When Deborah Johannes visits her family’s beach cottage in the Mexican village of Popotla, just south of Rosarito, she travels, sans jewelry, in a low-profile Jeep Patriot.
“You don’t go driving a BMW in Mexico,” the La Cañada Flintridge resident said.
During her most recent trip she left her teenage son at home, even though he was on spring break.
“We would have loved to have our son take his friends down and surf, but none of the parents wanted to let their kids go with us,” Johannes said.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s drug war has created an international public relations crisis for Mexico. Crime, coupled with the global recession, has hit the country hard. Air travel from the United States to Mexico dropped 11% in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A U.S. State Department travel warning for Mexico remains in effect, and several colleges and universities, including USC, warned its students against spending spring break south of the border.