Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Columbia, Venezuela, and Haita are the three most violent countries in Latin America

According to a recent study, Colombia, Venezuela, and Haiti are the three most violent countries in the Americas, and three of the most violent countries in the entire world. Colombia was the 11th most violent in the world, with Iraq coming in at #1.

Read more here.

Several other Latin American countries also score high up on the list. While these countries can be very dangerous, that does not mean that you should not travel there....just be careful.

I have traveled to many places in Latin America and have had relatively no problems. In Argentina the worst I got was a few counterfeit bills and I was actually robbed in La Paz, Bolivia, by the old mustard scam. After exiting a bus, a little old lady squirted mustard on my back-pack without me noticing. Afterwards, she pointed it out to me and offered me some paper napkins to help clean myself off. After a few seconds, I realized my back-pack was gone and so was she.

Despite this, Latin America remains very high on my list of places to go. If you are like me, a few set-backs like this will not deter you from going. So, here are a few words of advice:

1.) Know the language. This will help you interact with the locals and help you make friends. With so many tourists and so few that actually speak the local language, you will definitely be treated better and have people that will look out for you.

2.) Know the place. If you know a place like Colombia is dangerous, you will know to be extra careful. Ironically, if I had done my research before going to La Paz, I would have been wise to the mustard scam. Right after that happened, I consulted the Lonely Planet guide book to find the U.S. Embassy. I read about the mustard trick and really felt silly!

3.) Stay in a group whenever possible, and especially at night. When I was in Quito, Ecuador, I took a 5 block walk after dark to use the internet at an internet cafe. I was mobbed by a group of little kids that tried to pick-pocket me. I was followed by others after walking by them. That was the last time I went out by myself at night. Always take cabs that you call and if walking, make sure you are with at least one other person.

1 comment:

isatraveller said...

Well maybe you are right but I have to say that all major cities of the world are dangerous at night, during the day and any time you can feel uncomfortable. The main reason that made me leave a comment is that if you are an avid traveler, you should know this and also should know that traveling anywhere can be dangerous, attitude is everything in life and if you feel secure yourself probably you can feel safe anywhere. Latin America will for sure be the top 1 destination for many people wanting to get in touch with nature and people well educated that knows in advance that is worth visiting because is the only continent right now that can offer you a different view of what a natural environment has to be to save future generations, I mean to create in all of us an environment awareness.

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