By Shauna Simeone / Asst. Opinion Editor
Spring break is just around the corner and many CCSU students are planning for relaxing activities or are preparing for exciting vacation destinations.
Mexico is a hot spot for many spring break travelers, but considering the recent violence and unrest taking place there right now, students should reconsider going to our neighbor to the south for their fill of the spring break experience. Mexico is an attractive vacation spot for a lot of students because of the warm weather, gorgeous beaches and the lower drinking age. Tourist areas are a vacationer’s dream, but outside of the seeming paradise there is a lot of violence and serious issues taking place.
As of Feb. 20, the State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens going into Mexico. Part of the statement said, “U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places.”
The warning emphasizes that most of the problem areas are along the border, which is far away from Cancun, a popular spring break destination. Regardless, the risk of traveling to Mexico for spring break may not be worth the reward.
Take the story of Yvette Martinez, which was brought to light by TV host Glenn Beck. Martinez crossed the border with a friend to go to a concert as a birthday celebration, but never made it back. Martinez’s step-father later found her car abandoned and missing valuables like the stereo and battery.
Stories like this are occurring more frequently with the escalation of wars between rival drug cartels. America’s Most Wanted posted the following statement, “Mexico’s lawlessness – an outbreak of kidnappings for ransom, brutal gunfights among rival drug cartels and escalating violence – has now crossed the border and touched many American families.” According to AMW, 31 Americans have been reported as kidnapped across the Mexican border.
Traveling into Mexico at a time like this requires heavy precautions to be taken. It does not seem sensible to go there as a vacation spot when there are plenty of wonderful tourist spots right here in the United States such as Miami. Areas in Florida have the warm weather, and the spring break atmosphere. The only thing that is missing for some people is the availability of alcohol. But honestly, attaining alcohol doesn’t seem to be a huge problem for most college students. It makes sense to travel to a destination inside of the United States where the worry of violence is minimized and you can pump some money into the economy while you are at it!
Other universities are catching on to the probable violence and schools such as Winona State University are sending warnings to their students who are planning to travel across the border for their breaks.
It is important to fully understand the violent climate that is taking place in parts of Mexico right now before you decide to travel there for vacation. If you are planning on traveling to Mexico for your spring break make sure you ask yourself: is it worth the risk?