Spring-break trips to Tijuana can be dangerous

Yes, even good Christian teenagers can get busted in Tijuana or other popular drinking venues in Mexico.

A high school civics teacher in North County has heard countless stories of students making the short trip to Tijuana to party with their friends.

That’s why Greg Peterson has Dave “Chappy” Walden, the “gringo” chaplain at the La Mesa Jail in Tijuana, speak to his class at Rancho Bernardo High School before the Christmas or Easter breaks.

“He doesn’t tell people not to go,” Peterson said. “Instead, he tells them how important it is to be careful — how the teens can get separated, and that their best of plans can go really bad.”

Peterson said a Christian teenager might think he can be the designated driver and not drink, to be there for his or her friends, but that it’s still easy to get in trouble. “Chappy explains that they’re looking for an excuse to bust you.”

Peterson said Walden’s presentations open the eyes of many of his students. “He’s very vivid in telling them of the dangers. It’s a dangerous place to go.”

Walden has spoken to students at each of the high schools in the Poway district. He doesn’t preach “at” the students, but invites them to work at an orphanage in Tijuana or help with other ministries, Peterson said.

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