Eleven women gathered together in early March 2011 to participate in our first Oaxaca Women’s Writing and Yoga Retreat: Lifting Your Creative Voice. All were from the United States except for two, an Australian transplant living in Mexico City and a local Zapotec woman from the village of Teotitlan del Valle. Nine of us traveled to Oaxaca by air, some making connections through Mexico City, all negotiating the distance in time and space independently, solo, alone. Our ages ranged from 28 to 60-something. Several had never been to Mexico before.
During our week together we talked about what it was like for a woman to travel to Mexico on her own, and I included the following question on the program evaluation form. I want to share participant responses with you.
What would you say to people who are concerned about safety and hesitant to travel to Oaxaca?
I would say you are often as safe as you think you are and that bad media, amongst other things are only trying to feed your fears. That safety is not a concern in Oaxaca, just to be wise, as you would anywhere and trust your gut, come well-informed and open your arms and heart to the beauty of the incredible place.
Not a problem. We felt perfectly safe in Teotitlan del Valle.
There are some simple precautions to take regarding food, but I have always felt safe here and that the people are very helpful.
I would say – “you are missing an awesome (in the real, not slang sense of the word) experience.”
It’s a wonderful place. I did not feel threatened in any way.
It was safe and people were kind, patient, friendly.
I felt more safe here than in many U.S. cities. I saw/heard no violence, no drunkenness, no homelessness.