Mexico

Mexican Street Attacks

Mexican Street Attacks 320 310 Greg Ellifritz

Borderland Beat is reporting a new trend that Mexican criminals are using to rob and kidnap motorists.  Read about it at the link below.

 

Puebla: Citizen Motorists Warn of Popular Assault Method

 

The criminals know they can’t do much to you when you are traveling 60mph in an automobile.  They have to make you get out of your car to victimize you.  Don’t play the game.

If someone throws anything on your windshield to obscure your vision, don’t stop.  Even if you have to drive with your head out of the window to navigate, do so.  Drive a few miles away.  Watch for anyone following you.  If you aren’t being followed, stop to clean your windshield in a busy public location.

 

 

Travel Log- Mexico (and almost Cuba)

Travel Log- Mexico (and almost Cuba) 885 594 Greg Ellifritz

*My Travel Log series describes various past travel adventures and provides perspective about living and traveling in different countries.  This particular segment covers a trip I took to Mexico in May of 2015.

.

A quick little travel narrative for you today…

 

I had a few days of vacation planned last week.  Our goal was to get to Cuba, but it’s difficult to arrange a flight.  There aren’t any direct flights out of America for tourists, so we would have to fly through Canada or Mexico.  Further complicating the matter is the fact that US banks won’t accept credit card charges from Cuban companies because of the trade embargo.  We couldn’t just get on Cubana airlines’ website and book tickets; we would have to use an international travel agency to book the flight.

 

I contacted a few travel agencies out of Canada.  They all told me that the flight that I wanted (from Cancun to Havana) was booked full on the dates we needed.  The only option was to show up at the Cancun airport with cash and hope to catch a standby seat.  We decided to give it a try, with backup reservations at a hotel in Cancun in case we couldn’t get on the plane.  No luck.  Not even a standby ticket available.  We were stuck in Mexico for five days…not really a bad fate to be delivered.

 

We stayed at a hotel near the northern-most end of the hotel zone far away from the idiot tourists that populate the majority of the island.  We took a sailboat ride, visited the largest Mayan pyramid site in the Yucatan and lounged around every day on the beach.  We took the local “chicken bus” into downtown every night and ate at some fantastic local Mexican restaurants and visited the local carnival nightly for street food and desserts.  It was quite a peaceful and relaxing trip.

 

We didn’t talk to many Americans on the trip, as most of the guests at our hotel were Mexican or European.  Those Americans we spoke with seemed excessively fearful of being in Mexico.  They wouldn’t leave the relatively American -feeling hotel zone out of safety concerns.  They missed some amazing opportunities to experience another culture by fearfully hiding in the hotel zone.

 

Despite all of the media attention about Cartel violence, the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan are quite safe.  The Mexican government does everything it can to protect the tourists as they provide a significant boost to the economy.  Beyond that, many of the hotels and restaurants in the hotel zone are at least partially owned by cartel bosses and used to launder money.  If tourists got killed with any frequency, those money laundering opportunities would disappear.  We never saw a hint of violence or any type of threat.

 

We did see some of the local police at work.  A drunk guy at a downtown festival was getting arrested one night.  The two local cops humanely lifted him into the bed of their pickup truck and handcuffed him to an iron ring welded onto the side of the bed.  Not quite up to American law enforcement standards, but they didn’t mistreat their prisoner.

 

I spent a lot of time talking to the locals about police corruption and cartel violence while we were there.  There are both local police and Federal police.  According to the residents, the local police are often uneducated and usually quite corrupt.  The Federal police seemed to have a slightly better reputation.

 

Look closely at this police substation in downtown Cancun. There is a female police officer passed out asleep with her head on the desk...must be a pretty dangerous spot.

Look closely at this police substation in downtown Cancun. There is a female police officer passed out asleep with her head on the desk…must be a pretty dangerous spot.

 

Some of the local cops were armed and some weren’t.  According to one former cop I spoke with, the locals have the choice of being armed or unarmed.  The armed officers have to go through a psychological test that scares away some of the officers from the armed jobs.  The locals carried a bunch of different pistols…mostly Glocks, M&Ps, and Third generation S&W autos.  I didn’t see any spare magazines and all of them carried no-name cheap nylon holsters.  The only other gear they had on their belts was a single pair of handcuffs.

 

The Federal police manned several of the roadblocks we went through.  They were kitted up with rifle plates, drop leg holsters and full duty belts for their Glocks.  Several carried four spare pistol magazines and about half had a long gun of some sort.  I saw a lot of M-4s (no optics), a few FALs, and one Uzi carbine.  Occasionally we would see military units with M-4s and belt fed machine guns mounted on the back of their pickup trucks.

 

Fortunately on this trip, we didn’t encounter any cartel hit squads.  On a previous trip down to the area a few years ago, a taxi I was taking was intercepted and passed on the highway by two pickup trucks full of cartel assassins loaded down with M-16 A1 rifles (likely from the American military).  The cab driver explained that they acted as a cartel quick reaction force to attack any of the soldiers or cops who dared to interdict any of the cartel drug shipments.  Fortunately, they didn’t have any interest in a couple of tourists and they drove right past us.

 

The cartels down in Mexico create a complicated issue.  Like in some American ghettos and in the favelas of Brazil, they drug economy has some benefits for the local communities.  The drug dealing and manufacturing provide jobs for the locals.  Cartel bosses build and staff schools and hospitals that the government can’t afford in order to garner additional favors from the local populace.  Many of the locals are frightened by the cartel violence, but depend on the cartels to improve their standard of living.  It makes it tough for them to be eradicated because they are valued (while being hated at the same time) by the locals for their community contributions.

 

If you are interested in travel to Mexico and plan on traveling to the Caribbean coast, you likely won’t have any trouble as long as you stay away from the drug dealers and cartels.  Smile a lot.  Be polite.  Try to learn a little Spanish.  Read my book.  You’ll be fine.

 

View of Isla Mujeres from our sailboat

View of Isla Mujeres from our sailboat

 

We’ll try for Cuba again next year.

Travel Log- Cartels, Drugs, and Human Trafficking in a Vacation Paradise

Travel Log- Cartels, Drugs, and Human Trafficking in a Vacation Paradise 599 410 Greg Ellifritz

*My Travel Log series describes various past travel adventures and provides perspective about living and traveling in different countries.  This particular segment covers a trip I took to Mexico in February of 2019.

I spent part of last week vacationing in Mexico.  I know some of you are shaking your head and saying you would never visit such a location because of the high level of cartel violence.  That tells me that you haven’t been there.

 

While there are certainly some places in Mexico that I would not visit for safety concerns, the tourist areas are actually quite safe for travelers, even if a bunch of cartel members are getting killed.  Counting the stamps in my passports shows that I’ve visited Mexico 17 times in the last 18 years.

 

I also made one visit where I hopped the border and entered illegally, but that is a story for another time.  The bottom line is that I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico.

 

I have very little security concerns about the “Riviera Maya” area between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.  Going up the peninsula from Cancun to Merida is also pretty safe, as are the ruins of Chichen Itza, the popular cenotes, Isla Holbox, and Isla Mujeres.  Those are most of the places you’d want to stay on the Caribbean coast.

 

Why the conflicting information?  Why do I think it’s safe when the government and all media sources are constantly telling us how dangerous Mexico is?

 

The Mexican drug cartels are battling each other over drug distribution territories.  They are also trying to expand their income sources by extorting business owners and government officials for “protection money.”  Besides defining their drug selling territories, they are also fighting about which cartel gets to extort which business area.

 

That means a lot of people involved in the drug gangs are getting killed.  When a cartel member gets killed, the victim cartel strikes back against the attacking cartel, killing both cartel members as well as their families.  Businessmen and government employees who don’t cooperate with the extortion are getting killed.

 

A map of the territories controlled by each major drug cartel.
From Statfor.

 

Guess who is not getting killed?  The tourists.  While there is a small chance of getting caught up in the crossfire of a cartel gun battle, that risk is also present in the gang territories of all the big cities in America.  So long as the tourist doesn’t get involved in drug sales, doesn’t openly insult cartel members, and stays away from prostitutes, the chance of the tourist getting killed in Mexico is close to zero.

 

Why are the tourists safe?

 

It’s because the drug cartels need the tourists to keep coming.  Who do you think owns those large all-inclusive resorts?  The drug cartels and their families.  They use those huge tourist resorts to launder their drug money.  If the tourists stop coming to Mexico, it becomes much harder for the cartels to operate.  They have a very clear motivation to keep the tourists safe.

 

Back to last week’s trip.  Even though we only spent four days in the country, I learned a massive amount of how the drug cartels operate and all about the local drug markets, cartel assassins, and human trafficking rings.  All were openly on display for anyone who was alert enough to take notice.  Ninety-nine percent of the tourists were too engrossed in their margaritas to really see what was going on right under their noses.

 

When we normally spend time in Mexico, we will rent an Air BnB condo or stay at a very small resort far outside the tourist zones.  We like a quieter and more local feel than what the big all inclusive resorts provide.  Because of that, I was unaware of a lot of the drug and human trafficking activity at the larger resorts.  I never saw any of it on previous trips precisely because we stayed in areas with few tourists.  I learned that American tourists play a much larger role in funding the cartels than I had previously realized.

 

On this trip we decided we wanted to make it easy as we were only going to be spending four days in the country.  We booked at a very large and fairly swanky all-inclusive resort hotel.  It was a wonderful location and we got all the beach and relaxation we had been looking for.  We also got an education about how drug sales work south of the border.

 

Over the past few years I’ve been working hard to increase my awareness levels and intuition.  I’ve been following some shamanic pathways I learned in the jungles of Peru and some exercises I’ve picked up in books.

 

Before you start thinking I’m crazy and spouting off woo-woo bullshit, consider that warriors throughout history have intensely studied the art of intuition and awareness in both time and space.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes on the topic from a 19th century Chinese Tai Chi master:

“If the opponent does not move, then I do not move.
At the opponent’s slightest move, I move first.”
– Wu Yuxiang

 

Master Yuxiang cultivated his awareness and intuition for decades to reach the point he writes about above.  I’m just a beginner, but I’m coming to understand the importance of cultivating my intuition as well as the advantages a high intuitive ability can bring to a defensive combatant.

 

Wu Yuxiang

 

One day on this vacation, I spent quite a bit of time working on some of the drills I use to refine my intuition.  I went to the beach and sat there.  I people watched all day long.  No book, no phone, no digital entertainment.  I was trying to be focused on living in the present moment.  As a result, I saw a lot of things that most tourists miss.

 

There is a massive complex operation uniting both drug dealers and their customers on the hotel zone beaches in Cancun.  After a day’s worth of observation and talking to a few of my fellow American travelers who had made some drug purchases the previous day, I was truly enlightened.

 

If you are a tourist who wants to buy drugs in Mexico, one of the easiest way of doing it is to ask a waiter at your hotel.  He can usually facilitate the deal for a generous trip.  I saw and heard  several such requests to our waiters during my day of observation.

 

One of the other ways to acquire a drug supply is through the local drug dealers on the beach.  The dealers walk back and forth on the beach pretending to sell some type of product.  All beaches are public in Mexico so these guys have essentially free reign to walk up and down the beach selling beach towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, and jewelry.

 

I very quickly noticed that the folks selling sunglasses and beach towels walked past our place on the beach at a hustling pace.  We seldom saw the same vendor more than once or twice a day.  These walking salesmen need to go where there is a market for their wares.  If people aren’t interested the first time you present them with your products, they probably won’t suddenly want what you are selling a couple of hours later.  The salesman keeps moving down the beach to attract new customers.

 

I observed an anomaly.  The guys selling boxes of Cuban cigars on the beach came back every 20 minutes or so.  I never saw them actually sell a single cigar.  How do these guys stay in business when there aren’t any customers interested in their wares?  It’s easy.  They aren’t selling cigars.  They are taking drug orders from the tourists.

 

The drug sales networks utilize the same tactics that terrorist cells use to keep from generating too much attention.  Also similar to a terrorist cell, the dealers employ lots of “cut outs” to reduce the damage should one of the dealers get arrested.  They compartmentalize their operations so that each individual player doesn’t know much about the entire operation.   Everything was on a “need to know” basis.

 

Here’s how the process works…

 

– You tell the cigar salesman what you want (I saw deals involving marijuana, powder cocaine, and heroin).

– The cigar salesman gives you a price, but doesn’t take your money.  He tells you to pay the person who approaches you and asks you for money in a few minutes.  He then saunters off.

– Another beach salesperson will then walk up to you under the pretense of selling you some insignificant trinket.  He takes your money for the drugs.  When the money changes hands the cigar salesman won’t even be on the same beach.  Plausible deniability for him if the deal is under surveillance.

– Within 30-60 minutes a third salesman drops off your drugs.

– Finally, if you need money back in change after the transaction, a fourth person will bring it to you soon after the drug delivery man has cleared the scene.  No one in the distribution chain is ever at the same place at the same time

 

There was quite a bit of drama involved in this process.  It seemed that only the cigar salesman speaks fluent English.  The dudes who pick up the money or drop off the drugs didn’t speak English at all.  They aren’t helpful if you have any questions.  I saw a couple different people getting themselves worked up about their deals.

 

One older white dude literally threw a temper tantrum on the beach because it took about 30 minutes for his cocaine to be delivered.  He was convinced that the dealer had ripped him off.  Another woman didn’t immediately get her change back after the drugs were delivered.  She was very upset until the “change guy” walked up and provided her with correct change.  It was a completely ludicrous scene to watch unfold.

 

I struck up a conversation with another hotel guest as he smoked a joint on the beach.  He filled me in on some additional details about how the game works.

 

According to my new friend, the cartels really don’t want to be in the business of making small scale marijuana deliveries.  Because of this fact, they intentionally limit the supply of weed to the dealers.  They want the dealers selling the cocaine and heroin instead of marijuana.  By noon each day, there was no weed available to purchase anywhere on the beach.  If you want to smoke, you better hit the dealer up early.

 

The cartels also have a price fixing effect on drug sales.  They set the prices.  The individual dealers aren’t allowed to either up charge or discount the product.  I didn’t inquire as to the prices of the hard drugs, but the smoking hotel guest told me that the going rate for subpar quality marijuana was expensive at $100 per quarter ounce.

 

Lots of drugs and cash moving around.  How do the cartels protect it and avoid getting ripped off by a competing gang?  They use undercover “security” or sicarios.  “Security” consisted of mostly Eastern European men patrolling around the property.  They always moved in pairs.  While they wore swimming attire, they never got in the pool or ocean.  Both men on each team carried heavy backpacks (presumably full of weapons of some type).

 

They looked low key, but it ended up being obvious that they weren’t hotel guests.  Each guest at the all-inclusive hotel had to wear a bracelet so that the restaurants wouldn’t serve free meals to people walking in off the beach.  “Security” was trying hard to fit in by acting like guests, but they missed one key detail.  None of them were wearing the hotel bracelet.

 

The men appeared to be capable and fit.  They patrolled in a purposeful random pattern, with two pairs constantly “on-duty” at any given time.

 

When I noted the lack of wrist bands, I started looking for that with other guests.  I quickly noticed a male/female couple.  They were sitting on the beach directly under the lifeguard chair.  They had neither bracelets or swimsuits.  They were speaking what sounded like Russian.  Both look like they were going through heroin withdrawal.

 

A waiter “placed” these two in their position.  The lifeguard kept an eye on them.  They never once got in the water or ordered a drink.  After a few hours, the two were led away by a couple of the “security” men.

 

I have no idea what those two were actually doing, but I would guess that the couple was somehow being “trafficked” from one location to another.  They were using the beach as a well-protected place to hide in plain sight.

 

All in all, I think my observation/intuition practice that day was immensely productive.  It’s truly astonishing to really see what so many other folks fail to observe.  There is a baffling amount of information available to you if you just take the time to notice it.

 

It might initially seem strange to say it, but seeing all this stuff actually made me feel a bit safer.  I knew that the drug lords want to keep tourists coming in.  But I didn’t know how much income those tourists also provided directly to the cartels in terms of illicit drug sales.

 

The “cigar salesmen” were very busy all day long.  We tourists are literally the geese who lay golden eggs.  The cartel bosses would likely do just about anything possible to ensure that the tourists are happy and safe.  There’s too much money to lose if the tourists stop coming to Cancun.

 

 

 

Additional Step to Leave Cancun Starting Today

Additional Step to Leave Cancun Starting Today 683 576 Greg Ellifritz

Starting today, any travelers visiting the Mexican state of Q. Roo (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tuluum) have to pay an $11 departure tax before leaving.  This tax IS NOT included in your plane ticket like most other taxes.

You can either pay the tax online or at an airport kiosk.  See the article below for more details.

 

Visitors To Cancun Must Pay New Tourist Tax Starting April 1

Geoarbitrage?

Geoarbitrage? 750 500 Greg Ellifritz

Have you ever heard of the term “geoarbitrage?”  It’s a money saving lifestyle where one earns money in American dollars (or some other Western currency) while living in a country with a much cheaper standard of living.  It allows people to enjoy a much higher standard of living than they could enjoy if they stayed in their home country.

My friend Daisy has a great article on the concept.  I’m going to be employing this strategy more and more in my retirement.

 

Is Geoarbitrage a Lifestyle Option for You?

South American Gun Laws

South American Gun Laws 702 501 Greg Ellifritz

Many of my readers are interested in firearms and self defense.  I regularly encounter Americans who believe that citizens of other countries can’t legally own defensive firearms.  That opinion is incorrect.

While gun ownership in countries outside the USA is generally a for more involved process than what is required to buy a gun in the USA, citizens of many other countries can own (and sometimes carry) firearms if they jump through all the right hoops.

I found the article below to be an informative comparison of gun laws in six large Latin American countries.  If you are interested in the gun laws in South America, check it out.

 

Gun Laws in Latin America’s Six Largest Economies

 

You may also enjoy Revolver Guy’s article Guns in Brazil.

 

Assessing Neighborhood Safety- Gang Graffiti

Assessing Neighborhood Safety- Gang Graffiti 480 640 Greg Ellifritz

In my book Choose Adventure- Safe Travel in Dangerous Places I have a section of advice discussing how to assess whether an area is “safe” or not in a foreign country.  I wrote:

 

“Given the massive differences in culture, customs, and income, how can you tell if the neighborhood you are visiting is safe or not?  These guidelines may be pretty basic, but using them will give you a quick assessment of your relative safety in any neighborhood in the world:

            1) Are there lots of armed guards?

2) Do the properties seem to be run down or uncared for?

3) Are people in the area walking in pairs or small groups rather than walking alone?

4) Is there a lot of graffiti present on the walls?

5) Are there obvious security measures (like broken glass embedded atop walls, electric fences, barbed wire, etc.) present?

6) Are there lots of people are aimlessly “hanging out” in the street?

 

If you answer “yes” to most of these questions, you may not be in the world’s safest place.  It’s time to move on.

 

Beyond looking at these six factors, take a second and observe your environment to get a subjective “feel” for the location.  Is there more order or disorder?  Broken windows, graffiti, trash, fireworks, and items out of place are all signs of disorder.  Recent criminological studies have shown that there is a corresponding increase in crime as disorder increases.”

 

I’m living in Mexico right now.  I was reminded of this passage as I was walking around my neighborhood.

 

I’m renting a condo in a very nice and secure building in Playa del Carmen.  My neighborhood is fine, but I’m right on the boundary between the “tourist area” and the area where the locals live.

 

I’ve discussed transitional areas before.  One block away from my condo is the transitional area between high dollar tourists and economically disadvantaged locals.  It’s far from a dangerous place, but if you aren’t paying attention, you could quickly find yourself in a bad neighborhood.

 

Yesterday, I was running sprints at a local track that was maybe 10 blocks away from my condo.  As I walked to and from the track, I noticed a lot of graffiti.  As noted above, graffiti is generally a sign of disorder and a likely indicator that you may be in an unsafe area.  But context matters as well.  That’s what inspired this article.  Not all the graffiti I saw was a danger sign.  How does one know the difference?

 

I am far from an expert on gangs.  We didn’t have any gang violence in the town where I worked as a cop for 25 years.  That being said, I’ve always been curious about gang communications and I’ve been to quite a few gang-related police training classes over the years.

 

I’ve read lots of books on deciphering gang graffiti as well.  I’ve concentrated much of my research on the Latin gangs as I spend so much time in South and Central America.  I’ll use some pictures I took along my walk to help you understand some things about graffiti.

 

Here’s the first gang tag I saw on my walk.

 

 

If you can’t read it, it says “Sur 13 Pacas.

 

Sur” indicates “Sureno,” meaning “Southerner” one of the big Mexican gang confederations.  They are rivals with “Nortenos” or “Northerners.”

 

The number 13 indicates the group’s affiliation with the Mexican Mafia gang.  The Mexican Mafia is called “Eme” (the letter M) for short.  M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet.

 

“Pacas” is Spanish for “bales” as in bales of marijuana.  I’m only guessing here, but I’ll go ahead and make the assumption that this particular set runs in the neighborhood and that they might be involved in drug dealing.

 

One of the other factors that helps identify gang graffiti from more innocuous “tagging” is the presence of certain stylized words or letters that form a symbol recognized by gang members.  It’s like a secret gang language.  See how the letter P has a dot that looks like an eye?  I don’t know what that means, but I can make a guess.  Turning letters into symbols like an eye, a crown, a star, an arrow, or some other object is indicative of gang graffiti.

 

When the particular neighborhood is jointly claimed by more than one gang, you will often see one gang sign crossed out and overwritten by another gang’s symbol or name.  Nothing like that here.  No other gang names anywhere around and this one appears to have been there awhile without being defaced.  That most likely means that the Sur13Pacas have reasonable control over the territory.

 

I saw a lot more graffiti on my walk.  None of it was gang related and wasn’t indicative of anything other than the fact that the police don’t likely patrol the area a lot at night and the property owners don’t really care about their property.  How can you tell the difference?

 

Take a look at these two photos.

 

 

 

See how these are bigger, more colorful, and more ornate?  Notice how they are individual names or nicknames and not names of a group?  Notice how they are adjacent to one another without being crossed out or defaced?

 

These are most likely not gang graffiti.  This is probably the work of teen graffiti artists known as “taggers.”  Some taggers do artwork for gangs, but many of them are independent street artists.  They are the same kind of people who paint their names on water towers, walls, and train cars in your hometown.  These indicate that a neighborhood doesn’t get much police contact at night, but aren’t necessarily indicative of danger.

 

On the same wall I saw this piece of graffiti.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Any guesses?

 

 

Remember how I stated “context matters?”  The context became clear when I walked the same route home after my run.  Here’s what I saw.

 

That was the normal parking location of the local French Fry truck.  The “gang graffiti” was merely an advertisement painted by the truck owners to stake out their territory and keep other food trucks from parking in the area.  Graffiti may be about territory, but it’s not always about gang territory.

 

More contextual stuff.  What would you think if you saw this?

 

 

Doesn’t look good, does it?

 

But in context, as part of this large mural, do you feel the same way?  Does this look more like disordered and random graffiti or more like a public art project?

 

 

I did some research.  This is a wall surrounding an elementary school playground.

 

 

According to the locals I spoke with, a group of local taggers and artists (represented in the photo above) got together and artistically decorated the walls of the school playground as a public service to make the area more fun for the children and less unsightly for the residents.

 

Spray painting school walls may not be a common thing in America, but different cultures have different ideas about what is appropriate.  This mural had widespread public support and no other tagger would dare deface it.

 

This is a sign of neighborhood cohesion, not neighborhood disorder.

 

Many times graffiti is a sign that bad things are happening in a neighborhood.  Sometimes it’s the exact opposite.  A skillful and informed traveler will understand the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

Health Care in Mexico

Health Care in Mexico 748 420 Greg Ellifritz

Mexico is a prime destination for American expats.

 

My favorite Mexican ex-pat blogger recently posted an incredible resource for people living in or visiting Mexico.

 

Great Site to Find Doctors in Mexico, Check Reviews, Compare Prices and Schedule Appointments

 

This will make finding and booking good medical care much easier for those of you spending time in Mexico.

Latin American Drug Cartels

Latin American Drug Cartels 360 121 Greg Ellifritz

An in-depth analysis of the history and structure of Latin American drug cartels.  This is important for American cops and anyone interested in drug use in the USA.  The Mexican Cartels supply the vast majority of heroin and a significant amount of marijuana used in the states.

 

The Story of Drug Trafficking in Latin America

Marine Animal Bites and Stings

Marine Animal Bites and Stings 768 506 Greg Ellifritz

Adventure travelers often play in the ocean.  Ocean snorkeling, diving, swimming, surfing, and kayaking all expose on to the chance of being bitten or stung by some aquatic critters.

 

Over the years, I’ve experienced many of these envenomations.  Lots of jellyfish stings.  My sea kayaking tour guide got stung by a stingray in Belize.  It laid him up for a couple days.  This can be very serious stuff if you aren’t careful.

 

Even those of you who visit “tame” locations should still be cautious.  Last month I wanted to test my new snorkel mask before taking an ocean excursion.  I waded into the ocean off the beach of our five-star resort in Cancun.  I was in water about three feet deep and dove in.  I was instantly face to face with a pissed off stingray.  I’m amazed I didn’t get stung.

 

This is a compilation of simple first aid tips for handling marine animal bites and stings in the field.

 

Marine Animal Bites and Stings

  • 1
  • 2