Ottawa adventure company stops Mexico trips
An adventure travel company based in the Ottawa valley has suspended its operations in Mexico citing security concerns.
Esprit Rafting Adventures hosts summer excursions in Davidson, Que. It has also offered trips to Mexico and Costa Rica between November and May since 1995.
But owner Jim Coffey says the danger in Mexico is too high to continue his business there right now.
He believes the danger is now heightened due to both a continuing drug war and a recent change of government after a presidential election.
"We're involved in the risk industry. We run whitewater rafting trips. It's hazardous on the river, but we can mitigate those risks," Coffey said. "But right now with the security issues in the country, those are things that we're not in control of."
Coffey also said 37 bodies were dumped last year just two hours away from the company's Mexico operation, which sits in a small village in the state of Veracruz.
The issue is more than just about business for him.
Coffey's son was born in the small village, which is also where his wife was born. His wife's family continues to live there.
He said he has shed many tears over the decision to cancel Mexico trips.
"I kind of feel like I'm in exile," he said.
"Here's a situation that we're not in control of at all that's forcing us from our winter home."
Coffey would not rule out a return to Mexico, but he did say the business would close for the near future.
He will run all his winter business out of Costa Rica.
The Ministry of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consulate Affairs) has not recently issued a travel advisory for the Veracruz area.
It does issue an ongoing advisory on its website.
"Due to high levels of organized crime and urban violence, Canadians should exercise extreme caution in the states of Guerrero (including Acapulco), Nayarit, Michoacán and Veracruz."