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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Is Mexico Safe?: How to Stay Safe in Mexico [Travel Safety Tips]

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And this guy comes out with a machete out of the woods

just out of nowhere. Hola amigos! Jim and May here

from Spanish and Go and we're coming at you from Guanajuato,

Mexico. A Level Two on the U.S. State Department travel advisory


But why do we mention that? Well, because there's a question

we get asked all the time. Is Mexico dangerous?

So, after years of living and traveling in Mexico we feel

very qualified to answer that question.

So in this video we're going to give you nine tips for

traveling safely through Mexico. Emecemos. Drugs.

Rape. Murder.

Dismembering. Kidnapping.


These are all things that people tend to associate with Mexico.

But why? If you come to Mexico are you going to get kidnapped

or murdered? The reality of the situation is quite

different than what the media often portrays.

The U.S. State Department has a travel advisory scale

level which goes from one to four. Number four being do not

go there. And there's five states in Mexico which are in

the four level which are. Colima,

Michoacán, Guerrero,

Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas. And from those five states we

have visited three and I have from one of them. I am from

Colima. And Colima is now supposedly the most dangerous

place in Mexico right now.

And Colima is actually where we've spent the most time in

Mexico. We've even hitchhiked there and we're still alive.

So we've traveled all over Mexico flying, taking trains,

driving for hours, and have we ever felt unsafe May?

Not really. We know that most of the violence here in Mexico

is related to cartels so if you're coming to Mexico

and you have no plans of buying or selling drugs you are doing

a lot already to protect yourself from crime.

That's right. Crack is whack. Stay away from the drugs you're

probably going to be fine.

So we have nine tips that we want to share with you.

These are things that we do all the time to stay safe here in


So tip number one driver only during the day. We are very

strict about this. We make sure that if we're going to be

traveling by car that we only drive during the day.

We take buses at night occasionally. But if we're

driving you don't want to find yourself driving along a highway

somewhere only to be stopped by some nefarious criminals.

We've heard of this happening. People get stopped

on the highway sometimes especially when they're

vulnerable. And when are you most vulnerable? At night.

On top of that I'd make sure that you take a toll road

whenever possible day or night. That's going to make sure

that there's some check points in between the cities

that you're driving through that kind of help make sure

that there's not anything fishy going on. Usually with those

checkpoints they can kind of monitor what's going on on

the highway.

The second tip we have for you is to never put all your money

in one spot and also never have too much money on you.

So all we do is that if we have our things at the place we're

staying we leave somemost of the money

we'll leave it there. And we only go out with just what we

need for the day. If we're going out for lunch and then we know

maybe we want to go to a museum or something. We only have

enough for each day with us.

Number three try to blend in. You don't want to go to a place

where the average income is twenty thousand dollars

a year and you come in with an Apple Watch and your

computer and all of these things that most people in the area

don't have. You want to fit in and be modest.

If you're standing out and wearing really nice clothes

and carrying and flashing nice technology and cash

on you it's going to make you more of a target.

We like to visit less touristy places and places like Colima

where my mother in law lives sometimes I'm one of the few

gringos in the city and I stand out. I notice that people are

noticing me. I already stand out just because I have light skin.

I don't need to draw extra attention to myself and I'm not

afraid in Colima. But I would recommend in general

if you're visiting a place especially a less touristy place

to just do your best to blend in.

Tip number four is take only authorize taxis.

Nowadays theres other services like Uber or Chauffeur Pro or

Lyft in some cities in Mexico. But there are places where

the only option you have sometimes is to take a taxi.

And what we do whenever we have to take a taxi is that we buy

a ticket at a kiosk or we look for the sito de taxi which is

the place where all the taxis are gathered.

They're like waiting in and for the next person to come.

So when you buy a ticket or when you take a taxi from the sitio

you are making sure that these taxi is not a pirata.

That it has permits. That its a legal taxi to be offering

their services. So we like to buy tickets for taxis

because there's usually set prices for each destination.

So it's really helpful to be able to confirm the price

of your trip before you get in the taxi.

And remember in Mexicodon't usually tip taxi drivers.

So if you want to know more about tipping in Mexico check

out our video about that. Number five. If you can avoid it

try not to go alone. And if you do go alone try to only

walk around places where it's well lit and there's people

around. This will help you stay a little safer than if you're

alone and potentially more of a target to somebody else

who wants to come along and do harm or rob you.

Whatever the case may be. In my case we used to live

in Playa del Carmen for a while and back then we didn't have

internet at our apartment. So I'd often go to the cyber

cafe to do some work. And I would walk home often at night.

And usually this wasn't a problem. But one night

I was sexually assaulted by a prostitute. No joke.

It wasn't anything violent and I was able to walk away kind of

laughing about the matter. But yeah, a prostitute did

grabbed me by the crotch trying to convince me for their

services and I walked home pretty quick after that to see


Feeling dirty and used. And this may sound

like if you're a guy you could be like great,

yeah I want that to happen, or I don't know.

But sometimes these sexual workers are professional


So you do have to be careful.

Oh yeah that happened your friend Matt.


Yep, our frienour friend Matt the Expert Vagabond.

He had his phone stolen from. In Playa.

Inin Playa del Carmen. He was able to get it back

though. He realized before the phone was gone for good.

Chased down the sex worker and got his phone back.

So stay vigilant and try not to go alone.

And the next tip number six we have for you is to trust your

instincts. Sometimes you feel like a weird vibe or something

is telling you that you shouldn't be in that place.

Don't even think about it. Just. Grab your stuff; go somewhere

else. We have been in situations where we are taking pictures

or we're about to play the drone and something tells us that we

shouldn't be doing that and we don't think about it twice.

We pack our things; we go somewhere else.

Because we know that nobody's going to take better care of us

than ourselves. So make sure you trust your instinct.

Right. There's only really about two times in Mexico where I felt

uncomfortable. Not necessarily unsafe, but uncomfortable.


when we went to see the butterflies. That felt a little

sketchy. It felt like people were watching us.


And not because something bad was going to happen but also

the locals were telling us to be careful. And that made us feel

moreOn edge.

Yeah they would look at the car be like, “oh make sure you're

always watching your car because things happen here.”

We would be likewhy?” or things like that.

So that made us feel a little weird.

Yeah. And nothing happened but...

OK, I've got one story I can think of one time where I felt a

little unsafe in Mexico. And this lasted maybe two

minutes. I was flying the drone in,

well, near Angangueo when we're going to see the monarch

butterfly sanctuary, and we were just coming back

and I wanted to get a shot of the landscape. And there

was a bunch of woods and I was flying the drone. It was up in

the air and this guy comes out with a machete out of the woods

just out of nowhere. And he said that he was drunkor no

He lookedyeah….

Yeah. He said he was hung over. Yeah.

And he needed money to cure his hangover. I don't know what you

buy to cure a hangover. Probably more alcohol.

I don't know.

But he had a machete when he asked me. And so in that moment

I didn't like I had a choice to give them the money he so I

just… “Yeah yeah. Heresyou want 10 pesos is

20." So, that was the only time I was

a little on edge about my safety in Mexico. But nothing happened.

Number 7: Use your Spanish. Let it be known

that you understand what people are saying around you.

This makes you less vulnerable for pretty obvious reasons.

If you let people know that you understand them

then they're going to be more cautious about trying to plot

against you for any reason. This can be really helpful

in situations where maybe no one wants to take advantage

of you aggressively but maybe financially and you can let

it be known that hey this isn't your first time in Mexico.

Maybe it is. But if you speak Spanish you can reason

with people and let them know that you understand them.

You're there for, you know, well-intentioned reasons.

You're not there to harm anyone or rip anybody off,

and that you want to, you know, make friends and be on good

terms with people. People will respect you more just

because you've taken the time to speak their native tongue.

That being said, what are some useful phrases if you're

in a tough situation or you need to explain something to somebody

or there's some sort of emergency.

Well one of them could bealguien llame a la policía.”

Again, alguien llame a la polcía.

And that means someone please call the cops.

Another phrase that you could use isor this is just a

word — “ayuda.” That means help. Ayuda. Something else.

Maybe you need a doctor. So, “Necesito un doctor."

What else is there anybody you can think of?

No traigo dinero. I think that comes in handy a lot

because there's a lot of people asking for money in certain

areas of of Mexico, and just simply saying that kind

of disarms them a little bit from thinking that you're

carrying a load of money.

Yeah, so that is againno traigo dinero,”

orno traigo nada,” which can also be understood asI have


It's not worth it. Don't bother robbing me.

I dont….

I have nothing. No tengo nada.

Is there any other.

Oh there's plenty of others, but you know, stay tuned

to the channel and will help you out with that.

Tip number 8 is have an emergency contact. If you can

make sure someone knows every step of your travels so a family

member or a friend should have a list of the places you're

going to be visiting. Or also you could have someone track

your location while you're traveling in the country.

This may sound like it's too much, but you have to do

everything to stay safe.

Yeah, especially if you're in an unfamiliar area just send

your location….

If you're traveling by yourself too.

Yeah. It's so easy these days to just share your location with

a friend or family member. That way you kind of have

that extra level of security knowing that somebody else knows

exactly where you are. And number 9: make copies of all

of your important documents. I think it's important to have a

copy of your passport, your credit card numbers,

your license, and backup phone numbers.

Emergency contact phone numbers. In fact some of them you should

have memorized, but in case you don't,

at least have a backup somewhere. Either a digital copy

or even a physical copy and both if you can. It's better

to travel with the copy easily accessible and the original

protected. But I also keep a digital copy that no matter

what happens, all of my stuff could be stolen, and then I

would be able to go to a computer somewhere

and access my encrypted information and prove that I am

who I say I am and that I have a valid passport and all of

these things. You also want to make sure that you have your

bank's phone number in case you get a credit card stolen you

can call and cancel that. And one bonus tip related to

thatyou can have a copy of your wallet. Just have one

wallet have all of your expired credit cards. I call this my my

dummy wallet. I don't carry it as much these days but there are

certain places where we travel to where I'll have a dummy

wallet. That way if I were to get mugged for some

reason you hand the dummy wallet that maybe has five or ten

dollars in cash in it and some expired credit cards.

Someone will look at that real quick and sayOh OK,”

and you'll have time to take off. At least that's that's the

hope right. You'll be able to get away fast enough before

they realize that they didn't really get away with much at


So you're feeling nervous about visiting Mexico because of all

the bad things you have seen or heard happening

in the country just follow our guidelines and also use common


Mexico is beautiful. It's full of nice people who want nothing

more than to help you and to make sure

that you have a pleasant experience visiting their

country. Unfortunately just like any other place

in the world there are people who do want to harm you or steal

from you and you just have to be vigilant.

Now thank you guys were watching. Don't forget to like

and subscribe for more travel and Spanish tips.

And remember El Camino es el destino. The journey is the

destination. So well see you soon.


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