting. The Mexico I know is reflective of the people: beautiful, kind, peaceful and warm. I exercise the same caution when in Mexico as I do at home in Canada. In all of the years I have been visiting Mexico I have never been harmed nor felt afraid for my life. As a matter of fact, when I am in the Baja it feels like I am at home in the safety of my small town of Sidney on Vancouver Island.
My experience in Mexico is limited to flying in and out of Cabo and driving between Loreto, La Paz and Cabo. I feel safe driving insuring that I do not drive at night where there is a high collision rate with wandering cattle and wildlife along the unfenced highways after dark. I also choose to stay away from isolated places and stay within the safety zones of the tourist areas. The key to traveling anywhere in the world is to use common sense. When you do, what awaits you is an amazing experience with a beautiful culture.
Crime is found all over the world and no matter where it happens, we are all impacted by it in one way or another. There is always a criminal lurking in the crowd. Over the 40 years, myself and thousands of guests later, have never experienced anything life threatening or damaging to our experience in the southern Baja.
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