Our opening reception will take place Thursday, March 17 in Juárez, Mexico. Plans are underway and we think the event will be awesome.
We know some of you have concerns about traveling to Mexico so I wanted to address them here.
Safety in Mexico
There is a travel advisory for Mexico, as there are for many other countries. In fact, the US State Department currently has 213 travel advisories in effect. And in the state of Chihuahua, a carve out is made for the city of Juárez, which the US State Department specifically calls out for US government employee travel.
Millions of Americans travel to Mexico each year. I myself was just in Baja California Sur for 10 days to run a kayak tour, taking an extra three days to rent a car and drive around the area on my own, including in rural areas and at night. My experience in Mexico is similar to my experience around much of the world: it always pays to be alert and cautious but I never felt my safety to be in jeopardy. With the IFBC trip, we will be in a group and with local guides the entire time.
Border Crossing is Difficult
The reality is El Paso and Juárez consider themselves sister cities. Some people work on one side of the border and live on the other side, crossing daily. We don’t want to over promise but, in general, crossing the border from El Paso into Mexico and back is routine and presents few problems.
COVID is a Concern in Mexico
The Centers for Disease Control classify Mexico as a Level 3 country, with High levels of COVID-19. Sounds bad. Except the recommendation is that people be vaccinated before they travel there, which is pretty much the recommendation for the entire world. In fact, at the time of this writing most of Europe is at Level 4 and the US qualifies for that as well if it were given a travel advisory level!
On my recent trip to Mexico, I found mask wearing to be much more commonplace than it is in the various US states I have visited this year. Plus, US citizens and lawful permanent residents can return to the US via a land border without a COVID test, regardless of vaccination status, so there is no risk of getting trapped in Mexico.
We are very excited to be holding the International Food Blogger Conference in El Paso. A big part of the reason for our excitement is we think the Latin heritage and culture will make for a great host city with excellent local food. Visiting the sister city of Juárez is integral to this and we think you will love the pre-conference excursion and opening reception there, which is included in your IFBC registration.