Subject: Re: Guatemala Maya
Hi Frank,

My oh my, you have quite the Mayan trip planned there! Sounds like a pretty in depth survey of the Petén. Our trip is more a general overview of Guatemala. We'll be doing it independently. Although I'll most likely be booking the whitewater trip before leaving the States (through Maya Expeditions). Plus, I may hire guides at different points along the way depending on the logistics. As for the crime and security issue...

My feeling is this, anecdotally Mexico and Central America are repeatedly exemplified as areas of high crime. Statistically, the U.S. continues to far surpass these areas in both terms of total crime and violent crime. And the most recent data available from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute's International Crime Victim's Survey shows Australia, Canada, and Germany (amongst other industrialized nations) having far higher levels of total and violent crime. Yet, not once have I ever seen the question of security raised within our group when our members are considering traveling to these destinations. Why do you suppose that is?

So Frank, I'm aware of the robberies that have occured around Atitlán, and the buses that have been stopped and robbed along the highways. I will be alert and keep an eye on my surroundings as I do whenever I travel. But as for whether I'm concerned about my safety I'd have to say no more (or less) than when I step out my front door to take the dogs for a walk to the park.

John in San Diego