Help me understand the safety concerns of Guetemala and Honduras
Replies: 109 - Last Post: Sep 27, 2012 11:35 AM Last Post By: fowler9
Mar 11, 2012 10:58 PM
"Now I get it. Canadianwoman74 also posted this:
Help, I need a translator and maybe bodyguard"
I did NOT post that. Unless poetry suddenly makes a comeback in Canada, I am NO business woman. It's awesome though, that you would think so poorly of me. :) It's thickening my skin.
Yah, I've done some traveling on my own. Nothing too exciting though. Hitchhiked around the Island (Vancouver Island), traveled across Canada and back on my own, traveled to Central and Eastern Europe for 2 months on my own. I like traveling by myself.
I am still going to Central and South America. I leave in 3 weeks.
Mar 11, 2012 11:13 PM
I ran across something yesterday, that I am sure many of you won't be too surprised by.... I read the embassy reports from Canada, the USA and the UK. They all mostly report the same incidents of violence. But, where they differ is in how they discuss the country, the context of the information they are providing and what they advice.
For example Tikal, and the surrounding area, is considered a 'red zone' by the American Embassy. They clearly state 'do not travel there'. Whereas the UK site, has so much more information. They say that violent incidents have occurred rather recently, but that the police are in the area now, and tourists shouldn't wander too far off the main paths. They do not discourage tourists from going there.
You can really tell by comparing the various embassy websites, how out of touch, and out of date the American Embassy really is. It's quite interesting.
Mar 11, 2012 11:21 PM
77No surprises there. For all the vast sums paid for what is euphemistically known as "intelligence," we get surprisingly little reliable information in return.
"I am still going to Central and South America. I leave in 3 weeks."
Great news! You'll be back with evidence that one or another group was totally incorrect: the one which told you to vacation elsewhere, or the one which assured you there's nothing whatsoever to worry about. Place yer bets, ladies and gents!
Mar 12, 2012 4:24 AM
Mar 12, 2012 5:41 AM
79At the risk of repeating myself I have been express kidnapped in Bradford, England. It hasn't made me want to leave the country though, the weather has to be fair.
Apr 6, 2012 10:05 AM
80When you arrive in Guatemala City it will probably be around noon. Most of the flights arrive late morning or early afternoon. Walk out the exit, turn left and find a white van going to Antigua. Costs $10, takes 45 minutes, and they will take you to the door of your lodging. Antigua is small, beautiful, safe, and has lots of students/tourists for this reason. From there get yourself to Xela. In terms of safety, I behave there like I would in my home town or any large American city. Have never had a problem. You will love Guatemala!
Apr 6, 2012 11:10 AM
81wschwenker - My flights nearly always arrive at night - 8 or 9pm. Usually there are still vans there but I sometimes arrange a private transfer through my Antigua hotel, $35 for up to 3 of us. I consider Antigua to be medium-sized (population of ~50,000), beautiful, and relatively safe. There have been reports of crime there so I don't want anyone to feel that they should let their guard down, especially after dark. Happy trails!
Apr 6, 2012 12:59 PM
Apr 6, 2012 6:21 PM
83I recommend caution, walking alone or in groups day or night in Antigua. I've lost track of the number of times ive been expressed kidnapped. Due to my proficiency in Krav Maga (I'm a G5) I suffered no losses. Unforturnately, my adversaries cannot make that claim - they have been rendered incapable of recidivism.
Apr 6, 2012 7:47 PM
84The odds of assault by a boozed up gringo expat in Antigua is very high, best to avoid that area all together,,,,they drink absinthe like water...
May 28, 2012 2:21 PM
Jun 7, 2012 6:09 PM
86Thanks for asking!
It mostly went well. I just returned to Canada a few days ago. I took the advice posted here, and then developed my own set of safety tips as I went along.
I had no incidents, but a few of my friends certainly did. A few girls I met were robbed at gun point. Some were at night, some were during the day.
I would say that I was overly cautious the first few weeks, having a lot of questions and concerns about how to keep myself safe. As time went on, I started to learn what was actually safe, and what had some risk to it, and than I made my decisions accordingly.
For example, even though, statistically chicken buses get robbed more than first class buses, pullmans, etc., eventually I started taking them, but being more alert when on them and doing some things that I felt decreased my risk of being robbed on them, like not wearing jewelry, carrying a small backpack I could hoist over my head (instead of having to stow it in the back), making friends on the bus, sitting near mothers on the bus, etc.
I actually wrote a post on it, that was featured recently on the Travelers Point website, about safety tips in Central America, focused on single women travelers.
Any other questions please let me know!
Jun 7, 2012 6:20 PM
Jun 7, 2012 7:22 PM
Jun 9, 2012 10:00 AM
Thanks for sharing! Great post also!
Since you've had this great experience, and you mentioned some of your friends didn't - why do you think the reason was for them getting robbed at gunpoint vs. you not experiencing anything bad on your trip, was it pure Bad luck in this case or did they just use less safety precautions then you did?
Edited by: traveldarling
Edited by: traveldarling
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