“If you’re not back by Monday, I’ll post an ad for your job.” The jokes came thick and fast from my work colleagues after I told them I was headed to Guerrero for six days.
My less adventurous friends and colleagues think it’s incredibly stupid to go to Mexico for a vacation. Similar to many Americans in our current climate, Mexico conjures up images of cartels, crime, and murder. We have all seen the images or read the stories of bodies hanging from bridges, kidnappings, and robberies.
Indeed, even some of my Mexican friends showed caution in their expressions when I mentioned Guerrero. Since the jailing of El Chapo in the U.S., Mexico has become a maze of warring cartel factions bidding for power, money, and control of the drug trafficking routes in the most violent ways possible.
Guerrero is increasingly dangerous due to the poppy-field real estate in the north. Just recently, an American and his girlfriend were murdered at a roadblock in Zihuatanejo in front of their 12-year-old son.
The U.S. state department advises all U.S. citizens, “Do Not Travel” to Guerrero with an emphasis on Zihuatanejo and Acapulco, and a simple Google search will confirm everyone’s fears while many right-wing news outlets will portray Mexico as a warzone full of rapists and criminals.
On the other hand, my personal social media feed is filled with images of pristine beaches, beautiful countryside, and uncrowded waves for anyone willing to take the risk. So that’s what we did, we took a risk and went to Cartel Country.