January 3, 2011

Creating Awareness – what you should know before traveling to Mexico

Nolan was only 22 years young when he died. Andrew was 16. Brent was 8. Hunter was 9.

These four young people all died in Mexico while on vacation….. while on v a c a t i o n. Now their parents, family and friends live every single day without them, missing them so deeply. In the words of one Mom – ‘with an empty feeling that still remains in my heart.’

My friend, Moe, formed the non-profit organization Mexico Vacation Awareness after her son, Nolan, died in 2007. Nolan was a bright light in this world. If you did not personally know Nolan you simply had to read some of the entries on the guest book on Legacy.com to understand how he touched the lives of others. For those of us who have children, we may think we can imagine the pain and suffering associated with our precious child leaving this world before us, but truly – I don’t think we can ever know unless it happened to us.

Mexico Vacation Awareness (MVA) was formed with the hope of achieving two main objectives. The first objective is to create awareness about the many unknown dangers that await you when traveling to Mexico and the second objective is to have a place for victims and their families to tell their seemingly unbelievable stories. For more information about Mexico Vacation Awareness, and stories that these families undoubtedly wish they knew before they booked their trips, click here.

Though it is likely I will not be going to Mexico anytime soon (yes, some due to fear based on what I now know and also due to the fact that there is so much I have not yet seen in our country), I have a very good friend who leads a group of yoga students in a retreat to Mexico every January. She has been doing this for 10 years – see what Mimi has to say about her trips to Mexico. Just this week Mimi posted an interesting entry on her blog about fear and crossing the border to Mexico with her family – they are traveling to Mexico by way of RV.

I offer you both sides of the story so you have information, so you are aware, so you can make an informed decision – not based on fear, but based on real stories of people who have had safe trips to Mexico and others who have the worst story imaginable.

In honor of Nolan (on the right in the photo), during the week of the 4th anniversary of his death, I am donating the first GIVING funds of 2011 (for more info – see Giving entry on my blog – Living Life, Making Choices) to Mexico Vacation Awareness. I would appreciate it if you join me in donating to this very important cause to help support the continued work of MVA. Moe is committed to increasing awareness so when we travel outside of the US, we have the information required to make an educated decision. In 2009 she worked with Congressman Ed Markey and together they formed The International Travelers Bill of Rights Act – a bill designed to protect Americans traveling abroad through better disclosure of health, safety conditions at overseas destinations. In 2010 Moe spent countless hours speaking with and assisting many new “victims”. She also continues to maintain and update the MVA website so we have the most current information about safe travel abroad. A couple of her goals for 2011 are to continue to support other families affected by tragedy and work to get the International Travelers Bill of Rights Act signed into law. She hopes to have a companion bill introduced by the Senate early this year to help her achieve this goal.

MVA is a small, one person organization and I know the Webster family would really appreciate your support. A donation of any size would help – please send your tax deductible donation to:

Mexico Vacation Awareness Organization
P.O. Box 147
Woburn, MA 01801

My thoughts and prayers are with Nolan’s parents Moe and Billy and his brother Ryan (on the left of the photo) knowing how much they miss him every single day and also as they celebrate how fully he lived his life – let’s all think about that as we begin a new year and consider living more fully in honor of our loved ones who are no longer with us.

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