Our route north in early April is going to take us to a Ciudad Juarez border crossing.
Ciuad Juarez sits on the Mexican border on the other side of El Paso, Texas. The city has been in the middle of a drug cartel turf war since 2007 and the murder rate peaked at an average of eight murders per day in 2010.
However a CNN article in January states that Ciudad Juarez is shedding it's violent image, with a drop to "only" two murders per day in 2012. The city, which once had a population of around 1.5 million people had seen a drop of nearly 250,000 at one point, but some of the people who left are starting to return.
Our most direct route north takes us through Ciudad Juarez.
Some people will say we are crazy for taking this route, but they are probably the same people who think we're crazy for going to Mexico (or Guatemala!) in the first place. However, we have no intention of going into the city itself, and the border crossing we'll use is actually at Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
Our border crossing, circled in red.
Besides, we want to check out this part of Mexico around the city of Chihuahua. We're thinking of taking Sherman the motorhome up to this area sometime because we want to explore the Copper Canyon area. Taking the little blue car with us this time will allow us to decide if it's going to be worthwhile doing it with the motorhome.
Do you realize we once slept one night in the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas! At the time in 2009, Pine Bluff was ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States. We risked out lives, and survived!
But I think many people who are afraid to go to these cities simply don't understand mathematical odds or statistics. Even with Ciudad Juarez's current average of two murders per day, well over a million people go about their daily lives without an issue. And if you're not in the drug business or in any way related to crime, your odds of having a problem are probably much greater in the city of Chicago!