Monday, July 26, 2010

Walking Through Oz

Salvadorian family walks through the neighborhood

Walking through San Salvador yesterday I was warned about roving gangs of youths that would rob tourists or other unsuspecting, lucrative targets.  This is a common practice throughout the world but is easily countered with a few simple actions.
  • Find out where the high risk areas are, and avoid them.
  • If you have a guide or driver, trust their judgment.
  • Don't take valuables with you. Hiding them in what you think are clever areas, i.e., belly or waist pouches is a useless tactic.
  • Stay in well-populated areas.  Don't get lured off.
  • Stay together.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  If something doesn't feel right, it's not. Move back to safety.
  • If you have a driver, keep the car handy, know where it is.
  • Be purposeful in your posture, demeanor, and actions.
  • Keep things tucked away; cameras, cell phones, wallets, watches.  If it's out there, it'll get taken.

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