Michoacán

horse-boyThere is a US Travel Advisory for Mexico and Michoacan, among other Mexican states; it has affected Casa Werma’s ability to do business as a tourist and retreat destination. The fact is that millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. There has been an advisory in place since long before we arrived in November 2013 and negative press about being in Mexico for years. We can only attest that since we’ve been here, we’ve had nearly 500 visitors from Europe, the US, Canada, Peru and Mexico, including Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and his attendants, and we have had no troubles. Also, in the last months of 2016, we have noticed an increase in both domestic and foreign visitors to Pueblo Magico Patzcuaro.

The following is the most pertinent information from the above-linked site:

The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.

Most of all, our experience and the experience of everyone we know (both Mexicans and foreigners alike who live here) is that Patzcuaro is a safe, gentle, lovely Colonial town. For instance, daily we encounter kids playing in the streets, women holding their babies wrapped in shawls, older ladies sweeping the sidewalk and saying hello, the fruit vendors saying good morning and asking if we have guests at Casa Werma, laughter, dogs barking, kids walking home from school kicking their soccer balls.  Everyone here knows us and cares for each other.

Those of us who live here are continually contesting the exaggerated negative portrayal of day-to-day life here and of the situation for visitors and tourists. The primary way that innocent people are suffering in Mexico is not directly from violence and corruption, but from the widespread poverty they ensure.