Mexico City, Safety, and our latest visit

by Jim on 13 March 2009

A few thoughts on Mexico, Mexico City, safety, and all stuff like that there.

While Hannah and Nathanael enjoyed some time with the Smiths in Texcoco, we went into downtown Mexico City for the night and a day.

You went where?!

I know there’s some confusion – yes, we do live in Mexico City, the greater metro area.  But we still talk about going to Mexico City when we head into the Distrito Federal, the Federal District.  Mexico City actually covers two states, D.F. and Mexico.  (To make it even more confusing, most often when people around Mexico City go to Mexico City, they simply say they’re going to "Mexico".)

Mexico City Phonebooks
Current Mexico City phone books.  No, not a phone book and the yellow pages – just the white pages.  One is A to LL, the other M to Z.

Anyway, I know some of you are thinking – Mexico City?  Isn’t that … *gasp* dangerous??

It might be hard to explain to someone who’s not here, but I’m going to try.  I think we walk a fine line, because we do want you to know that there are serious issues in Mexico right now, and we need your prayers.

On the other hand, I don’t want you to get the impression we’re here dodging bullets, because we’re not.

Safety in Mexico City

Last night we stayed right close to downtown in Mexico City.  We walked in the streets after dark.  We drove around after dark.  Yes, we do need to be wise and careful, but that goes without saying in almost any city in the world.

I’m especially concerned because I’ve heard through the grapevine that some groups who were planning to come to Mexico to serve the Lord have actually changed their plans because of what they’re hearing on the news.

Please, talk to the people in the area where you’re going, and think carefully before you change your plans.  We need people willing to serve in Mexico, long term and short term.  Who knows how many more opportunities we’ll have to reach people here with the hope that is in Jesus?

I recently read an article about statistics of safety in Mexico.  It was geared toward the US crowd, but it applies to anyone.  The author looked at the numbers, and discovered this:

Assuming you’re not a criminal or trying to buy drugs, you’re more likely to die in a plane crash than to get killed in Mexico, and almost as likely to be killed by flesh-eating bacteria.  Further, that only applies if you’re in the three most dangerous cities in Mexico (hint: all these are border towns, Mexico City is not one of them!).  If you’re outside of these, the chances are next to nothing, kind of like your chances of dying of bubonic plague.

If you’re still wondering if you should visit Mexico City, this writer living here provides a helpful quiz to calculate your chances of being a victim of violence.

So please, do pray for our safety, and keep praying for Mexico.  But when you hear headline news about the death of a Canadian (or insert your nationality here) in Mexico, remember that over a million Canadians travel to Mexico every year, not including tens of thousands that live here.  Then compare that with the deaths in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, etc.

Come on down!

March is a beautiful month to visit Mexico City.  The weather is warming up, but not too hot.  We just got a little rain to get the dust down and green things up (although we may not get another shower for a few weeks, since it’s still dry season).  The Jacaranda trees are in full bloom.  There’s lots going on.  And some great deals on flights!  :)

And if you’re willing to serve the Lord, there are opportunities like there never have been before in history.

Thanks to Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide for the articles cited above

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