Where is Oaxaca and How Safe Is It? Update November 2010

How can I convince thee?  Let me count the ways?

  1. Oaxaca is safe.  Yes.  Believe me!
  2. Oaxaca is 375 miles southwest of Mexico City.
  3. You can fly directly to Oaxaca from Houston.
  4. Oaxaca is in SOUTHERN Mexico.
  5. It is closer to the Guatemala border than it is to the U.S. border.
  6. There are no drug wars in Oaxaca that I am aware of.
  7. I am a middle aged woman who travels there by myself.
  8. I even go through the Mexico City airport by myself.
  9. I even take buses from Oaxaca to Puebla to Mexico City by myself.
  10. I take taxi cabs and buses by myself around Oaxaca city and the villages.
  11. I walk the streets (no, I’m not a street walker) at night.
  12. I use the ATMs at banks solo.
  13. Oaxaca is safer than many U.S. cities and towns.
  14. Sometimes I wonder why Americans are so scared of Mexico.
  15. It is a 12-hour bus ride from Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, the Mexican state that borders Guatemala.
  16. It is a 6-hour bus ride from Oaxaca to Mexico City.
  17. It’s another 8 to 10 hours from Mexico City to Juarez or Tijuana or Matamoros on wheels.
  18. It is a 2-hour plane ride from Houston to Oaxaca (and vice versa).
  19. The drug wars are on the U.S.-Mexican border — far, far from Oaxaca.
  20. Can you imagine ….
  21. visiting an incredible colonial city, a UNESCO historic sight, with great food, folk art and crafts, glorious textiles ….
  22. and not be afraid.
  23. I can.


4 responses to “Where is Oaxaca and How Safe Is It? Update November 2010

  1. Thanks. I, too, am a single past-middle aged woman who travels to Oaxaca regularly by myself. I, too, have transited MEX on my own and use the Oaxacan ATMs unaccompanied. Have been traveling there since 1988! While I take a cab or bus after dark, I walk during the day without a companion if no one is going my way. Love the state and city of Oaxaca!

  2. I live in Mexico (on the west coast near Puerto Vallarta) and feel very safe where I live. Despite the horrific news of crime in certain areas of Mexico, mostly on the border areas, most of Mexico is safe. Wherever we live, wherever we travel, common sense and vigilance should be used.

    Oaxaca is a wonderful, vibrant, interesting city full of culture and amazing art and handcrafts. Great food, too. If there is one place in Mexico you should visit, this is it.


    • It’s great to hear from ex-pats living and working in Mexico for a reality check. Thanks, Kathleen. The question of safety crops up regularly and has been a major psychological deterrent for people considering a trip to Mexico. The fear factor is huge; the reality of danger is minimal.

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