I've been to Mexico a great many times. When we had no health insurance
we drove there (7 hours) 3-4 times a year to buy prescription drugs at about the cost of a co-pay here. I've surfed all up & down Northern Baja
. I've gone there for dental work. I've gone there to buy furniture. I have many friends there. I have never seen a bit of violence, except for 2 drunk gringoes fighting outside a bar. I have always felt exactly as safe there as in Los Angeles. Some places you don't want to be after dark, almost no matter where we're talking about. I consider myself pretty brave. Shucks, I've surfed a 30' wave, that was scary.
Recent news stories, however accurate, have just about scared me away from one of the world's most beautiful countries. This thread had helped me a lot towards being unafraid to travel there again.
The fact is that Mexicans, overall, are nicer than Americans in my experience.
When my wife was in a wheelchair we visited Puerto Vallarta
for a month. A month is long enough to get a realistic feel for a place.
Here's what I saw.
In the US, when you're in a wheelchair you become invisible. People don't want to relate to you, it's as if you're contagious.
Sometimes as we were navigating the wheelchair I got her stuck. I couldn't push or pull the wheelchair to free it. Here in the US, people would walk right by, looking the other way as though we weren't even there. Nobody ever tried to help me when I couldn't get her up a curb.
In Puerto Vallarta
I got her stuck once right on the main drag along the beach, The Malecon. The curb was too high and I just couldn't get the chair up it. It was raining and the traffic was crazy. A Mexican guy in a business suit across the street dropped his briefcase on the sidewalk, ran across 5 lanes of traffic, and helped my pull the chair up the curb. We thanked and thanked him. He said it was nothing. Anyone would do the same thing.
Wow! That didn't ever happen here.
My son is a dwarf. He's the same type of dwarf as the boy on the TV show Little People Big World. He's 13 now. He's a very good looking, charming boy. I am proud to be his father.
In the US, we get a lot of staring. Some people have even done such a poor job of raising their children
that they allow their kinds to make mean, hurtful remarks loud enough for everyone to hear. Kids
in public have called my boy a freak. They've pointed and laughed and as far as I was able to see their parents didn't discipline them at all. We've even had people try to "pray over us" so that Jesus could heal my son. I told them that they were really messed up and that there is nothing wrong with my kid at all. We've had people ask what sin we committed that we deserved this. I told them that the next sin I will commit will be murder.
Quite a contrast with Mexico.
Many people have stopped us to talk about our son in Mexico. The theme is much the same. They will tell us either in Spanish or English
that our son is a normal kid, just like everyone else, and that we are lucky that we were chosen to raise a special kid and explain to us that our job as parents is very important. They think we are required to do a better job as parents because our son is more
valuable than an average kid.
They are right.
Shop keepers in Mexico would probably 50% of the time give my boy something for free. Now these aren't rich people, but they really want to be kind to somebody who's different. It didn't just happen a few times, but most of the time.
I love Mexico.
I'm going back.