Hi Mark, I don't know what area you intend to travel, but I went a few years ago on a round trip through the Yucatan Peninsula, into the mountains and Chiapas area. We went camping with our 6 year old daughter and the dog and never had any problems. The conflict in Chiapas was still hot and we saw many soldiers on the road, but thats something between the Chiapas Indians and the government. All the people we met were very respectfull and educated, and we did the same with them. Speaking Spanish might have also helped a bit.
(or anyone else, for that matter)
Edna, my Mexican gal, is terrified of going deep into Mexico. She's afraid los banditos will kill us for our watches!
Clearly, they haven't kilt yous yet.
Any words of encouragement you might offer would be much appreciated; I'd love to drive with Edna down Mexico way!
Mark (& Edna?)
I traveled with my back pack for about 5 months through Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Cuba and Dominican Republic. DR is where my actual job got a hold of me and I stopped traveling worry free (and family free). I used every type of transportation you can imagine, and a few more. Got to villages in the middle of the Jungle where the only comunication to the outside world was a morse code thing, was searched for weapons in the middle of the night by some "soldiers" on a public bus, got right into a guerrilla attack between soldiers and "guerrilleros" with bullets flying left and right (it didn't help much to stand on the roof of the bus), and a few more incidents. At the end it's an adventure, and nothing personal. The sun will rise the next morning, with or without you. My experience is that most people in poor countries are much better than we can imagine. They prefer to be respected for what they are, not for what they have. Being "cool" can be interpreted as arrogance, which triggers animosity. The old saying "do as the locals do" goes a long way. If they dress with shirt and shoes, so should you.