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  1. #1
    Tinami 2012
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    Mexico work travel - how safe?

    I am being asked to go to Mexico for work and would quite likely be traveling alone.

    The trip would involve visits to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, and perhaps Monterrey. I do not speak Spanish, unfortunately.

    Questions:
    1) Is it safe?
    2) What kind of transportation and/or security should I ask for?
    3) Any other travel precautions?

    In the grand scheme of things, this trip is not super-important, so I think I can get out of it if need be.

    Thoughts? Advice?

  2. #2
    I <3 Kozuka
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    When I traveled to Mexico City for business, corporate security guidelines advised us not to take public taxis, but to have the hotels send their own car service. Most public taxis were two-door models, which meant no access out directly from the back seat.

    For most of the trip, a co-worker who had grown up there drove us around in a van, so the logistics were much easier for us.

    I loved Mexico City. I've never had so much great food in so short a time as I did there.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  3. #3

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    Agree about having a driver, either through the hotel or arranged in advance by your employer. My company specifies that the transport company provide a driver and a recent model mid-tier car - no limos - to avoid unwarranted attention. Last time my boss went, the driver took him around in a Camry.

    eta, you'd also want someone to pick you up from the airport.
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  4. #4
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    Good to see some tips here, since a friend and I are going to Puerto Vallarta in July. But we're using a co-worker's time share, so it is probably a little different than driving around "real" Mexico
    I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.~W. C. Fields

  5. #5
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    i used to have to go to mexico city for work

    they need to spring on a better hotel than what they normally use and car service or i wouldnt do it
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  6. #6
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    I just got back from a week in the Yucatan (with a rental car), and I felt completely safe. Admittedly, though, it's probably one of the safest parts of Mexico right now, and my Spanish isn't too bad.

  7. #7
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    Don't do it Louis.

    You will get kidnapped and killed so they can sell your organs.

  8. #8

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    Do everything at least in a pair, if not in a group. And have someone who speaks Spanish accompany you. And do the car thing above.

  9. #9
    Quadless
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    FWIW, when a friend of mine had to go to Mexico City for business, her employer (a large US bank) provided a bodyguard.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Don't do it Louis.

    You will get kidnapped and killed so they can sell your organs.
    He will not.

    He'll get kidnapped and sold into a donkey show as the headliner.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  11. #11

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    My sister and I went to Mexico City to see 30 Seconds to Mars in concert. My father was positive we were going to die. (I nearly did...inthe mosh pit ) We did do the private car thing, though.

    It's a gorgeous city and I never felt like I was in danger.

  12. #12
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    1) Yes, it is safe. Unfortunately, Monterrey has been affected by drug cartels and is no longer the safest city in Latin America, but business goes on every day and regular people are rarely involved in drug incidents.
    2) Have your job arrange for a private car service. Or have the hotel/restaurants call a private taxi. You will also find clean, modern and safe private car services at the airport in Mexico City. I personally feel safe in regular taxis, but I am also Mexican. I would avoid public transport such as subways.
    3)Take extra precautions, like private cars, but for the most part the same dangers exist as any other large city.

    All the cities you mentioned are quite gorgeous and modern (don't worry about not speaking English), and I think you should really take a chance to visit them if you've never been.
    Smoke a ciggy and have some fun!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Don't do it Louis.

    You will get kidnapped and killed so they can sell your organs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    He will not.

    He'll get kidnapped and sold into a donkey show as the headliner.


    I went to mexico city with my family last December. Everything was fine and I didn't see/experienced anything dangerous... I have to say their cactus drink was amazing (it was green color and was rather sweet - might have low alcoholic content.)

  14. #14
    Zamboni Zombie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I am being asked to go to Mexico for work and would quite likely be traveling alone.

    The trip would involve visits to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, and perhaps Monterrey...

    Thoughts? Advice?
    Ask Ana C. Cantu Felix?

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    FWIW, when a friend of mine had to go to Mexico City for business, her employer (a large US bank) provided a bodyguard.
    Rich people living in a bubble shocker.

  16. #16
    Demon Barber
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    I can only speak to Mexico City. When I was there for work, our local contact drove us around (airport, work site, hotel) in his personal car. For our final trip to the airport, they had a driver drive us - no taxi. I've heard (cannot confirm) that when executives go there, they are required to be driven in a bulletproof car. We also stayed in a Four Seasons, which is way above our standard level of hotel. In fact, given how tight we are with expenses, I'm pretty amazed that we stayed there.

    Saying that, I went down the weekend before the business trip (single female) to do some sightseeing and was fine. I took the subway into town (researched it first, of course) and did some sightseeing. But at sunset, I was back in the hotel and didn't wander. If I went further out (Teotihuacan), I booked an organized tour.

    The only "problem" I had were guys (2 separate people, locals) who came up to me and started chit-chatting and wanting to be pals. And by pals, I mean hey how are you, what are you doing here, are you enjoying it, etc. It felt a little rude but I had to keep those conversations short. I didn't want to let those guys in and suddenly be kidnapped. Paranoia, perhaps, but better safe than sorry.

  17. #17
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    My advice would be to take the normal pre cautions. Mexico is beautiful, and absolutely worth going to (especially if you're looking to get out of this crap north east weather ).

    Being half Puerto Rican, and having family all over Latin America, I have some relatives that have seen some shady stuff go down, but it's almost always in the non touristy areas. Sticking with a group is always a good idea, as is separating your money. When I travel I always keep some money in my bra incase some one snatches my purse, I have something to fall back on. Of course, you probably won't be wearing a bra, so maybe go with your shoe instead

  18. #18

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    I went to both Monterrey & Mexico City a long time ago before the drug cartel got so dangerous. Monterrey is pretty but there wasn't much to do there at that time. Mexico City was fabulous...I would put it 3rd behind New York City & Athens as my favorite place I've ever visited. Or maybe even with Athens.

  19. #19
    Beach Bum
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    On my company's travel advisory rankings, Mexico City and Monterrey are 4 out of 5 (orange alert) and Guadelajara is 3 out of 5 (yellow) with caveats that this is due to drug trade and kidnapping and not terrorists. Which means we are allowed to go. We are not allowed to go to 5s without special permissions (we have workforce in Afghanistan etc.) Other parts of Mexico (like Yucatan) are 2s and the only 1s are resort islands.

    Normal precautions, use the car service, don't stand around on the street at night or go down isolated streets, don't use any outside ATMs (go inside a bank or in your hotel). Look at a map while you are in your hotel room and make note of the area you are going to, how to get back, where is the US embassy or consulate, etc., just in case. Don't do that on the street.

    How high profile is your company? If it is very recognizable, don't publicize that you work there. In fact, don't tell any strangers that you are there for work. Don't wear overly slick clothes or a fancy watch etc. Nothing that make might anyone think that your company or family could pay $$$$$$$ in ransom.

    Read the State Department's travel advisory on Mexico, which says much of the above.

    I go to Mexico City all the time to visit husband's family -- they won't let me go anywhere alone, but we go all over the place without incident. My brother in law's brand new SUV got stolen at gunpoint in the Mexico City burbs, but it was a pimped out ride and that happens here too. He went with something less blingy and he's had no issues since. Make sure to see the museums when you are there.

    Puebla is really nice.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    Read the State Department's travel advisory on Mexico
    The State Department's travel advisories sometimes seem a bit overstated, in my opinion. Just use common sense when traveling.

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