07 October, 2014

Misunderstood Mexico

A Street in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
For those readers from the United States, Mexico is our next-door neighbor, the second-largest customer of our national exports, and the largest source of migrant/ seasonal labor to the United States.  Whether we as individuals think much about it or not, Mexico and the United States are more than just connected—they are hugely reliant upon each other.

Despite this, there may be no country more misunderstood by the average American than Mexico.  According to a poll undertaken by consulting firm Vianovo, here are some of the words that most frequently come to mind when Americans think of Mexico: “drugs,” “poverty,” “violence,” “dirty,” and, of course, “beaches.”

Temple of Inscriptions, Palenque, Mexico
Though there are certainly some truths behind these stereotypes, they have been hugely exaggerated in the American media—sensationalism sells.  Most Americans would be surprised to know that, outside the Border States and some urban areas that are of little interest to tourists anyway, crime rates in Mexico are generally lower than in the United States.  And many people would be equally surprised by the tourism opportunities in Mexico beyond the beaches of Cancún and Puerto Vallarta.

The southern Mexican state of Chiapas, for example, is one of the world’s prime adventure tourism destinations.  Most excursions into Chiapas start from San Cristóbal de las Casas, a colonial town situated in a mountain valley with a strong indigenous influence and an important regional market.  Many visitors head to Palenque, a Maya historic site that features some of the most well-preserved temple and pyramid
Sumidero Canyon, Mexico

ruins in the Americas, as well as the Sumidero Canyon, a geological wonder whose Grijalva River cuts through vertical rock faces that can exceed 3,200 feet.  The state’s 59 Montebello Lakes range in color from deep emerald greens to iridescent blues, making a wonderful destination for hikers and mountain bikers alike, and the myriad small indigenous towns that dot the mountainous landscape all charm visitors in unique ways.

And this is just a fraction of the sites to see in one of Mexico’s 31 states (and one federal district!).  We urge Americans to look past the CNN and Fox News headlines and head south.  Get to know your neighbor—whose culture is both ancient and modern, traditional and innovative, certainly proud, and one of the warmest to be found anywhere on this planet.

Before You Go... 

http://store.gpstravelmaps.com/Mexico-GPS-Map-p/mexico.htm?click=1475Pick up our Mexico map. This GPS map will give you turn by turn directions to your destination using a point of interest (POI), city point, and/or latitude and longitude, with the ability to preplan driving destinations before getting into your car.

The easy to follow instructions allow you to download and install the map into Garmin BaseCamp desktop software and transfer it to your Garmin GPS in minutes. This installable map is compatible with ALL Garmin GPS units .

It's like having your own personal travel guide with you on your trip!

Screen Capture from our Mexico GPS Map.

Screen Capture from our Mexico GPS Map.

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