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GPS and safety in Mexico

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suspirar
10/26/2009 11:09 EST

In the USA, with GPS-enabled phones we can dial 911 in an emergency and the receiving end will know our GPS coordinates, or at least that's what I imagine.

Are there such phones in Mexico? Would the police/emergency services be able to determine our location if we use a GPS phone?

Can someone recommend such a phone or other GPS device? Do the police use GPS, or would I have to subscribe to a private security service? I read that the pink cabs in Puebla, Puebla are GPS-equipped for emergencies, with a panic button. I would love to have a panic button with GPS in a portable device.

I had a scary experience in a part of in southern Tijuana recently when there were no street signs, and I don't think dialing 911 from my U.S. cellular phone would have done any good. If my U.S. phone can save me in Mexico, I'd rather use that. My phone can give me driving directions in the USA (but does not work in Mexico), and it won't give me my GPS coordinates.

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RVGRINGO
10/26/2009 11:24 EST

What's the world coming to? We drive with a map. If you break down in Mexico, you will find that other motorists will stop to offer assistance. They will often have cell phones and know how to call the 'Green Angels'. Otherwise, you can wait and they'll find you as they patrol the highways. If they can't get you running again, they'll tow you to a shop and their service is free, except for parts or fuel.
Generally, GPS mapping isn't very detailed in Mexico yet and I don't know of any locator services, such as you describe via cell phones.

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homesweetmexico
10/26/2009 15:00 EST

Suspirar,

Safety in Mexico is not provided by electronic devices. In some circumstances you wouldn't WANT the police to come help you. In tourist destinations there are tourist assistance police who would be of help to you, for sure.

We don't even really have 9-1-1 like up in the US and Canada. The front of the phone book says you can dial something (I think it's 060) for the police, but I doubt I would ever do that. I look to the people around me for assistance.

When you transition to Mexico, think about how you can become a member of your community. That will give you more security than a GPS ever will.

I can imagine being in a bad spot in a place in Tijuana, so if you have to go to such a place, take a friend with you.

Kind Regards,

Julia C Taylor author of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here and creator of www.home-sweet-mexico.com

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mexpatprotectionservices
10/27/2009 12:19 EST

hey there, I do know of one phone company that provides a gps cellphone emergency service, it´s called iemergency and it is provided by nextel.

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suspirar
10/27/2009 15:51 EST

The iemergency by Nextel was the kind of thing that I am looking for. It may also be called ifollow and ilocator:
http://www.smartbrief.com/news/aaaa/industryPR-detail.jsp?id=C20E3F87-77DA-4F99-8641-5E8122D842B6

Someone gave my boyfriend (Mexican) and I a ride to my boyfriend's newly-rented house in Tijuana. The roads there have no signs; the houses have no numbers. In the dark, it would have been difficult for someone to find me. I told my boyfriend that I was going to leave him once daylight came; he got angry and threatened to beat me up and kill me. What a weirdo.

I'm going to keep looking in security measures, like a house alarm with camera and lights. It would also be nice to have a security company come look for me if the police weren't going to come. I'm afraid of being kidnapped.

Any suggestions/leads are welcome.

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papadon
10/28/2009 09:01 EST

To the woman who had the problem with her "Boyfriend"
You need to be more careful in your choice of boyfriends.
I have lived throughout Mexico and Central America and found that Mexico is probably as safe as any other Country if you are careful of with whom you associate. .
Good luck to you.
Papadon

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RVGRINGO
10/28/2009 10:32 EST

Gadgets will not provide much security in that area. Most border towns are not desirable places to live. It might be wise to make a better choice in both boyfriend and location.

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Stuart
10/30/2009 11:57 EST

Some months ago I drove to Chicago without GPS - no trouble. Two weeks ago drove down with a friend from LA..again a delightful trip. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Common sense is more advantageous than GPS. Just get good maps, mark your probable nightly destinations - and possible alternative - and get there before nightfall. Finding hotels in a strange town after dark can be a daunting business. Frequently you will find asking "locals" for directions to your selected hotel or nearby prominent location results in your getting even MORE confused and lost.
No night travel and try to avoid the route through Tijuana....
No shortage of gas stations en route but just to be sure fill up again when you start moving towards the "quarter full" mark on the gauge.
The OXXO chain when you encounter their places make a really good cup of coffee even showing the time the brew was made!
Happy travelling. It's such a beautiful country!

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