I had just finished reading the last part ("A Child's Burden," by Richard Marosi) of the profoundly moving series "Product of Mexico," which ran on the front page of the Dec. 14 L.A. Times.
Then I turned to the Travel section. There was a cover piece ("Resorts Make a Splash," by Rosemary McClure) on a luxury resort in Mexico, with rates from $587!
The contrast was a shock — a heartbreaking story on Page 1 juxtaposed with a piece catering to the wealthy.
How many tortillas could $587 buy for Alejandrina, the 12-year-old in the story who works the fields in southern Sinaloa, Mexico, eating only tortillas for breakfast? How many shoes? Or sleeping bags for her fellow workers?
San Luis Obispo
Advice on euro
I read with interest letters in the Dec. 14 Travel section ("Cash in Hand") about the exchange rate for the euro, the official currency of European Union members.
Not all EU countries use the euro. What is certain is the variability of exchange rates. The Economist recently showed "currency units per dollar" at 0.81 (and a year ago, 0.73), meaning you will need about $1.20 to exchange for a euro this year.
One letter writer recently bought euros in the U.S. for $1.40 (plus a small bank fee). In Europe, Schwab gave the writer euros for $1.28.
Do let the euro buyer beware. Shop around early, and save some money.
Robert E. Tumelty
Amen to the Dec. 14 letter ("Hotel Bathrooms") about the lack of counter space in hotel bathrooms.
Another thing hotels haven't figured out is a place for two suitcases. Is that so difficult?
I often travel with my adult daughter; we do not share one suitcase — and hers ends up on the floor. Is an additional folding rack so expensive?
LAX vs. Ontario
In regard to the Dec. 14 "On the Spot" column about the cost of tickets from Ontario airport: The story ("Airport Convenience Comes at a Price," by Catharine Hamm) focuses on the cost of the ticket. Missing from this issue and worthy of consideration is the "add-on" cost of travel to LAX via shuttle/van or personal vehicle on the busy freeway into the buzz saw of the airport. If you're in your own car, add the per-day cost to park, never mind the stress of driving there.
Consider these factors when you consider the price you pay for convenience. With Ontario, you spend less time and you experience less stress.
By the way, friends in the Riverside/Ontario area will take their car directly to Las Vegas rather than drive to LAX for a short flight to Vegas.