New to Rosarito.....
Water- do not drink the water. Drink only purified water. Almost all restaurants that serve water will serve pure water. Almost everyone I know brushes their teeth w/ tap water, just don’t swallow.
Fruits & Veggies- they need to be cleaned/soaked in beach, vinegar, or iodine. Ck online for pro’s & con’s.
Toilets- There should be a trash can next to the toilet. It is for the paper. The pipes and septics in Mexico do not tolerate ‘extra’ waste. It will haunt you or who’s house you are at. It is a habit you need to re-learn.
TV- Dish, Direct are both available, and reasonable. If you have a dish on your house, you can get US satilite programing as well.
Restaurants- most restaurants and taco stands are good and safe to eat at. La Estancia, El Nido, Los Pelicanos are great Mexican & steak places. Mongolian Grill has excellent Asian food.
Propane- most homes have propane tanks. Be careful. When they are empty, you must wait until they fill it up! Z gas and Star gas come to your house. Be sure to keep an eye on them, you don’t always get what you pay for. Be sure the meter starts on zero (at the regular gas station too!)
Utility service- for wáter, phone/internet, and electricity, many use a service for about $5 a month, and then you just keep $ in your account. Otherwise, you have to physically go & pay the bill each month at each place (that can take a while!). Cuadros $90 a year, Bernie’s $60 a yr?, both offer this. Cuadros has a website, and online pay options, Bernie’s does not. I have used both, both good.
Car Ins- Cuadros, Bernie’s, y Bajabound all seem to sell the same plans. BUT, in Mexico, you can insure your car, and anyone who drives it is covered. Or you can insure the driver for the same rate, and any car you drive is covered. Most policies cover 2 cars or 2 drivers, for about $20 a month for liability.
As of January 1st 2012, anyone who will be involved in a traffic accident or who simply commits a traffic violation will be required to show proof of having a MEXICAN insurance policy.
We also want to remind you of the importance of verifying with your U.S. Insurance carrier that you will need not only an extension to cover physical damage or theft of your vehicle, but also that you must have a SEPARATE Mexican policy to provide minimum Liability coverage. No matter what, you will need two SEPARATE policies!
Should you have any additional question or comment regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to call, visit or e-mail. Remember, Mexican laws are entirely different from U.S. laws. In Mexico, if you are involved in a Bodily Injury accident or even a DUI, you will be automatically incarcerated.
Sentri- best way to cross border. Costs about $122 a person, + $40 for your car, good for 5 years. Average wait about 5 min?
Fast Pass- eat at Monogolian Grill, spend $25, and buy a cookie for 50 pesos, get a 1 day pass good for entire car.
Spend $50, pass is free.
$ Exchange- Usually it is better to pay in pesos, but not always. Know the current Exchange rate. It can vary as much as .50 a day. Ck here. Banks charge an Exchange fee. Schwab bank reimburses the fee. Bank of America has a free agreement with Santander Bank. Citi Bank has a similiar agreement with Banomer. The fee is often the same if you Exchange $5 or $500, so do more. Follow the rate, and then Exchange once a month.
Bike shop- Arturo’s, on the free road, about 2 miles N of the Ford dealer, on the ocean side. (661) 100-10-63
Auto shop- Cokey’s in Reforma (near Walmart, playa Santa Monica), may not be cheapest, but he goes to CCR and I trust him. There are also some great guys at church that can help, especially with smaller repairs.
Helpful WebSites – see below
Learn Spanish– see below
Rehabilitation Centers– see below
Travel Information & Visas– see below
Telephone & Internet– see below
Doctors– see below
Dentists– see below
Importing a Vehicle– see below
Getting a Mexican License– see below
Pets– see below
Bible Study Too– see below
INFORMATIVE WEB SITES
Canadian Consulate (registering on line)
Canadian Passports (on line applications)
Canadian Tax Laws
Children’s Training Materials
Donations to Mexico uniontrib.com/more/donationguide
Hotels US (Cheap) priceline.com
Spanish language schools
(talk to Mike Mc Donald for further information)
Translate on line
U-Turn4Christ in Maneadero
Travel report for Mexico
Visas MEXICO VISAS FM3, FM2 AND FMM INFORMATION
MODES OF COMMUNICATION
Baja California Norte is very modernized. Communication can be made in many ways.
Telephones (land line)- Telnor is the provider of house and business telephones. To hook up your house telephone call 01 800 025 25 25 They do have English operators.
Internet Service Provider-Prodigy is the name of the internet division of Telnor where you can get your internet hooked up. You can get phone and internet for less than $30 a month. It works well.
Cell Phones- Verizon Wireless is the company that most YUGO Missionaries use. Check into the plan that has 1000 free minutes from Verizon to Verizon (does not apply in Mexico).
NEXTEL-Cell phone/two way radios is commonly used in Mexico. NEXTEL representatives can be found all over Mexico and the US
MOVISTAR-Mexican cell phone. .57 cents a call for up to 30 min and less than that when calling another Moviestar
Internet Phone- Vonage has an international plan that costs you $30.00 US per month for unlimited calling. For this plan you must have DSL.
Magic Jack- $20 start up, $20 year, or $69 for 5 years. Internet phone service. Unlimited use. We LOVE it!
Long distance to the USA from anywhere in the world (free)
Mexican Pay Phones The ability to call for help is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the Mexican phone system before you need it. Don't wait for an emergency, then to try to figure it out. Pay phones are very plentiful, but finding one that takes coins can be difficult in some areas, therefore it is best to get a Ladatel prepaid card. They can be purchased at almost every corner market. Ignore the "Call Home For Only... ." advertisement the payphones saying you can use your own credit card. They are VERY expensive. Use the local phone card instead. Most have instructions in English and are easy to use ('marque el numero" means `enter the number' and "lada" means `area code').
Making a call in Mexico, like the USA, has a three-digit area code and a seven-digit local number. All current phone books now use the familiar (555) 555-5555 groupings.
Baja California Norte Area Codes:
Tijuana La Mision
665 Baja Mar
La Rumerosa Punta Banda
661 San Vicente
Rosarito Santo Tomas
Primo Tapia Valle De Trinidad Ciudad Const.
Mexicali San Quintin
San Felipe El Rosario
Bahia de los Angeles
All instructions below apply to making calls from a landline. Local Calls: Dial the seven-digit number. Long Distance Calls: Very similar to dialing in the States. The only difference is they use "01" instead of "1". 01 (area code) + seven-digit number.
Calling the US/Canada from Mexico: 00 + 1 + area code + seven-digit number
Other International Calls: 00 + country code + area/city code + seven-digit number Operator Assisted Long Distance Calls: Within Mexico 020. International, 090 For Collect Calls within Mexico: 091 + area code + number
Local Information (bilingual operator): 040 (Baja Norte only)
Calling Mexico from US/Canada: Add the international code 011, and the country code, 52. 011 + 52 + area code + seven-digit number.
Calling a US 800 Number: If you need to make a call to an 800 number in the United States, the 800 must be replaced with another code in order to go through. The call will not be toll free, but will go through. The codes changes are:
800 =880+ seven digit number
888 =881+ seven digit number
877 =882+ seven digit number
866 =883+ seven digit number
Example: 1-800-555-1234 from Mexico is 001-880-555-1234.
Calling a Mexican Cell Phone:
Numbers that start with 044 are Mexican cell phones. When calling a local Mexican cell phone must always enter 044 and the local area code before the seven-digit number. 044 is only used for local calls. 045 is used for long distance cell phone calls
All other calls to a Mexican cell phone are just like calling a landline.
Using Your Own Cell Phone
Check with your cell phone company for coverage in Baja. Cell service is generally only available in urban areas and non-existent in isolated communities... even along the highway. If your US service works, you will be on "Roaming". Therefore, to call any of the numbers in this guide, it will be an international call.
Mexican Cellular service. The most prominent providers are Telcel, and MoviStar. Their "authorized dealers" are located in all commercial areas. For around $20 you can have your existing phone assigned a Mexican phone number and a small amount of prepaid airtime.
Dr. Alberto Manuel Servin Diaz (recommended by Mike Mc Donald)
Neumologia y Trastornos del Sueno Hospital Angeles Consultorio: 701
Dr. Jose Rodríguez Gtz. (recommended by Cheryl Hoople)
Attention de la Familia y Partos Clinica Primavea
Dra Miriam Virgen Casillas 661 613 3950 044 661 850 9539 (recommended by Jeff & Bonnie), near church.
Dra. Leticia Galvan Huerta (recommended by Cheryl Hoople) Phone: 661-612-6972 661-613-0197
Address: Lazaro Cardenas No-15 A, Col. Machado, Playas de Rosarito
Dr. Jesus Vasquez G. (recommended by Ed Monzano) Phone: 664-685-5366 619-948-1004
Address: Calle 4 #7377-208 Zona Centro
Ezequiel Lagos, 664-680-2386 (recommended by Stacy Furgeson) biologicaldent.com
Note: Dr. Lagos has agreed to give all YUGO Missionaries 50% discount.
Sergio Cortez Phone: 664-688-0679 Address: Ave. 5 de Mayo 841 in Zona Centro, Tijuana
Red Cross: The Red Cross is in down town Rosarito. The Red Cross is similar to an emergency room in a local hospital.
Hospital Angeles (Down Town Tijuana)
Paseo de la Peroes #10999
There is also a clinic/ hospital here in Rosarito they recommended: hospital jardon 661-612-3305
it is on benito juarez south East of the hotel rosarito beach
SCAT (second Chance Animal Alliance) 661-613-0737 Ask for Karen
Low Cost animal Spaying.
Mexican Health Care Facilities
There are several different government run facilities: Cruz Roja (Red Cross), Centros De Salud, IMSS Hospitals & ISSSTE Hospitals. Cruz Rojas & Centros De Salud are free of charge to Mexican nationals and reasonably priced for foreigners. IMSS & ISSSTE hospitals are for Government employees or Mexican workers enrolled in a health care program. In the larger cities there are privately run hospitals as well. All are required by law to assist foreigners in emergency situations
Mexico has come a long way to get rid of corrupt policemen, but there are still some out there. If a policeman stops you for a traffic offense, it is illegal for him to suggest that you pay the fine to him (and of course it is just as illegal for you to offer to pay him). If you speak some Spanish, you may not want them to know. If the officer cannot make himself understood, he may get frustrated and let you go. At all times be polite and act slightly "clueless". Having an "attitude" is the quickest way to jail.
If he speaks enough English so that you understand that he wants to give you a ticket and you have to pay him or go to the police station, opt for the police station. There is an internal affairs department in Mexican law enforcement called Sindicatura. (SEEN-DEE-KA-TOORA) The mention of this word will usually stop a bribe attempt in its tracks.
If you are issued a traffic citation in Tijuana, you can pay by mail in the US with a check or money order. Call the Tourist Hotline 078 (No cell phones) or (664) 634-6330, (664) 634-6574 for more information. If you go to the office in TJ to pay, it could be ½ price or less than the tickets says!
About Emergency Numbers
The cities have emergency numbers similar to our 911. However, unlike 911, they are different for each city. Medical and police sometimes have separate numbers. Also, you cannot call a three-digit number from an out-of-area cell phone.
The Baja California Norte State tourism office has a
Tourist Hotline - 078. If you have any questions, get arrested, you are lost or need to find a particular service, you may call the hotline. It is available 7 days a week throughout the state: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat & Sun 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. However, it cannot be called from any cell phone so in that case, call the local office nearest you. The police emergency hotline for the border area is good as far south as Maneadero and San Felipe.
Green Angels: They offer free roadside service, including towing, on area highways. (Gratuities accepted) Look for the green truck.. .they are there to help you.
Mex Hwy. 1, from Tijuana to Ensenada:01 800 990-3900
Mex. Hwy. 2, from Tijuana to Tecate: 01 800 888-0911
Mex. Hwy. 2, from Tecate to La Rumerosa: 01 800 990-3900
Tijuana-Baja California Bus Terminal (664) 688-0082, 688-0045, 685-8748
Tijuana International Airport (664) 607-8200
Mexico - TIJUANA
(information so you can register and let them know you are you living in Mexico or call in case of an emergency)
Consulate of Canada
Address: Germán Gedovius No.10411-101, Condominio del Parque, Zona Río, 22320 Tijuana, Baja California Norte, México Tel.: 52 (664) 684-0461 Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 001-800-514-0129 Fax: 52 (664) 684-0301 E-Mail:
Consulate of USA
Tijuana Consulate General at 011-52 (664) 622-7400. After hours or on weekends, one can call the emergency answering service at (619) 692-2154 or, as a last resource, the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the U.S. at 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours).
How To Use This Guide (keep it with your Mexican Insurance)
1. Investigate what coverage you have with your current health insurance regarding foreign services and for emergency evacuation (air and ground).
2. Buy Mexican Auto insurance if you are driving. Consider adding emergency Air Evacuation if it is not covered in your health insurance. Another provider is
3. Highly Recommended: A $45 membership to the non-profit organization Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee. They will act as your advocate and intermediary between the two governments, insurance and medical transport. This is the best deal there is. For more information visit their website at
4. Carry originals of your doctor's prescriptions of all medications you take. If you intend to buy prescription drugs (especially controlled substances) in Mexico you must have a written prescription from a Mexican doctor. Contact the US Customs Dept. about prescription drug policies.
5. Do not buy prescription drugs for your friends. You may be breaking both Mexican and US laws.
6. Carry your car registration with your driver's license. In case of car theft, you don't want the thieves to you’re your registration.
IMPORTING A VEHICLE
Silvia Meza Rogers at church is excellent and can do this process for you!
1. The first thing you need to do is apply for a residency letter. The letter of residency can be obtained in the government office in Rosarito (south of Commercial Mexicana on the pay road). This will cost you around $400.00 pesos.
2. For your license, you need a photocopy of your original US or Canadian license (which you can get at the Red Cross in the same building as the license office.)
3. The cost is around $50.00 US for a license- and you need to take a "written" test on their computer- in Spanish. You may need to ask if it's ok to bring a translator. If you have a US or CDN license, they may not ask you to do the written or driven test.
4. To import a vehicle you need to bring a photocopy of your Mexican Driver's license to the importation office ( There is a Christian lady named Silvia from Calvary Chapel Rosarito who does vehicle importing.)
5. To get your Mexican license plates (placas) you need to return to the office you got your license at. It is on the right side of the building on the first floor.
6. Insurance- Beside the liquor store in the little plaza in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Insurance for only Mexico is around $1,700.00 pesos per year. For US insurance it is around $200.00 US per year
HOW TO GET A MEXICAN DRIVER LICENSE
Mexican Driver License
- You must have an FM2 to begin this process
To apply for a Mexican Drivers License you must apply for a residence letter
- To apply for a residence letter you must have:
1. Photo copy (2 sets) of all pages of your FM3
2. Proof of residency (photo copy of a bill with your name on it)
3. 2 photos (passport size)
4. You must live in Mexico for 6 months before getting a residence letter
Bring all items to Secretary General in City Hall and then they will let you know when you can pick up your letter proving you are a resident of Mexico.
- You must now get a physical (can be done at Red Cross for under $10.00 US)
Bring 1 set of FM3 photo copies, residence letter, and paper work from your medical to the DMV and your present drivers license to apply for your Mexican Drivers License. Your first license will be for six months. After six months you can apply for a three year license.
Having a Mexican drivers license proves that you are a resident of Mexico. This is often beneficial when being stopped by police or officials.
The cost for three years is under $30.00 US.
If you have a learners permit from another country you may drive with another driver any hour of the night or day or drive alone from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Pets are allowed into Mexico. Be sure to bring your papers for you regarding all their shots.
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