COMMUNICATIONS IN MEXICO
Maintaining contact with friends, relatives and business associates is imperative, whether during a short vacation, or during your transition to full time residence in another country. Most of us travel with our technology tucked neatly into a travel bag, and arrive in Mexico to learn it’s not working properly.
In addition, you need to understand there is NO Postal service here. Many gringos buy a PO box in San Diego, which accepts limited mail and has a driver who delivers it to the Cabo San Lucas MailBoxes, Etc. once a week ‘or so’. We do not have individual addresses here, which most of us living here find quite charming. If you have an emergency, you need to know how the road is identified where your gated community is located, and the secondary landmark that will direct the volunteer emergency service, such as “up the Modelorama Road to Idaho Condos”, and turn right on the dead end.
Most expats have an e-fax, vonage, email, webcam and IM. If you MUST receive a package, it must be sent DHL or Fedex to a well known business, such as Century 21 Paradise Property at Plaza Nautica/Cabo San Lucas, or Marbella Suites at KM 17.5 or Tesoro Resorts,Cabo Marina, Cabo San Lucas, etc. And you will not be able to easily SEND mail to other countries at the cost you are accustomed to. In other words, if you are here on vacation, do NOT plan on simply filling out a postcard and dropping it into the resort mail box. It’s simply not to be expected. And if you relocate here, just know these are delivery services you might want to initiate prior to your arrival in Los Cabos.
This is, in large part, due to the technology and services not yet available in developing countries anywhere in the world, but that we’ve become dependent upon in the western hemisphere. No need to have a tantrum, or throw that laptop or cell phone into the beautiful blue ocean just outside your villa. There are things you can do to prepare for the lack of technology here in Mexico.
First, understand the difficulty is in part due to the terrain and lack of technological expertise you may have become accustomed to, and remember you’re now in a developing country. Many cell phone service providers only need a phone call prior to your departure to enable your cell phone to ‘recognize’ their affiliate cell towers as you travel around the world. Some of them will require that you expand your contractual agreement, but in any event, and whatever your decision is regarding use of your cell phone while on vacation, once you arrive and IF you find your cellphone inoperable, you can purchase pre-paid minutes from most larger local markets, and most certainly from the local phone company.
Second, remember this is a tourist destination. Though many hotels and resorts will have a technology center, many won’t because they hope their guests will invest in the local economy by using the internet café found on just about every corner and inside every coffee shop.
Many visitors and even many ex-pat residents are of the belief that calling the US 800 numbers is no longer an option, but they would be incorrect. You are in a different country, that’s all. Things are just done a bit differently here in Baja Sur.
U.S. 800 number access from Mexico can be accomplished from any phone:
800 Numbers ………………………….Dial 001-880, then the number.
866 Numbers ………………………….Dial 001-883, then the number.
877 Numbers ………………………….Dial 001-882, then the number.
888 Numbers ………………………….Dial 001-881, then the number.
To call collect from Mexico to the U.S.:Dial 090. A bilingual operator will answer, and you simply provide the number you are calling. (Buying a pre-paid phone card is the least expensive way to call).
To dial direct from Mexico to the USA and Canada:Dial 001+ the area code + the number.
For your friends and relatives to call your cellphone here in Baja Sur, they need to dial 011.52.1.624+your number