Perception vs. Reality

If you can’t or shouldn’t do something it always makes it more enticing to do whatever that is, right? Well, every time we spoke to someone new about this OU excursion, more often than not, we received the response of, “You shouldn’t go to Mexico City, it’s too dangerous… Or, Why the hell would you ever go to Mexico City?!” And, with that in the back of our minds, we dove into this trip wanting to prove all of the doubters wrong!

Mexico City is one of the most populous cities on the planet, and yes, that has certain effects on an area, but certainly is not enough to validate the stigma associated with it. The population of Mexico City hovers around 20+ million people and is rapidly growing on an annual basis! To put this into perspective this city has about the same population as the 7 most populous cities in the United States combined! This would include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

However, Mexico City has become a victim of it’s own exponential growth over the years, and now with its surging drug trade coupled with the media’s desire to exaggerate — tourists all over the world are deterred from visiting.

Now… let’s do a little math, shall we? If you were to look at the populations of each respective city along with its murder rate per 100,000 people and get the weighted average murder rate for the entirety of the sample, you would see that the weighted average murder rate of the 7 US cities combined is greater than that of Mexico City. What does that mean? If we were to bunch all of these cities together in order to keep the population figure on par with Mexico City and compute the ’new’ murder rate for this group of cities it would prove that Mexico City actually has a safer environment when concerning this type of crime!

This city is a truly beautiful destination with a vast cultural scene that can take weeks to fully explore and that is all masked by the picture in which the media paints of it. Mexico City resides in a valley between two large hills and was interestingly enough built on top of a lake there hundreds of years ago. In the last 100 years Mexico City has sunk about 42’ and is sinking about 8” each year. The city is busting at the seams with growth in business and immigrants from other countries are coming in droves; only further enforcing it’s need to constantly build out.

However, with that said, Mexico City does not resemble a city with people just jammed together like sardines, but rather an impressively well orchestrated experiment in population management and municipal upkeep. When walking around the city one can notice how densely populated it really is. The streets are in gridlock around the clock with hour commutes just to travel 5-10 miles, cars move through the streets with complete disregard for any traffic laws, people flood the city streets for as far as the eye can see, and all the while the city is kept inconceivably clean.

The people that inhabit the city are some of the nicest around. When in the belly of the beast, or an authentic Lucha Libre match, we were the only ‘tourists’ in the entire crowd, but we did not feel out of place. We were experiencing Mexican culture as locals, and they were very welcoming to the idea of also being entertained by two gringos wearing Luchador masks. 🙂 But, from the inside of the Lucha Libre arena and the rustic areas surrounding the Teotihuacán Pyramids to the halls of the nicest restaurants and night life destinations Mexico City has to offer; we were taken aback by how far from the truth Mexico’s image has gotten.

Mexico City really is a testament to what a big city should look and feel like. There was not one instance where we felt unsafe or unwelcome. In fact, we were welcomed with open arms everywhere we went and cannot wait until we get the chance to return!

To check out some of the cool stuff we did while in Mexico City see our other posts on Pure Joy and ¡Lucha Libre!

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About Mike

I lived my whole life in a comfort zone. Comfort of a strong support network, steady job, and a halfway decent head on my shoulders. Year over year, things remained on a good track, but nothing ever changed. Change never found me, but now I forcefully took hold of it. Onwards and Upwards!