Don't Eat the Worm
For many Santa Monica College students, Spring Break will supply a much-needed rest for those who have finished the first half of the spring semester. Many will journey out of town for the cliché "spring break experience," but with the economy in turmoil, one location has been the hot spot for spring break: Mexico.
However, current conditions in Mexico are deteriorating. The level of corruption in the police force and the frequency of drug trafficking has led to high levels of violent crimes sweeping the border and main cities. Knowing what a vacationer can do to protect himself is vital to staying safe and having a fun spring break.
Reports from the U.S. State Department have listed high levels of crime in major cities such as Mexico City, Tijuana and Acapulco to varying degrees. Those traveling to Mexico should do so by plane, as crime at the border has risen to an extremely high level. The State Department citing that "shootings have taken place at busy intersections and popular restaurants during daylight hours."
Having a constant level of awareness is also important for vacationing in Mexico, regardless of the location you visit. When withdrawing money from ATMs, always try to expedite the process, as robberies and dubious locales that skim credit cards (the process of recording the numbers on a credit card in order to drain the account) have been reported in addition to general theft.
Traveling in groups is essential to a stay in Mexico, especially in resort areas such as Cancun, as the number of sexual assaults and rapes have increased occurring in the late night and early morning. Registering with the U.S. Embassy is also important in case anything happens, such as losing your passport or reporting a lost person. To register, create an account at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.
While it may seem a daunting experience after all of these details, as long as you uphold a level of awareness, spring break in Mexico will be a blast. Having visited Cancun in the past month, balancing caution with leisure isn't as hard as it sounds. Just make sure you bring sunscreen; the last thing you want in addition to any of these scenarios is getting burned.