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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #1
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Mexico Bound

Anyone have any experience traveling to Mexico?
I am flying to San Jose del Cabo to film a wedding.
Any hints and tips for travel would be appreciated.
How about customs? I plan on bringing a couple of cameras (Sony EX1 and Canon XHA1) and a couple of tripods and a wireless mic. Anything special that I need to know about or do ahead of time to make getting through customs easier?

Thanks in advance.
Paul
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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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I was just there a few weeks ago and I didn't have any major issues. I was fortunate to be meeting a team that had already driven down there a few days before, so I send most of my gear with them and just carried on a few items - didn't have to check anything.

I did get some attention going through security, but it was mainly curiosity, nothing else. Just be prepared to have to turn things on or answer a few questions, but they seemed pretty understanding of it - must have a few videographers fly now and again.

Customs wasn't bad, just don't try to videotape it... (-: We had a girl who tried to tape while going across the border and they stopped her and made her erase it all. Just be polite and courteous and explain anything. They might ask for bribes because they will assume you're loaded.

Someone told me to make a list of everything I was carrying on, but I never did that - I just opened up my bags and made sure it was all accessible and it went fine. I had more trouble with airline security than I did with customs.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 11:47 PM   #3
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Customs isnt a problem. If your driving around though its a good idea to have some bribe money on you. Drink lots of coronitas and eat tacos de pastor.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #4
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huh ?

Excuse me Paul. I've lived in latin america since 1986. I've lived in mexico since 1990. There are rules about what you can enter as a tourist. These are rules that you should follow unless you're culturally and linguistically aware . You should not try to bribe an official unless you're fluent in spanish and know something about the mexican psyche- i.e. how to read people , in mexico. You can legally only enter one camcorder and one still camera. It says this on the mexican aduana brochure that they give you when you're filling out your tourist visa. However you don't want to have two camcorders packed and then discover at the airport that one of them will be the victim of impromptu justice , the results of which will be decided by the whims of whatever aduana agent or agents you come in contact with. Trust me . I also traveled annually in mexico and guatemale every year from 1970 to 1986. I know alot about mexico. You're lucky I happened to read your post.k

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Old September 25th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #5
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Paul, would you write me please.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old September 26th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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A co-worker of mine show down in Mexico at an energy facility. One of the guards thought he was mexican media and pointed his m-16 at him. As soon as he found out the crew was NBC the mood instantly changed, and the guard was very apologetic and afraid of getting in trouble. Everything after that went smoothly and everyone was on their way. Mexico's media is very notorious for being "in your face" to get the shot and have little regards, its just the way things are. That's why the guard reacted the way he did.

Don't drink the water. I second the motion on the coronitas! have fun, and try not to get married yourself!
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Old February 27th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #7
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Seems to me this thread was never really answered...

So now I have a wedding shoot in San Jose Del Cabo. Management at the hotel has explained to us that Immigration has been conducting random inspections at all the major venues, seizing equipment when visas and paperwork are not in order. This is probably due to the fact that those people checked the box "visiting for pleasure" rather than "business" thus getting caught working in the country with the wrong visa.

I'm traveling with JVC GY-HD200's so my cameras attract way more attention than the "bread loaf" cameras, thus the need for everything to be legit.

So does anyone know for sure? Do we need a Carnet?

I'm already planning a trip to the consulate here in SF but I just wanted to check here as well.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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I've never in 100 entries tried to enter on a work permit visa - Do they even issue temporary work permit visas ? I've never heard of it , but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist . Every work permit I've ever been aware is only issued on the fm2 and fm3 type passorts for foreigners . Make sure it's true . Also I keep hearing stories lately about Americans getting one kind of information at an interior mexican consulate office , and a completely different version once they reach an entry point . In mexico , the entry aduaneros are a rule procedure unto themselves . The first 20 years that I traveled in Mexico and Cent. Am , I always traveled by the most trusted and well known rule of global travelers - Never take what you can't afford to loose ! My advice is buy a new camera that doesn't attract so much attention . There are alot of reasons for doing so .
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Old February 28th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
I'm already planning a trip to the consulate here in SF but I just wanted to check here as well.
Hey Justin,
Keep us posted as to what they tell you at the consulate.
Thanks!
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Old March 1st, 2009, 12:44 AM   #10
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Try this links for official info:

Instituto Nacional de Migración
Pasajeros - English version - SAT México

If you want to apply for a work permit think twice about it, bureaucracy is slow in México. My advise will be to travel as a tourist with just one video (the smallest one) and one still camera. Dollars go a long way in México, maybe it's even cheaper for you to hire assistants and equipment in México.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 08:33 AM   #11
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Paul and Justin - guys , listen to Rodrigo and I . We have many accumulated years of living in Mexico . You can enter easily on a tourist visa with a video camera the size of a z1 , and a dslr with a few lenses . But if you try for more , the customs agent just might take a liking to your camera ! I know a woman who crosses goods for a living . She lost a new vehicle that way . Forget the work permit . I've never heard of temporary work permits . Maybe they exist but at a corporate level where lawyers are manipulating the process . Only international press would be allowed in with full size shoulder mounted cameras w/o problems. That's primarily the reason I went for the z1 over the jvc . You see alot of tourist with these type of camcorders but you don't see any , I mean any , with shoulder mount . And I wouldn't trust the information you receive as being gospel from an interior consulate office either .
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