Travel and Safety in Mexico
We encourage you to review the following information to make your own educated assessment of safety and travel in Mexico. You will find that serving in northern Baja is much safer than you probably think. Perhaps a more important question to ask is whether you are being called to serve in Mexico and whether you answer that call.
IS IT SAFE?
It is very safe to visit Baja California. Many Americans and Canadians purchase vacation homes or retire in this area of Mexico. Despite some media regarding dangers in parts of Mexico, none of our staff or visiting groups have ever encountered any violence. We are more than 1,000 miles from the mainland Mexico cities where much of the reported violence has taken place—it has no impact on us in the same way that violence in Chicago would have no impact on residents of Denver. In fact Chicago has a much higher crime rate than even Tijuana. Los Angeles and Tijuana have comparable crime rates. We cross the border multiple times per week and have never felt unsafe. As we visit the various ministries in the region, we will be staying together as a group, further relieving any concerns about safety. Most people who are concerned when first crossing the border quickly relax and thoroughly enjoy the rest of their trips. And regardless of which location that we stay, it will be in a safe, peaceful environment.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT?
- A passport, passport card or enhanced drivers license is now required to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico for all travelers over 16. For more information, go to the http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative
A traditional looking blue passport book will cost $135 and allows you travel by any means to any country. The passport card will cost $55 but will only allow you travel via land from Canada and Mexico.
A passport or passport card is required to enter Mexico. From time to time, Mexican Border Officials are asking to see passports at the border and asking people to fill out a tourist visa card, just like every other country in the world. The enhanced drivers license does not give you permission to enter Mexico, just to return to the United States. If you only have an enhanced drivers license it is possible that the Mexican border patrol may deny you access.
- Click here to fill out your application for a passport online https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html You will still need to print this form and then take it into an approved location with your government issued birth certificate. You can also download the form and fill it out by hand at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/forms.html
MEXICAN CAR INSURANCE
You must purchase at least basic liability insurance when visiting Mexico (it is not legal to drive without it) If you’d like to purchase Mexican car insurance prior to your visit, Baja Bound offers short and medium-term policies online. If you purchase a policy by clicking on the link below, Door of Faith orphanage receives a donation! If you would prefer to buy insurance on your way down there are several insurance kiosks near the border on the US side that would be able to help you. Visit: BajaBound
If you are thinking of renting vans for your group we recommend ASAP Rentals out of San Diego. They will deliver the vans to wherever you may need in the San Diego County including the airport. You can also purchase Mexican car insurance through them for the vans you rent. Here is their website: http://www.asaprentavan.com/One other great rental company is: California Rental Baja, they have great options including 4 wheel drives and they also offer Mexican Insurance. They can be reached at: http://cabaja.com/
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