There are many adjectives one can employ to describe Guatemala but unfortunately safe, secure and fearless don’t often make the top ten. The first words often uttered by many people I speak with are; drugs, gangs, cartels and kidnappings which unfortunately are a reality of the country but are not by in anyway a true depiction of this beautiful country with out of this world beautiful landscapes and bodies of water but to me what makes it special are the people: Warm, welcoming and Happy. Like many developing countries it’s nationals often migrate to other countries but the new has depicted Guatemalans as the perpetual immigrants, evading the united states which though true for a few desperate ones isn’t a true picture of the people. Many are happy with their lives in their country.
Let me be clear, like every country in the world, there are some dangers in Guatemala and certain cities, streets you should stay clear of but with the right situational awareness a solo traveler should be okay. How to stay safe:
- Do some research and have some understanding of the city/country.
- Don’t go out to sketchy areas (ask the locals, they’ll gladly tell you).
- Don’t get drunk and walk around late at night.
- Don’t show off your affluence or be ostentatious. Often robbery is a crime of opportunity.
- Have an accountability partner who checks in with you daily.