Border Tours

One local man is going out of his way to show you Mexico is safe

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP/Denis Poroy
    Tijuana.

    It has been one of the bloodiest weeks ever in Mexico's drug wars. 35 people were killed in border towns. 19 died in a drug rehab center when 30 gunmen burst in and opened fire.

    Amid all the violence, a San Diegan is trying to promote tourism along our border. He argues that there's a lot more to the region than violence.

    Just across the border a group welcomes dozens of San Diegans to Mexico. The invitation promises a unique view of the border region, without any tourist traps.

    “There are Americans who are curious about Tijuana and want to know more about it, but they just don't know where to begin,” Derrik Chin said.

    “I've never crossed the border before and I'm kind of new to this whole experience and somewhat intimidated by the stories that I heard,” said University Heights resident Jessica McCambly.

    28-year-old Chin works in San Diego as a photographer. For the last three years he has lived in Tijuana. 6 months ago, he decided to create a group called "Turista Libre" or Free Tourist.

    “The idea is to show Americans the side of Tijuana that its locals see on a daily basis," Chin said. “I've had people from as far as Israel, people who have never stepped foot into Mexico before.”

    On Saturday, a group headed to see an eccentric character who is looking to break a Guinness World Record by having the most toys surrounding his home. His last count was 33,000 toys, but he still needs about 3,000 to go. 

    At times the activities are so different, that even people who live in Tijuana have joined in, Chin said.

    The tours are free.