Guatemala News, Crime and Tourism, Guatemala as told by the world media is cursed with reports of Crime and and Crimes against Tourists. Living in Guatemala and enjoying the country and often write about my experiences. Thus this blog is to bring a view of facts. Not about some Tourist who had a bad experience on a Chicken Bus on Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet.
Trip Advisor and in particular Lonely Planet which is always 2 years behind the facts both continue to be a source of both negative and glowing comments about Guatemala. Sadly the negatives appear to be the focal point of interest for Travellers.
Bad Travel experiences I find are a result of those that should not Travel. I was robbed at the Market in Antigua Guatemala is one I see often. To be honest in my experience of the Markets in Guatemala I think most Tourists loose cameras and cell phones because they have them hanging exposed and fall to the ground. Which results in I was Robbed in Guatemala.
The Expat Community that lives in Antigua and Lake Atitlan appear to focus on changing this country. Why do you as a guest Living in this country feel you have the right to ask for change? Change which is only about you, not about improving the country. Many Expats live in Gated communities far from being part of the community is a problem I see.
A few months ago a blog post was written that drew thousands of comments and opinion on this topic. The Blog post written from Lake Atitlan Guatemala was called, “Guatemala – Travel Safety Over Sensationalism. The authors point which was lost in the comments was about Guatemala Travel Safety. Common sense suggestions that any Traveler should follow. The comments flying about this blog post made claims that there were no true sources of information to base the blog post on. Thus I felt a few facts might perhaps clear the travel air around Guatemala.
Guatemalan and international media and the government touted the January 1, 2013, release of end-of-year crime statistics for 2012 that showed a drop in the murder rate to 34.5 per 100,000 residents, down from 38.5 in 2011.
In the US the link below will show the 100 most Dangerous cities to live in the US. One will find that these cities in the US are more dangerous per capita then Guatemala. Guatemala crime is mostly in one place, Guatemala City, which screws the statistics for the rest of the country. Antigua, Monterrico, Livingston, Lake Atitlan very few violent crimes if any in a year.
Living in Guatemala, I am a Guest, I maintain respect for the Country and the Culture. Those seeking change in the Guatemala if you are Guatemalan you have the right. Expats wanting Chicken Bus routes changed in Antigua, you do not have the right. Most Expats came to Guatemala for Culture and the Quality of life this country offers.
If we all considered what we say on-line before we say anything about Guatemala perhaps the truth would be told about Guatemala not about how bad it is in Guatemala.
A blogger in Antigua Guatemala, an Expat has garnered a following about his drunken experiences and miss reporting of facts. He is as he calls himself Our Man in Antigua, a spin of of Our Man in Havana which in itself is an example of the miss use of this medium of the Internet and how Expats follow what they want to here and see not the truth about Guatemala.
Guatemala is not for every Tourist, most Tourists I have met immediately ask about safety. Travel Safety is about being aware. Go to any the 100 most dangerous cities in the US and you will find trouble if you are out at 2 in the morning. If you are out drinking at 2 in the morning you are exposing yourself not to Guatemala, a risk which you can find in any big city.
For me Living in Guatemala I enjoy each day and mostly I enjoy my local community. My Meat Man at the Lake Atitlan Market. Raw meat hanging on a hook, chicken and eggs not refrigerated for many that would be a shocking presentation of food. For me I cannot even see these concerns as I spend time with my Meat Man and enjoy conversation and the community as my meat is cut and ground to my request always with a smile. I part ways from my Meat Man laughing about our meeting and exchange of life stories for that day.