Finally someone praises the safety of a Mexican destination!
There was an article about Huatulco published today in one of Canada’s national newspapers – The Globe & Mail. The article addresses a topic that is on the minds of almost everyone considering a trip to Mexico these days…”safety”.
I thought the slant the article took on the issue of safety was well and appropriately positioned. The reality is that the public has been bombarded with anti-Mexico propaganda coming at us from every angle. We have heard incessant stories about heinous beheadings, explosions, drug related crimes, etc. The locations of these crimes have become a blurred sideline while the country as a whole has been labelled by many as “unsafe”.
We are asked regularly about the safety of Huatulco, as cautious travelers attempt to narrow down their destination options. In fact, even veteran Huatulco travelers are questioning their choice of locale, despite knowing their past experiences disprove new concerns fueled by the media propaganda.
I regularly use the analogy of a negative event taking place in New York City and being concerned about safety in Miami to explain the disparity in distance between the Mexican border incidents and Huatulco. This Globe & Mail article has ‘Canadianized’ this concept by reminding people about the SARS outbreak in Toronto and how subsequently visitors cancelled flights to Vancouver out of concern for their health safety (despite a 2700 mile separation between the two destinations). This type of mis-education is all too familiar and similar to what our friends are experiencing in Huatulco, Mexico. Being active advocates of Huatulco, we constantly find ourselves dispelling media-driven concerns. With the majority of drug crimes happening more than 1000 miles away and the northern border issues being more than 2000 miles away – Huautlco should not raise safety concerns for travelers. This Globe article does a great job at illustrating this.
This Globe article also touches on so many salient points about the area – beyond the issue of safety – that echoed many of the experiences we’ve had.
When we first visited Huatulco, more than six years ago, we were struck by the very unique attributes of the region. The Oaxacan culture was so richly prominent everywhere we went – from the cuisine to the artisan crafts right down to spa service offerings – finally, a tourist destination where we could experience authentic Mexico. We began to talk to other tourists and quickly learned that most people were enjoying their third or fourth trip to the area – again, a rarity among resort crowds.
As we ventured away from the resort compounds, we were introduced to such incredible experiences. beyond the rich natural landscape that offers everything from organic coffee plantations high up in the mountains to turquoise waters and white sands along the pristine and undeveloped Pacific bays – you will find unmatched local hospitality. The beauty of the people and their eagerness to invite visitors into their culture and traditions is something not often found at the end of a charter flight to a tourist destination.
This Globe article speaks of the trustworthiness of the local people…describing Huatulco as a place where you don’t need to worry about leaving your things on the beach while you go snorkeling or for a swim. If you look at past Trip Advisor comments dating back over the past couple of years, you’ll find exactly the same comments detailed there.
Huatulco has been and continues to be hailed as a world-class tropical destination and richly cultural travel experience. Winning praise from publications such as the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller among others, Huatulco continues to receive accolades from travel industry experts.
So, while people get lost in media propaganda that abounds, we need to remember that generalizations about the safety of Mexico are what cost the beautiful people of areas like Huatulco the important tourism dollars they depend on. This green globe destination strives hard to maintain a level of safety and a destination where people can experience a true sense of Mexican culture.
We thank Globe contributor, Marni Jackson for taking the time to acknowledge the misperceptions and to share her experiences with those looking to add Huatulco to their must-see travel destinations.