What's really happening in Mexico

Discussion in 'Cancun Forum' started by jen***, May 15, 2009.

  1. jen***

    jen*** Guest

    +0 / 0
    This was posted in facebook and I think it explains things quite well.

    Things have been blown out of proportion over the past year. First there are warnings not to travel to Mexico because of the violence. Every time you open the internet or turn on your TV, there is another story about drug wars, violence and tourism. So where is all of this happening? The media has neglected to mention that the actual locations that are affected are not in Cancun, Cozumel or Riviera Maya. Nor are they in Cabo, Ixtapa or Vallerta. Tourist destinations are pretty much violence free. Mexico has only one major source of income for the entire nation, a source that provides for most of the country’s tax base, as well as 80% of the revenue. That is tourism. Without it, Mexico would plunge back into the dark ages- the population would starve, and border crossings would increase tenfold. Even the narcos, or drug lords, understand this. The violence that has been reported in the media is mainly situated near the border towns, and poor areas such as Chihuahua.

    The state of Quintana Roo, where the tourist destinations of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel are located, has very little crime to speak of. Certainly Cancun, a major city, has localized crime. However tourists are rarely the targets of these criminals. The Governor, in an effort to increase the feeling of security for tourists, has added federal police as well as military units to high traffic tourist areas.

    Cozumel is a very small island, 11 miles wide and 24 miles long, located 11 miles from the mainland. Cozumel can only be accessed by plane or boat. Due to its size and location, crime is almost nonexistent. Citizens of this tiny island pride themselves on their vigilance in the neighborhoods, as well as on their jobs. Tourism is the only means of livelihood for the citizens of Cozumel. As the #1 cruise ship destination, and the home of the best drift diving in the world, Cozumel receives millions of tourists per year on average.

    All of that has changed in the last year. Walk down any street in Cozumel today, and you will see stores closed, restaurants for rent. Homes are no longer lived in, and often for sale. Hotels are vacant, and many are simply closed until the tourists return. The cruise ships have left, not to return until sometime after June 15. The local paper has ad after ad of items for sale, many of them marked ‘Urgent- leaving the island’. Events have been canceled, and the ones that have decided to continue are forced to charge more money than normal for admittance to simply cover costs.

    With the worst high season since immediately after hurricane Wilma, Cozumel is in trouble. There are only 6 weeks remaining of high season before the island enters the 4 month period referred to as low season. Most locals make as much money as possible in the good months, and set aside what they can to survive during the low time. This year, there has been no ‘extra’ money, and there will be little possibility of making any in the next few weeks. In addition, because tourism is the only import/export to this area, the economy is dollar driven… which means that as the dollar to peso exchange rate fluctuates, so does the locals ability to buy and sell many items. From week to week the dollar exchanges from 12 to 15 pesos per dollar. That means it costs a Mexican 20-50% more for anything priced in dollars.

    Inaccurate reporting has created this horrible situation. The only way to correct it, and give the 30,000 citizens of this tiny island a chance to feed their children and families for the remainder of this year, is to ask the media, travel agents, and everyone else concerned enough to get involved, to get the word out there. We have NO cases of influenza on the island. Safety measures are taken at both the ferry and the airport to prevent anyone with any symptoms from entering the island. There is no crime here either. Cozumel is safe!

    Please get involved. Pass this to everyone and anyone you know… ask them to pass it to their friends, the local papers, TV, travel agents- simply everyone they know. We need the tourists to return, we need the airlines to stop asking people to change their reservation for their own safety. We need the truth to be told!

    Thank you-

    The residents of Cozumel, Mexico
  2. lindat

    lindat Guest

    +0 / 0
    This just breaks my heart......
  3. jen***

    jen*** Guest

    +0 / 0
    I know, me too. But good news since I posted this, the cruise ships will be returning to Cozumel as from next week. Now the restrictions have been lifted we hope things will turn around.
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