Spring Break is just around the corner and the Texas Department of Public Safety is warning students again to stay out of Mexico.
The agency does not plan to issue a public statement as in previous years but a spokesman says, “The stance has not changed.”
The Texas the Department of Public Safety again discourages all Spring Break travel to Mexico – even to popular tourist resorts that are not on included in the U.S. State Department travel warning for Mexico.
“I think things are getting a bit better,” said Steve Varela, a University of Texas student in El Paso about the violence that has plagued some parts of Mexico especially along the border.
Most beach areas are not included in the U.S. State Department travel warning but Acapulco has been the scene of violence and crime. Last month six Spanish women on vacation together were sexually assaulted.
And in Playa del Carmen two police officers in the resort city were arrested last month for sexual assault. An Italian tourist said they raped her after she refused to pay a bribe.
For most students it’s not the Texas DPS but their parents who kept them from traveling to Mexico. “Oh, they would never let me go,” said Crystal Magdaleno, a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso.
For the past couple of years the Texas Department of Public Safety issued the Mexico travel warning so late, most students had saved their money and made their travel plans.
It is unclear what impact the warning has had on spring break travel but last year an official with Mexico’s tourism office traveled to Austin to urge DPS not to issue the warning.
But just a few weeks before spring break, the state again warned Texans to stay out of Mexico.
“We’ve made the plan as far as we know the DPS isn’t going to affect us very much,” said Robert Hendricks a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso.
For him and many students the deciding factor is finances not fear. “The reason we chose South Padre is its closer, less money.” said Hendricks.