Before Jacob Laukaitis, 24, came to Mexico to travel the country by road, he had to convince his mother. "When I listened to where I wanted to go, I was not very excited," laughs the Lithuanian YouTuber, "I suppose you've heard the news."
Jacob Laukaitis, the Lithuanian YouTuber who traveled a month in Mexico to show that there is not only insecurity
Although one might think that the security problems mark the image of Mexico abroad, according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism, there are still many tourists who, like Laukaitis, want to know the Mexican reality for themselves. In the year 2017, the international tourism that arrived in Mexico grew by 4.7%, according to the most recent report. To this is added that for three years the New York Times has named Mexico City as its number one destination.
Laukaitis, who is a professional traveler with five years of experience, thought that the way to clarify his doubts and those of his mother about Mexico was through his acquaintances in the country. For his trip to Mexico, he had the support of his Mexican-American girlfriend and a trio of guides that he contacted in the ShowAround app, the group was joined by his video producer, Andrius Šešelgis. So began a month of travel by car
Leaving Mexico City heading north, the first priority of Laukaitis and Šešelgis was not to get lost, which seemed imminent as they climbed the mountains of the state of Hidalgo, in a journey of 12 hours of travel. But, says Laukaitis, their worries diminished when they came across the kindness of the inhabitants of the villages they came to. "We do not face any problems at all," he said when closing his video essay on his trip. "I love Mexico, and I'm already looking forward to returning!"
The video is a selection of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. In addition to exhibiting very busy sites, such as downtown Guanajuato, the Teotihuacán pyramids, and the Yucatan, Laukaitis and Šešelgis cenotes also explored sites that foreign tourists do not usually visit, such as La Joya Honda crater in San Luis Potosí, Mayan town of Zinacantán, Chiapas, and even a suspension bridge next to an Oaxacan highway. Both point out in the video the pleasure that comes from finding themselves alone in places of such greatness.
"We felt so free and alive crossing that beautiful bridge," says Laukaitis, while the video shows his hands sliding down the metal rope and the silhouettes of the pine trees of the forest. "We were literally the only human beings in the area, and we were totally surrounded by clouds that swallowed us whole." Another of the images highlighted in the video is a purple sunset that illuminates the flowery towers of the maguey. Despite the natural beauty, traveling alone can be a dangerous and unattractive adventure for groups like women. In Mexico, seven women are murdered every day, according to the UN, and seven out of 10 suffer some type of violence.
But according to Laukaitis, it is precisely for this reason that showing the beauty of Mexico is an act that goes beyond an aesthetic question and implies also highlighting the generosity of its people. "I want Mexicans to see how beautiful their country is, to be inspired to go and know it for themselves, and to realize that despite having their problems (like other countries in the world), the town is incredibly Friendly, friendly and hospitable. There are many reasons to be proud of. "