NUEVO PROGRESO, Mexico – If you’re planning to spend spring break in Mexico, there are travel warnings out from Washington.
Federal authorities are urging you not to visit certain parts of the country.
Despite the State Department’s travel alerts, some people are choosing to spend their spring break at the Mexican border. They say it’s not as dangerous as others might think.
Nuevo Progreso, Mexico is a small town just across the border from the Texas Rio Grande Valley. People there rely heavily on what they call “winter Texans”; retired Americans and Canadians who chose to spend this time of the year basking under the warm Mexican sunshine.
It costs just a few cents for you to walk from Progreso, Texas to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.
Once there, you’re greeted by a slew of vendors trying to get you to shell out cash for anything imaginable.
KENS 5 even found a "collection box" for the border wall, all in good humor.
People say they often come here for the food, the drinks, or to see a doctor and buy cheap prescription drugs.
One of the things Lloyd Fisher likes to get done in Nuevo Progreso is polishing his shoes. He always has a good excuse for it:
"I just bring my wife. She likes to spend money,” said Fisher, jokingly.
The idea that an American can enjoy visiting this part of Mexico might be difficult to understand for some, but Lloyd said he’s used to it.
“The stories and rumors, that’s what scares people away,” he said.
That’s not to say that the Mexican border is not dangerous. Drug cartels and other criminal groups still operate on the border. In fact, the U.S. State Department has travel warnings for about half of all Mexican states, including some of the popular spring break destinations, like Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco.
“We don’t have any fear. If I were to go anywhere else I would have fear. But not in [Nuevo] Progreso,” said Canadian native Debbie Ebel as she drank a beer at a table with a dozen other Canadians on the side of the road.
The Canadians in this group said they’ve visited Nuevo Progreso for nearly 20 years.
They’re not afraid to show the world how to have a good time in Mexico.
“All of the negative reporting and the fear reporting and I guess there is something to some of it, but maybe too much,” said Dan Baird, also a Canadian.
The key is to know when and where to plan a safe trip.
For a full list of Mexican states with travel warning, visit the State Department's website.