Update from US State Department on Travel in Mexico

The US State Department recently updated it’s travel advisory for Mexico. While this is generally for US State Department employees, it also applies to US citizens traveling in Mexico. You can find the full advisory including specific updates for each Mexican State. Below we have included the first few lines of the General Conditions followed by an except from the specific update for the State of Guerrero where Playa Viva is located.  Your security is very important to us and we take certain security measuresUSPassports as well as ask you, our guest, to take normal precautions (many outlined by this advisory). These include traveling during the day on major highways; not displaying expensive cameras, watches and jewelry; and using common sense precautions when traveling.  Playa Viva makes sure that all transportation provided is with bonded taxis and tour guides (or well known employees and contractors).  We provide safe’s for your valuables, accept credit card on file for all payment so you do not need to carry cash and provide on site security 24×7.  We are happy to report that we have not had any incidents with guests to date and assume that part of this has to do with the great relationship we have built with the local community.  We appreciate your continued support of tourism in Mexico, to Playa Viva and support of the local community.

Below are excepts from the US State Department update on Travel to Mexico.

General Conditions: 

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.  The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality.  Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes. 

Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter organized criminal groups that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico.  The groups themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity.  Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere. 

Guerrero: Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco and Zihuatanejo are major cities/travel destinations in Guerrero – Defer non-essential travel to the northwestern and southern portions of the state (the area west and south of the town of Arcelia on the border with Estado de Mexico in the north and west and south of the town of Tlapa near the border with Oaxaca), except for the cities of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa. In those cities, you should exercise caution and stay within tourist areas. You should also exercise caution and travel only during daylight hours on toll highway (“cuota”) 95D between Mexico City and Acapulco. Use the toll road towards the Playa Diamante area and avoid the highway running through the city of Acapulco for travel to and from Acapulco. In Acapulco, defer non-essential travel to areas further than 2 blocks inland of the Costera Miguel Aleman Boulevard, which parallels the popular beach areas. Lodging for U.S. government personnel is limited to the “Hotel Zone” of Acapulco, beginning from the Hotel Avalon Excalibur Acapulco in the north and going south through Puerto Marquez including the Playa Diamante area. Any activity outside the Hotel Zone for U.S. government personnel is limited to the coastal area from La Quebrada to the beginning of the Hotel Zone and only during daylight hours. In general, the popular tourist area of Diamante, just south of the city, has been less affected by violence. Flying into the coastal cities in southern Guerrero remains the preferred method of travel. You should defer non-essential travel by land between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, travel to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa only by air, and exercise caution while in Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. If traveling by land, use toll highway 200 between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. You should also exercise caution in the northern region of Guerrero (the area north of the town of Arcelia on the border with Estado de Mexico in the north and north and east of the town of Tlapa near the border with Oaxaca). The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2013, with 2,087 homicides and 207 reported cases of kidnapping, according to the Mexican Secretariado Ejecutivo Nacional de Seguridad Publica. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.


Que dia!

Martin FishContributed by Martin Goebel – As a fisherman you are usually prepared for anything, mostly disappointment.  Not on this day in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  Organized by “Johnny,” one of the guides at Playa Viva, a wonderful, close-to-nature eco-resort, I went deep-sea fishing over Thanksgiving week.  It was magical.  The dolphins and turtles graced the deep blue water.  They were everywhere.  Then, at six miles out and about 11AM we started getting hit by sailfish streaking every which way like fine lances through the water.  At one point we had “four on.”  That was wild.  In the end, I think we counted eight landed (six released) and many more hooked.  “Capitan Jaime” annointed my largest a trophy of 80lbs!  It felt bigger.  Promise.

What a day!

NOTE: See video of dolphins click here – https://vimeo.com/82021769

About the author  – Martin Goebel is one of the pioneers of the sustainability movement was a recent recipient of the prestigious Earle A. Chiles Award for his contribution to the movement. His desire to find solutions that work for communities, businesses, and the environment during the timber and salmon wars of the 90’s led him to create Sustainable Northwest in 1994. Born and raised in Mexico, Martin’s conservation career includes leadership positions in The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and World Wildlife Fund. He has helped found several organizations including the Mexico Nature Conservation Fund, Wallowa Resources, and Lake County Resources Initiative, and was a founding member of the Oregon Sustainability Board. Currently, Martin recently serves as founding principal of Moebius Partners LLC, a firm dedicated to assisting social entrepreneurs and enterprises to secure human knowledge and financial capital to grow and succeed. Martin is an avid scuba diver and fly fisherman, and enjoys exploring new cultures, rivers and reefs any chance he gets.

Canasta Viva – The Bounty Just Begins

Canasta Viva basket includes staples such as tomatoes and limes as well as basil, mangos, melons, nopales and zucchini

This is a photo taken by one of the members of the Canasta Viva CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This is just the second basket delivered, and while it is a little heavy on tomatoes and limes (staples of the Mexican diet), our goal is to start adding leafy greens and other produce not readily available in Mexico, much less as organics.

Members of Canasta Viva, please send us your feedback on the contents of the box, send us recipes to include in the next newsletter and most importantly please tell your friends about the value of getting local organic produce delivered to your door.  Thank you for your commitment to supporting local organic food in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa.

For  more information about Canasta Viva, please contact Morgan at PlayaViva.com or click here for more details on Canasta Viva.