Posted by Dude, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm
I think a parent has to look at the safety of the area, which is just Northwest of Mexico City, regarding the crime and how foreigners are targeted. There is no safe area in mainland Mexico. The only safe area in Mexico is Cabo. If you are going to send them anyway, you might have them practice their survival skills in Oakland or Chicago Hood.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm
Let's take Tijuana, one of Mexico's most crime-ridden cities. How many American citizens have been shot in Tijuana over the past several years? How many foreign students across the entirety of Mexico have been shot over the past decades?
Statistics show you're much more likely to die of cancer than to ever get mugged, in this country or abroad. But the right-wing dummies, wrapped in their bubbles of self-protection and self-deception, love feeding their fears of poor people, working people, and people of color. Sometimes I'm ashamed to be called an American.
I hope a lot of kids volunteer for what I'm certain will be a very educational experience.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm
Yep, with those stats, you'd be better off sending your kids to Mexico City than San Diego, where murders of Americans are far more frequent. You goofs should learn how to read statistics. I guess Europeans should not let their kids travel to Bay Area because of the deaths and bodies found in Pleasanton. Get some proportion in your lives. You seem to be afraid of your own shadow or anything else that has a dark hue to it.
Posted by been there, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm
The City of Tulancingo is safe. If it were not so, neither the Sister City organizers from Pleasanton or Tulancingo would allow the exchange. I have been to Tulancingo several times and the community is very friendly and safe. For our students, I would say it is 100 times safer than any College town you send your kids to in California. This April a delegation of adults from Pleasanton are going to Tulancingo. The organization had to cap the number of people at 40. More than that wanted to go but there was not enough room. Most of these people have been to Tulancingo before and they would not be going back if it were not safe.
Posted by Rosarito Rosa, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm
Please, been there, don't try to confuse people with facts and assurances. And despite evidence of any US kids being shot or kidnapped, people feel more comfortable being afraid. I agree with Mary. I think that's why people move to Pleasanton.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Feb 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Parents are reasonable to be concerned about the safety of their children. Nobody can assure parents enough that their children will return to their families alive and not traumatized.
The Mexican government is responsible for allowing the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent citizens due to drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
Why Plutonians move to Plutonia is none of your business. If you don't appreciate where people live, then pack your bags and go back to where your ancestors came from. Also, if you don't mind having your children placed in harms way, then be my guest.
Parents are expect to look out for their children. If you can't appreciate that, then give it a good flush and say adios!
Posted by Evan, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm
Cholo, I think your head has been stuck in too many donut holes. For a parent to be concerned about his/her children is one thing. To forego what seems to be an interesting and perhaps humane educational experience based upon blind and irrational fear is quite another. Scrape off some of the glaze and sprinkles!
The drug lord Heriberto Lazacano is deceased. Read under the Philanthropy section of the above link. There is mention of the city of Tulancingo, Hidalgo. There is not a city is Mexico that has not been impacted by drug cartels. Even if you live in denial about the reality of unexpected violent death in Mexico, it happens daily. The Mexican government cannot be trusted and neither can the police. Thousands upon thousands of innocent people have been brutally murdered by the cartels. Thousands of innocent people have been brutally murdered...many children have been targeted.
My concern is to advise parents so that they at least understand that visiting Mexico is not without multiple risks. May I recommend that anybody who is considering visiting Mexico to contact the US State Department as well as the US Embassy in Mexico City to weigh the risk for themselves and their children.
Posted by Dude, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm
To Evan, Rosarito, Been There, and that idiot Mary, your opinion regarding the safety of Mexico means nothing. You people send your child, but your opinion is worthless when it comes to my responsibility to protect my child. You sit here in Pleasanton and try to coerce and shame other parents for making the decision that Mexico is not a safe environment for their child. You all are absolute morons thinking your opinion has any validity and weight. You did not provide one fact in your diatribe. I provided two fact filled links. Your opinion is just like an Ahole...
Posted by been there, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm
"Dude", you are right, we do not care about you or your kids. We can only share our experiences and thoughts. You are an obviously very paranoid person as nothing on the forum was a coercion or attempt to shame you.
At some time you are going to need to unlock your child in the basement where that child is "safe". Please do not confuse advise and experience with coercion.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Right, Dude. Be careful not to let your kid out on the streets of Pleasanton because there have been murders in this town. There are drug dealers, hashish smokers, and all sorts of violence. If you had read anything about Mexico you'd realize there are no reports of violence against US students who go there to study or to help others. But that's okay, keep living in your protective bubble of ignorance and fear. That is why you moved to Pleasanton, isn't it? To get away from all those sorts that Fox News tells you are going to rape and kill your family? PS Your links didn't provide any evidence of US students in Mexico being in any kind of danger. But small matter to the dummy you seem to be. Wave your hand all you want to: Keep your kids indoors and FIGHT LOW INCOME HOUSING!!!! Moron.
Posted by Dude, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm
Mary and Been There, send your kid. When are you going? This is what our State Department says. Web Link
You assume wrongly and your sanctimonious attitude is what's wrong with America. Our daughter spent a semester in Europe. We own two properties in Cabo, go couple times a year. Would not set foot in mainland Mexico.
Posted by been there, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm
"Dude", your link says that Tulancingo is safe:
From your link: "Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect."
Tulancingo is in the state of Hidalgo.
The State Department says that area is as safe as Cabo. Just don't go north of Cabo in Baja California as the State Department says "You should exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night."
For Mexico City, the main airport in Mexico: "Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect. "
So much for the mainland being an issue and Baja not.
It would be good for you to read what is there and not just assume that your place in Cabo is safe and all other parts of Mexico are not.
Posted by Peter Malloy, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
Mexico was once an exotic vacation destination with history and beautiful beaches. Any traveler to the country knew there were areas where you just avoided because of criminal activity. Unfortunately, narco-trafficking has created instability amongst the trafficking gangs and the result has been violent attempts to acquire more routes to smuggle drugs to the United States.
Why on earth would you subject your children to that kind of violence or POTENTIAL violence?
Mary, would you let your children travel to Iraq or Afghanistan? After all, I hear it's beautiful in there in the spring and the people are welcoming to U.S. citizens. You sound as if you are suffering from the guilt of living in an affluent community. It's ok to want to help but when you and your children are taken hostage or killed, what good have you done?
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 10:09 am
Lots of ignorance and fear seems to be informing your statements, Peter. Name a single instance in Mexico where American students have been taken hostage or killed.
I do understand how affluence can contribute to an irrational fear that the whole world is a threat to one's wealth and well being. But unless you can chronical evidence that shows that American students are at higher risk in Tulancingo than Pleasanton, your musings are nothing but paranoia fueled by ignorance and fear.
Iraq and Afghanistan? Last time I looked there have been no incidents involving Mexicans kidnapping, imprisoning, or killing American students. Your weak analogy betrays a certain softness in your ability to think things through.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm
"The risks remain small given that 19.9 million Americans visited Mexico last year, and as many as 1 million U.S. citizens live there, according to U.S. government estimates."
Thanks, Cholo, but the most telling detail you've provided is the one quoted above. There is random violence everywhere. Since a body was found stuffed in a trash can in Plutonia, and a woman was shot to death in Plutonia earlier this year -- in a city of 70,000 -- perhaps we shouldn't invite any relatives here (except the ones we don't like).
Some Americans go to Mexico in search of drugs and drug money. It's pretty obvious the cases you link us to involved such.
Now, Cholo, what about Tulancingo? Oh, and be careful when you go to the grocery store later today, because there are wild maniacs just waiting to kidnap you, torture you, and stuff you into a trash container. Beware! Protect yourself and your kids! Move to the safety of Texas!!!
Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm liberalism is a disease is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Cholo, there's no point in trying to convince Mary that taking young students to mexico poses a threat. If she can't correctly interpret the links you provided, there's no hope for her seeing the danger until it directly impacts her.
Mary, please go and make sure you inform the kids parents about the danger they face. Mention to them that you stand to benefit, since adult chaperones have they travel paid for. We all get your motivation. We also understand your liberal guilt. I'll be watching the rental listings downtown to see when your apartment is vacated.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Projected number of murders in Houston, Texas for 2013: 326
Keep your kids out of Houston! Keep your kids out of Mexico! Keep them in your home, off the streets of Plutonia, under lock and key and force them to listen to you read Atlas Shrugged.
Now, I do understand why some people are bothered by students helping folks in Mexico. For there are people who are so scarred that, cowering in their isolation, they express consternation with any acts of kindness whatsoever. Somewhere along the line, these kinds of people didn't receive enough love.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm
I pine for the Mexico of my youth, the wonderful place I went to with my parents during the off summer vacation when we traveled to Los Angeles to visit relatives and Disneyland, the place I later enjoyed on weekends as a young man going through training in Texas and as a college student with classmates and sweethearts. Though of European descent, I have always preferred the warmth of Latin cultures to the closed arrogance of Northern European cultures.
I also pine for the Los Angeles of my youth, which was always warm and friendly.
Fact is, though, that while I have never worried overly much about my kids jetting down to LA for the weekend with family and friends, I no longer feel that Mexico is safe enough to support my relative peace of mind.
Give me my back the Mexico of my youth so that my kids can know its warmth, please.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Feb 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm
I enjoy the company of many Europeans. I have always avoided visiting Germany and I know how to get about so that I can avoid not visiting.
Most European nations are wonderful places to visit, but things lighten up when you live there for a few years. Apart from the Basque Country, I didn't feel comfortable in various parts of Spain for many many years. I also feel very safe in Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, and the UK. I doubt that I will ever visit Germany
I would like to explore Ireland for a few months, perhaps in the next year or so. I also feel safe in Costa Rica.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm
I have visited Mexico well over 100 times. I have brought my children along with me. With very few exceptions, I feel safer in Mexico than I do in much of Houston. When you compare the rate of US citizen deaths in Mexico with cities like Houston, LA, SF, even Pleasanton, the Mexican boogyman doesn't seem quite so threatening. You did see the facts I provided about murder rates in Houston, yes? Or did you decide to ignore those? Selective thinking perhaps?
Posted by Maria, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:10 am
Mary - since you are ashamed to call yourself an American (your comment) and think that you consider Pleasanton to be more dangerous than Tulancingo, why don't you just move there? You obviously don't appreciate the kind of community we have. Regardless of how divided this country is, America still one of the best countries to live - resources, humanitarian and safety.
On your first comment above, I also don't understand why you even think that this issue is a matter of politics. Aren't there any left-wing concerned parents left anymore? To enlighten you, there are TONS!!! We all have right to be concerned for the well being of our children, that's our job.
Reading your posts - you keep on bashing the facts that were presented to you, yet you haven't provided a single fact.
People here who expressed their concerns doesn't discrimate or shield their kids against poor people (your comment), just plainly people who would put their shoes in other parents position who would send their kids to Mexico. I grew up in the Philippines - beautiful country and great people exists, but poverty is common in a lot of areas. Even if I know which areas would be the safest, I still would not send my daughter there to be an exchange student. Drugs, kidnapping and human trafficking exist everywhere.
I'm sure what AVHS is doing is a great program. But the concerns expressed in this forum are valid.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2013 at 10:37 am
Sometimes, when I hear so much of the ignorance and hatred that surrounds me, I am tempted to move elsewhere. Ah, but where to move? There is evidence of murders throughout Canada, throughout Europe, throughout Australia ... and of course all those 'other' countries like Philippines, Samoa, or any other brown or black skinned countries is simply out of the question. There is way much violence there too.
So I stay in Pleasanton. Ah, but I can't let my kids out because of the report of a woman's body being found in a trash container. And then there was the mysterious recent killing in Pleasanton where a woman and her daughter were killed after a home break-in. What to do? What to do? I won't let my kids visit Oakland Zoo because there are reports of murders occurring in the city. And SF Zoo is out of the question because its tigers get out of their cages.
We selected Pleasanton because all demographics show it to be the whitest community west of Oklahoma. But the violence in this town is enough to keep everyone away! I'm with so many of my neighbors in wanting to obstruct low-income housing with all the murders that will accompany it. My husband and I are fortifying our home, cementing in all windows and other possible entry points. We're then going to post a sign on our lawn: No Mexicans Allowed. For anyone who comes from such a violent country must be violent themselves. Protect yourselves!!!! Protect your children!!!!!
Posted by Citizen, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm
Our family has participated in this program. Top of mind for every parent was the question of safety. Our fears were allayed when we understood two things: the nature of the program, & the nature of Tulancingo.
This program is as much a family exchange as a student exchange. Their kids became part of our families, & our kids became part of their families. They are every bit as protective of their kids as we are of ours. We know the risky places around us- we avoid parts of San Francisco, Oakland or Richmond. Our proximity to them doesn't make Pleasanton unsafe.
Their families are a lot like ours. They are business owners, entrepreneurs, & communtiy volunteers. Their homes are comfortable & welcoming.
There's a reason Tulancingo is our sister city- it's a lot like Pleasanton!
Our youth had rich experiences, & came home with a broader view of the world, one which I firmly believe makes them better citizens of the United States.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Citizen, your post is certainly more sane than anything Mary/Rita posted. One would wonder why she would choose to be a spokesperson to try to promote travel to Mexico with young kids, but her rants have the opposite effect that was intended from the original topic.
She obviously has some obsession with brown people, which should not be a primary reason to encourage travel with children to Mexico. Her obvious racism serves as a black eye for a program that may have good intentions , but questionable execution.
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2013 at 9:47 am
I do not pretend to know very much about the Tulancingo exchange. But I am to recognize irrational fear when I see it.... Just sayin'.
I'm curious. Why do you seem so intent on rupturing the relationship between two sisters, Pleasanton and Tulancingo? Do you think such relationships should not exist between sisters?
Also, given that you recommend against the Mexican experience, what would you say about a student exchange that would send some of our young people to the Basque region in Spain? As you know, the region has a rich culture and much to offer, beyond the running of the bulls in Pamplona. But it has been marred by violence over the years. So, I'm wondering. No visits to Mexico. None to Bilbao either?
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:10 am
I am not affiliated with the Tulancingo program, Cholo. But I am the Pope's official representative here in Pleasanton, and I'm here to tell you that you face excommunication from the Church if you continue to slander its priests and bishops the way you do. Without official Catholic papers, you may then be asked to self-deport yourself from Livermore back to Catholic Spain where the Basques will plant a firecracker under your mushed pea tapas. Busted!
Posted by Mary, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm
Cholo has convinced me. Parents, keep your children out of Mexico. Keep your children out of Connecticut! Keep your children out of Colorado!
Keep your children out of California where child abuse by the Catholic clergy has been rampant!
Keep your children out of Pleasanton where hash smoking drug lords hang out in city parks and thuglike parents drive too fast in school zones! Children first, parents last, and especially Mexican parents! And I don't mean maybe!!!
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Feb 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm
Incidentally Rita, how many students of Raza, Filipino, African American, Samoan, and Vietnamese/Laotian decent have been invited to participate in the sister city program in Tulancingo?
Meant to say, in the past 15 years...how many of the above populations have participated in such a unique educational program? I sure it's alot! Out of curiosity, where "Black" students welcomed by Mexican families?
Posted by member, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2013 at 9:30 am
Cholo, what would be the point of a board member posting on this board? What ever they say, you will feel superior saying it is not safe although you are ignorant of the city of Tulancingo.
Nobody is trying to pressure or twist people's arms to send their kids on this student exchange program. It is a personal decision.
For those who are interested but want more information, contact the Sister City organization. They can probably put you in touch with students that have gone on the exchange program in the years past.
So far the negative remarks I have seen on this board are from people who have never been to Tulancingo. That is not really a good source fro your information.
I have been involved with the sister city organization for years although not a board member. I have made great friends with those in Tulancingo and like to visit them in their city and host them in our city. The purpose of a sister city organization is to bring understanding between groups of people from different localities. It saddens me to see some of the posting here from people who have never been to Tulancingo and never met our friends from Tulancingo. You are not talking about an anonymous city and people out there. You are talking about my friends and the friends of many of us in Pleasanton including past and current mayors of our city.
If you don't want to go to Tulancingo, for any reason, do not go. Personally I think it is your loss but it is your decision.
If you want to know more about Tulancingo, talk with the sister city organization, which has been around for 30 years. There are a lot of people in this city who have been and still are involved with the sister city organization.
Posted by scott656, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 26, 2013 at 9:45 pm scott656 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Oh my gosh people,
There is a risk of anything happening to you anywhere you go.
What Mary was talking about earlier about "living in a dark hue" is true but it doesnt make us any less vulnerable than someone in mexico.
Although Mexico does have higher crime rate, what happens there, also happens here too. People get killed, people go missing, people sell drugs, people do drugs. The point I am trying to make is that even though we live in a very nice town, we are still at risk for the same stuff that happens over in Mexico. And what good does it do just sitting here in this "dark hue", not experiencing anything and just watching the world go by? thats just a waste... Life is about exploring and taking risks to get reward. If you dont take risks then you arent living life to the fullest. I think sending kids to Mexico is A great idea. It shows them that not every single place in this world is like Pleasanton and that we are very fortunate unlike a lot of people. I know that the parents in Tulancingo are just as worried sending their child off to some place they have only seen on a map and maybe a couple pictures. My point is, is that without risk, there is no reward, and I personally believe that we need to show our youth that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows.