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retired travelers
Just wondering...about the Mexico border towns in Texas. We are planning on going to Mission, Texas (never been b/4). Is it safe if we stay on the US side? Are there problems on both sides? I have relatives in AZ. and they have told me they stay away from towns close to Mexico because they are having lots of drug and gun problems. Is this true for Texas also?
Florida Native
We were in Brownsville last summer, but stayed about 20 miles North of there. I considered Brownsville to be a pretty rough town. I would not go there at night. We stayed at Mission for one night at the Camping World store for free and had no problems. I hear on the news that the border towns have become much worse on both sides. If you go to Mission, be sure to eat at Peppie's which is right on the river.
abbygolden
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 4 2009, 06:39 PM) *

We were in Brownsville last summer, but stayed about 20 miles North of there. I considered Brownsville to be a pretty rough town. I would not go there at night. We stayed at Mission for one night at the Camping World store for free and had no problems. I hear on the news that the border towns have become much worse on both sides. If you go to Mission, be sure to eat at Peppie's which is right on the river.


It's not much different than staying in NYC, Seattle, Minneapolis, etc. There are problems everywhere, not just in Texas. Use common sense and you will be fine.
Texasrvers
I agree with abbygolden. The Brownsville/Mission area, AKA The Valley, is generally safe. Just take the normal precautions that you would in any strange place. There will be safe and unsafe areas just like anywhere else you go. We do hear about problems in the Mexican border towns from time to time, but the RV park you stay in should be able to alert you to any unsafe conditions. I personally would not hesitate to go to the area, but I would be a little more cautious about crossing into Mexico. We used to cross several times a year, but that was years ago. Our most recent crossing was about 5 years ago. We never had a problem, and I never felt unsafe, but we made sure to stay in the tourist areas. Just ask the locals. They will be able to give you the best advice.
stonybirch
We have stayed in the Rio Grande Valley for the past three winters. Did have problems in one RV park with items (chairs, BBQs, bikes, etc) being stolen--the park is not fenced nor secure in any way. The street that had problems was on a public street against a so so neighborhood. We have always crossed over to Mexico in Nuevo Progresso, last yr there was military with arms (guns) just standing at the end of the walking bridge, but that was all we saw. One day four of us ladies went by ourselves and never had a problem--just had fun looking! Two yrs ago we went across the hand drawn ferry to another village about 2 miles south of the river. It was not at all like Progresso---no tourist, no vendors, no beggars. Most shops were closed as it was on a Sunday. It was much cleaner and very quaint. We enjoyed walking around just looking.

Any problems are pretty much talked about on the news stations in that area. Just use common sense, and have fun!
KMencel
QUOTE(retired travelers @ Sep 3 2009, 09:06 PM) *

Just wondering...about the Mexico border towns in Texas. We are planning on going to Mission, Texas (never been b/4). Is it safe if we stay on the US side? Are there problems on both sides? I have relatives in AZ. and they have told me they stay away from towns close to Mexico because they are having lots of drug and gun problems. Is this true for Texas also?

I have spent the last 9 years living in an Rv Park in Mission, Tx. during the Winters and a couple of those years year round. It is as safe as just about anywhere in the nation. The local people are delightful and I have many friends in and out of the RV community. The last time I went across the border was this spring into Nuevo Progresso. I feel safe and comfortable there. I park my car in the US and walk across the bridge. The RV park I live in is gated, but is only locked at night. There have been a few thefts over the years, but common sense helps to avoid that. I have personally never experienced any violence.

My parents lived in Mission from 1978 until last Spring when my father died at age 94. The only time they locked their house was when they were going to be gone overnight. I wouldn't recommend that now.
Karen
bigredoes
We also stayed in Mission last winter and are returning this winter. Progresso is our choice for 'Mexico". We did go to Reynosa once and I would not recommend going. As everyone has stated use the same precautions you use everywhere else.

Do you have a specific RV park in mind?
Farmerswife
Oh boy!! Do I ever disagree with the mild mannered responses to this question. We love the Mexican culture and the Tex-Mex atmosphere BUT times have changed in Brownsville and Mission and when we stayed at Bentsen Palm, an expensive gated park in Mission, this year the helicopters from the border patrol were flying over our campground at night, the news was very unsettling with reports of shootings and bodies found on the road, and people did not want to leave their trucks in shopping center parking lots for fear of theft. This is due to the drug war on the other side of the border, but none-the-less this is a reality that we would not find in many of our cities--at least since Al Capone has been gone.

I would caution anyone who finds all this commotion unsettling to stay out of the valley until the border/drug issues are settled!!
tworootless
You can flame me all you want. . . As a retired police officer from the dreads of NYC !!! I've always felt safer on this side of the border. Try and call a cop in the surrounding countries. . .
We spent 4 months on Brownsville, TX years before all the shooting was made public. Didn't feel safe then. Especially after our $1,000 bikes were stolen from a barbed wired fenced park we were working at. "Welcome to Brownsville" The officer said after taking our information to collect on the insurance.
What I can not understand is this: Yes, the climate during the winter is nice most times. There are no beaches to speak of, and there are only a couple of sea food restaurants that serve acceptable food. The Catina's are colorful and if you could get an winter Texan to shut up long enough, you might be able to enjoy the 12 string guitars and songs.
So retired folks drive hundreds of miles to stay in a gated community, surrounded by high walls. (Prisons have these don't they?) Most don't venture to far at night, and many are leery about crossing a border into a 3rd world country to save on med's. . . Sounds like fun to me.
stonybirch
rolleyes.gif We are again in the Rio Grande Valley--this time for almost 4 months! We have been to Nuevo Progresso at least 2 dozen times. Heard about an incident that happened before our arrival, there were so many rumors flying around we really didn't know what to think. Went across the bridge at Progresso each time with no problems. In fact, the town seems to be trying to clean the tourist area up with repaired walk ways and plazas, lots more shops are open with some different items for sale. Just remember Mexico is a third world country.

I am a tad upset about the previous posters remarks. Not all of us are in fenced & locked communities, nor are we hundled inside our rvs or seasonal home. Most of the RV parks have tons of activities going during the day and evenings. If not out and about within the parks, we are shopping in the many malls, and local shops, visiting friends in other areas, listening to a variety of music in schools, community centers, art centers, as well as local establishments! There lots to see and do! And most of us stay up past 8 pm! We have met sooo many wonderful people and made some great friends many states and Canada. I didn't mention all great fresh fruit and veggies Maybe the poster should try visiting some of gated and locked communities (with $1.0 million + homes)--they have thefts and vandalism, too! We've been there!

By the way have you visited AZ, NM, MS, AL, LA, OK?? Some of the areas in these states are far worse than the Rio Grande Valley.
tworootless
QUOTE(stonybirch @ Mar 20 2010, 11:16 PM) *

rolleyes.gif We are again in the Rio Grande Valley--this time for almost 4 months! We have been to Nuevo Progresso at least 2 dozen times. Heard about an incident that happened before our arrival, there were so many rumors flying around we really didn't know what to think. Went across the bridge at Progresso each time with no problems. In fact, the town seems to be trying to clean the tourist area up with repaired walk ways and plazas, lots more shops are open with some different items for sale. Just remember Mexico is a third world country.

I am a tad upset about the previous posters remarks. Not all of us are in fenced & locked communities, nor are we hundled inside our rvs or seasonal home. Most of the RV parks have tons of activities going during the day and evenings. If not out and about within the parks, we are shopping in the many malls, and local shops, visiting friends in other areas, listening to a variety of music in schools, community centers, art centers, as well as local establishments! There lots to see and do! And most of us stay up past 8 pm! We have met sooo many wonderful people and made some great friends many states and Canada. I didn't mention all great fresh fruit and veggies Maybe the poster should try visiting some of gated and locked communities (with $1.0 million + homes)--they have thefts and vandalism, too! We've been there!

By the way have you visited AZ, NM, MS, AL, LA, OK?? Some of the areas in these states are far worse than the Rio Grande Valley.


Been around most of this country without any issues. Brownsville, to date in 11 years has been the only place anything was stolen, or did I feel safe... Yes, all the RV parks on the border are fenced and gated!
dbnck
> people did not want to leave their trucks in shopping center
> parking lots for fear of theft.

For the record, there's a rash of truck thefts all the way up in Austin, which is 350 miles from Brownsville. It's a particular truck, though--Ford F250 Diesel, and the thinking is that they're involved in smuggling. I'm not afraid to park my regular car in any shopping center in Texas.

> Didn't feel safe then. Especially after our $1,000 bikes were stolen
> from a barbed wired fenced park we were working at.

The only time I feel secure my bike is unlikely to get stolen is when it's inside somewhere. I worry any time it's outside, even behind a fence, despite the fact that it's always locked.

Not to downplay the problems in border towns, but if these two incidents are problematic for people, they need to stay away from Austin, too.

OldSoldier
I live on the Border in Arizona.

Anywhere near the border on EITHER side is problematic now a days.

If you wish to explore at, near, or around the border area, I'd recommend you do it during daylight hours. Be on the north side of the border at sunset, PERIOD.

Use common sense, park in well travelled areas. Stay in well trafficed areas and away from back streets and alleys. Travel in groups; preferably more than 2, at least 2. Keep you wallet or money in front pocket, not rear.

Enjoy yourself! Just be alert and careful.

cool.gif
Florida Native
To me, there is a big difference between Mission and Bownsville, at least downtown Brownsville. To me, it is just like Mexico and we were not comfortable there at all. We stayed at an RV park about 15 miles North of it and were fine, but the question was about border towns and Brownsville downtown is a boarder town. We stayed in Mission and felt much safer. We even boondocked at the Camping World in Mission, ate at the famous Pepe's.
Texasrvers
There is no doubt that things have changed drastically since the last time we crossed the border 5 years ago, and even more so just since this thread was started. However, I would still have no trouble staying in a US border town, but I would now think twice about going into Mexico.
PirateJohn
We came to RGV last year for 4 months. Came back this year and have been here for about 6 months. Girlfriend and I both like the place well enough that we have taken jobs and are planning to stay year round.

This area is unique in the USA. You have low prices, tropical climate, access to Mexico, access to the ocean, and it's 85% Hispanic, all in one location.

Mission and McAllen are quite nice, peaceful areas.

Most of the RV parks around here are their own little fenced in and gated communities. They are as safe as safe can be.

Yes, the places on the river (Chimney Park and Bentsen Palm for example) are smack dab in areas where migrants cross and there is a heavy Border Patrol presence.

This part of Mexico has been among the safest until a few months ago. Most folks think that the shooting is going to die off in a few weeks to a few months as the Zetas run out of steam.

I've traveled (motorcycled) into Mexico as far as the northern edge of Veracruz. 99% of the folks that you meet in Mexico are friendly and the recent troubles irritate them more than it irritates most gringo travelers.

At this point very little violence has crossed over to the US side.
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