Sunday, March 15, 2009

To go or Not to go...

Back in January, Brent and I planned a trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico right off the coast of Cancun(April 25-30th). It is sort of our "one year anniversary" celebration and sort of "the end of Brent's first year" celebration. So, our flights are booked and we put a big deposit on the room.

Only about 1-2 months later, the US government announces a warning to all travelers headed to Mexico in regards to a dangerous drug war that is getting out of control.....This is from the Chicago Tribune.

More than 6,000 people were slain in drug-related violence last year, with daytime shootouts, bodies dumped in piles and beheadings. The grisly news has given pause even to veteran visitors, who have curbed travel to troubled spots on the U.S.-Mexico border, such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.
Cancun and other beach resorts have escaped increasingly somber State Department warnings about Mexico—even though the city's police chief was arrested last month in connection with the slaying of an army general in charge of an elite police unit.
The latest U.S. travel alert, issued Feb. 20, describes fearsome conditions on the border and in northern Mexico, where shootouts have killed bystanders and left Americans "trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area."
"Robberies, homicides, petty thefts and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California," the alert said. Ciudad Juarez, a city on the Texas border where more than 1,600 people were killed last year, is of "special concern."
The violence stems from feuds among rival Mexican drug traffickers and their confrontations with the police and army. It does not appear to be directed against tourists.
Mexican officials say their country is safe for travelers, but they fear more bad news could batter tourism, one of Mexico's top sources of foreign income and a sector that has been growing despite the bad news and bad economy.
During a visit to Cancun last month, the Mexican tourism minister, Rodolfo Elizondo, scolded the news media, saying the focus on crime was hurting the nation's image. Officials have tried to minimize the damage by noting that killings have been concentrated in three states: Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Baja California.
Mindful of Mexico's image troubles, promoters in the Cancun area are turning to a novel tactic: Don't mention what country it's in. Officials say they will play down Mexico in advertising the beach zone.
"The Mexico brand, in terms of tourist marketing, has weakened," Sara Latife Ruiz, tourism secretary for the surrounding state of Quintana Roo, told Reforma newspaper.

Colleges have warned their "Spring Breakers" to cancel their trip....which a lot are doing.

I say we cancel (just to be safe, literally).......Brent says go (no problem)! And, I do realize that with any travel, especially out of the country there are risks. And if you do stupid stuff and aren't aware of your surroundings...bad things are more likely to happen, blah, blah, blah.

So, the question is.....To Go or Not To Go?!?! The last half of our deposit is due March 26th. And we can get a full refund less $50 if we cancel by April 3rd. I'm not sure how plane tickets work as far as refunds or transfers?
This week is Spring we are kinda waiting to see how all of them fare.

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