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Reasons Why I Should Go• It is for a good cause – Building school, cookstoves, and teaching English• I am going with my school – A group of 20+ people, more than half of them are older than me – At least 5 adults (if not more, and I personally know ALL of them) – I know and am friends with everybody
Regarding Safety• We are going in a group of 20+ with more than 5 adults• We are going with the foundation called FUNSEPA. – Their employees work there and live there and therefore know the locals personally and know their way around. – The FUNSEPA employees will be travelling with us at all times and act as our security guards.
Regarding Safety• The large group of kids that I am travelling with will be separated into smaller groups of 4-5 kids. Each group of kids will be chaperoned by at least 2 if not 3 adults at a time.
Regarding Safety• Guatemala is currently not on the US government travel advisory list, although it has been in the past. – http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html• Antigua, Guatemala is one of the most safe places within Guatemala to travel to – It has “Tourist Police” making it safer than any other city in Guatemala• Problems occur in large cities and rural areas where police are spread thin – Antigua is plentiful with safety authorities – Many tourists go to Antigua, seeing that it is safe – Guatemalan govt. implemented new safety precautions including more police
Regarding Safety• Antigua is filled with the elite, and is therefore not an impoverished area with much crime• Most of Guatemalan crime happens in large cities or rural areas, where police force is spread thin.• Antigua is heavily filled with police for protection.• The violence you hear about is rivaling drug gangs – Bystanders rarely get caught in crossfire – http://www.ixchelschool.com/guatemala- travel/safety.php
Regarding Safety• Antigua, Guatemala is safer than large towns and cities and most crimes are petty and small – Mostly pickpocketing and stealing of bags – Violent crime (i.e. rape, murder, kidnapping, and whatever else you were thinking of) is rare in Antigua – However, I will not be carrying any belongings with me when I go out in public (i.e. my iPhone) • I am not bringing my laptop • If I do carry a bag, it will be on my back at all times. The most it will have in it is a pen, notebook, and water bottle • When I am spending my time volunteering, I will not have any money on me either.
Regarding Safety• We are having meetings to discuss safety precautions before Guatemala with the whole group – We are devising plans to do if one of us gets lost – I will never be alone, always in large groups
Other Links• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen- curley/antigua-guatemala- disneyland_b_1771421.html• http://wikitravel.org/en/Antigua_Guatemala# Stay_safe