Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mexico.... a Short Rant with Facts

We have lived through another Winter in "dangerous" Mexico.   Once again we didn't end up dead.  As a matter of fact NO Americans or Canadians ended up dead in Mazatlan.  I have read the statistic each year we have owned our home here in Mazatlan (8 1/2 years) and each year it's the same facts.  We expats are safer here in Mexico than we would be at home in the US.

Here I go with a short rant.  The most common comment I hear when I tell people we live in Mexico is, "It isn't safe there, aren't you scared."  I thought I would give you a couple of short comparisons to put things into perspective. 

Understanding the size and scope of Mexico.

Mexico is huge, ranking 14th among the world's 249 countries, and spanning over 2,000 miles from end to end. Mexico is a nation of 31 states as diverse as those in the U.S. To put it in context, Mexico is larger than the 19 U.S. states from Texas to Maine! All those states would be the 15th largest country, right behind Mexico at number 14. In addition to 31 states, Mexico has a Federal District like Washington D.C. which is many times larger and many times safer than Washington D.C.

Canceling a vacation to Mexico because of isolated border violence would be like canceling a vacation to Orlando because of the Boston Bombings or brush fires in Colorado. These incidents are hundreds, even thousands of miles from the vacation destination. People didn't cancel trips to Dallas or New Orleans in the aftermath of mass shootings in Arizona, Colorado or Connecticut, because they simply aren't related. Yet Dallas and New Orleans are closer to border violence than many of Mexico's peaceful tourist areas.  

Mexico has very low violent crime rates.

The U.S. Assault rate is 5 times higher than Mexico’s. Mexico’s violent crime rates for Assault, Kidnapping and Rape are substantially lower than Canada’s and yet the U.S. State Department issues no such warnings for Canada. The rate for Rape in the U.S. is more than double the rate in Mexico.

The numbers in the charts below have been adjusted for unreported crime from the respected 2012 Prominix report and are the most accurate statistics available on this subject.

Unless you are involved in the drug trade, you are statistically safer in Mexico than anywhere else in North America. Even though the U.S. murder rate of 4 per 100,000 is lower than Mexico’s, tourists and visitors are statistically safer in Mexico and much less likely to be a victim of violent crime than in the U.S., Canada and many other countries regarded as safe.

While the infamous cartel crimes in Mexico are disturbing, the rate of violent crimes in Mexico is still lower than the rates in many countries thought of as "safe."

Russ's comments:   I have no interest in joining a cartel, as a matter of fact I don't want any stinking job.  Because of my career choice of being "a lazy bum" my biggest fear is falling out of a hammock or being driven over by a crazy taxi driver. 

Watch out for falling coconuts..... a real danger.
Thrill seeker and danger junkie Russ Ranger says, Life is Good.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Winter 2016 - 2017

I'll see if I can remember how to write a blog, it has been a four month break since I last wrote.  My daughter Trinity asked why I had stopped writing.  The simple answer is, "I'm a lazy bum."

In many ways it has been a busy Winter here in Mazatlan.  We have over eaten, enjoyed dancing and listening to great live music, walking the dog along the ocean beaches, working at the animal shelter, painting pictures.... just enjoying being retired old people.  It has also involved perfecting our "siesta" talents.  We're getting good at this fine cultural custom.

Proof that I haven't been totally lazy.
16x20 oil painting.
In the last four months we have made a quick trip back to Washington state to celebrate Christmas with family.  We've done a road trip of 650 miles the visit San Blas, San Sebastian and Puerto Vallarta to visit friends from our former yacht club, DIYC.  We've hosted visitors to Mazatlan.  I guess it has been a busy Winter.

Amazingly the Beatles came to Mazatlan to play a concert at the Opera House.
We've also had a few nice sunsets.

We have a little over a week before we head north to the US.  This Spring we will get back just in time to fly to Florida to begin a 17 day repositioning cruise that will take us through the Panama Canal and a visit to 5 Central American countries before the ship moves North to Seattle.  After we return to Tucson to pick-up the motorhome we will move slowly toward Yellowstone National Park.  From there we will go into Saskatchewan, Canada.  We'll work our way West after visiting Saskatoon moving West through Canada until we return to Washington state in July.

We are looking forward to getting back to the motorhome.  It still feels like home, even though it moves every few days.

One of six dancers that I painted this Winter.
A few were donated to charity auctions.
  I'll be back to blogging once we are traveling again.  OK Trinity?

As we close-out our fourth Winter of retirement I can indeed say..... Life Is Good.