20 year old female travelling alone to Guatemala
Replies: 34 - Last Post: Oct 4, 2012 12:08 PM Last Post By: primavolta
Oct 2, 2012 9:01 AM
20 year old female travelling alone to GuatemalaHi everyone,
In a month and I half I will be travelling to Guatemala to volunteer with an organization called IVHQ. I'm not going with anyone that I know, I will just be going alone and hopefully making friends with the other volunteers when I'm there!
I have been reading about Guatemala and I keep finding more and more horror stories of tourists getting beaten, raped, robbed, kidnapped and killed in Antigua, which is where I'm going!
I know I definitely won't be going out alone after dark or anything like that, I grew up in a big city so I have street smarts. I know not to carry my passport or much cash on me, but I'm still a little freaked out after reading everything.
Is there anything else I can do to stay safe? Is Guatemala really as nightmare-ish as the internet makes it seem?
Oct 2, 2012 10:02 AM
Oct 2, 2012 10:13 AM
2#2 I think she was reading information about your exploits, but now that you don't live in Antigua, but in the outskirts in a run down barrio, I think the OP will be perfectly safe while in Antigua.
Oct 2, 2012 10:20 AM
3"horror stories of tourists getting beaten, raped, robbed, kidnapped and killed in Antigua,"
Yeah but thats on a Monday- things really start to hot up later in the week!
Seriously, stop being silly or stay at home.
Oct 2, 2012 10:25 AM
Oct 2, 2012 1:20 PM
5Wow! Why don't you give us some links to these horror stories about Antigua?
Oct 2, 2012 1:37 PM
Oct 2, 2012 1:38 PM
7Here's my personal list of safety concessions. Have a great trip!
Sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with one or more of my kids and/or my husband, sometimes with a group in tow. I don't feel overly paranoid but have never had a problem and would like to keep it that way.
Here are my concessions to safety when I travel in Central America:
:: I avoid the big cities as much as possible
:: I don't "party"
:: Where recommended I take specific transportation (ex: Hedman Alas in Honduras, avoid chicken buses on the mountain runs in Guatemala, take taxis after dark)
:: I know where I am and where I'm headed and make major transitions with plenty of daylight left
:: I don't wear jewelry (not even my wedding band) and try not to flash camera equipment or money around
:: Some trips I carry a “throw down wallet” with an expired card or 2 and the day’s cash in it
:: I keep important documents and cash under my clothes (except what I need for shopping, buses, etc. for that time period) and keep close watch on my things, especially in crowded places and when I’m tired
:: I ask locals about safety in an area - evenings, hiking, etc.
:: I travel really light so I don't feel vulnerable getting my bag off and on buses, shuttles, etc.
:: I continue to build skills in Spanish
Oct 2, 2012 1:53 PM
8The guidebooks are full of scary warnings, and they all (at least the ones that I have seen) advise that you check the embassy websites for further details.
People come here for current information, so there's some value to reading over past posts, but not as much as getting the latest info.
I just wonder why nobody bats an eye when the 5th person this week asks what's the best way to get from the airport to Antigua, but we have to have this chorus of ridicule every time anybody asks a safety-related question.
Oct 2, 2012 2:24 PM
9new threads started over the last month:
20 year old female travelling alone to Guatemala
Driving up Acatenango?
Payaca Overnight Tour Oct. 10-11
Proyecto Eco Quetzal
El Ceibo, El Naranjo, entering Gaute from Mex
Festival Izabal - San Felipe (Rio Dulce) - oct 11-14 2012
Antigua or Granada? - mom w/ 20 month old for a week
Raxrujá & Cancuén
longish term in Guatemala - how to handle the flight/visa thing
Flores GT - Somewhere to buy/rent crutches?
sleeping in antigua
Internet Access in Guatemala
Pharmacy in Guatamala
sleeping in ciudad de guatemala
mobile internet with iPad in Guatemala
Lone female traveller in Guatemala <-- hey, this one mentions safety in passing! dated 2 weeks ago and nobody really answered it
Guatemalan Police escorting tourists on route to Tikal
MasterCard use in Guatemala and ATMs
Recommendation for a teacher for my toddler - Academia Antiguena
hotel recomendations in flores
Minimalist Packing List
Guatemala Lynch Mob kill mad man
Palenque to Tikal in One Day
Wanting A Dog
Question: Where to exchange Swiss Francs?
Looking For Travel Buddy for Lake Atitlan San Marcos Guatemala
Need help! Looking for Spanish instructor in Latin America
Border run Guatemala to Mexico with car, paperwork?
Lago de Atitlan - Satellite Radio
volunteer teaching in Guatemala
Mosquito/Insect repellent suggestions
so there we have it... a month's worth of posts and a whopping two of them asked about safety... this one, and one that nobody specifically answered
exactly how far back into the archives should travelers have to delve to get current travel information, given the constantly changing nature of something like safety in Guatemala?
If you don't like the question, don't answer it. Simple.
Oct 2, 2012 2:37 PM
Oct 2, 2012 2:45 PM
11please provide a link to a post in the FAQs which provides recent and relevant safety advice for traveling in Guatemala. If one exists we can simply point posters like OP to it.
I just went through the 5 pages of Central America FAQs and the only vaguely relevant post that popped while searching for the keyword "safety" was one on El Salvador.
Unconvincing at best.
Oct 2, 2012 4:05 PM
12Wow! I'm just asking a question . . . isn't that what this forum is for? If you don't like my question then don't open the topic.
Thank you to everyone who gave me links and advice, it's all very helpful! Especially thank you braxman for sticking up for me haha.
For those of you who think I'm silly for wondering about crime in Antigua, here are a few links that I stumbled upon which got me worried in the first place: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/the-americas/090428/guatemala-tourism
I have looked at many travel guides, but I am going to be living in Antigua for almost 5 months and a lot of the advice in the guides seems to be much more relevant to people who are "vacationing" or just going for a few weeks. Also, as Braxman said, I am looking for current information from people who have actually been to Antigua themselves, seeing as you can't always trust what you read in a book or online. This will be my first time ever leaving Canada/USA. I'm obviously not just a little worried chicken sh*t or I wouldn't be leaving the country for 5 months by myself in the first place.
Anyway like I said, thank so much to everyone who gave me advice! I'm going to go check out the links you guys gave me right now :)
Oct 2, 2012 4:20 PM
13laterkaterz - the reason those of us who answer questions on this forum frequently get tired of this sort of question being asked over and over is because you're asked right off the bat, at the top of the page, to find out if the question's been answered already before you ask:
Welcome to the Central America branch!
1. Welcome to Thorn Tree’s Central America branch!
2. Find out all about Central America here! Things to think about before posting:
3. Has my question already been answered? Check out the FAQ thread and use the Search bar on the right-hand side to find out.
Most new posters don't do that, so you're not alone. Still, it would be nice if it happened once in awhile; even those of us who post here to be helpful instead of show our rapier wit would appreciate it.
Oct 2, 2012 4:22 PM
14Good point Braxman, it just seems its asked a lot more. And no, the FAQ does not list safety precautions specifically for Guatemala/Antigua, maybe someone should put one there that lives there.
Poster as you can see its not directed at your personally, its more the fact the question is asked so often.
You will have a great time living Antigua, lucky you. Its a great city/town and has a lot of culture, fun places to hangout and a eclectic group of foreigners living there. There have been crimes against all walks of life there, locals & tourist. They almost all have been at night, usually on desolate stretch of road, guys on motos stealing handbags, robbing tourist, rarely is assault or violence an issue, but time to time a shocking and brazen one occurs.
If you use the tuk tuks and taxis after hours, you should be fine. They are cheap and best way to get home or about. I would say get a bicycle but the roads are all stone and would be a rather bumpy ride I suppose.
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