Recently, the main English news source in Guadalajara for Expats is reporting that 911 operators in their area cannot respond in English to callers. The Guadalajara area including Lake Chapala is home to the largest number of Expats in Mexico. They have been servicing this market for many decades.
After a home invasion and being tied up at knifepoint, an Expat freed herself to call Mexico’s 911. When they realized that she did not speak Spanish and could only say Emergency, they hung up on her. This is a serious danger that Expats face in Mexico when reporting their emergencies to Mexico’s 911.
Some areas of Mexico that have high numbers of tourists visiting have a part-time operator. However, there is no guarantee that the part-time operator will be on duty when you need them most. This is the reality that Expats face when dealing with a medical, police or fire emergency in Mexico. This is not an issue that only affects Lake Chapala. We hear stories like this all the time across Mexico from our fellow Expats.
This fact is the main reason we have created our ExPat911 APP. Our operators are 100% fluent English speakers. Our users only have to push a button in our app which notifies us of the type of emergency they are facing. We do the rest of the work for you and will even contact your family back home to let them know of your emergency.
For more information regarding our app and service, please refer to this article which explains everything:
Below is the actual article from the Guadalajara Reporter which explains in detail what happened to this Expat when calling 911 at Lake Chapala.
No English spoken at 911 as Chapala cops also ignore expat’s emergency calls
By BR Staff
Foreigners who lack a firm grasp of Spanish may discover that Mexico’s recently launched nationwide 911 emergency hotline is essentially useless in moments of distress.
That’s the conclusion of a lakeside resident was left in the lurch after walking in on a burglary in progress at her home this week.
Returning from a brief outing for shopping errands on Wednesday morning, the woman realized that something was amiss when she spotted her television set unplugged and sitting out of place. Stepping out of the door again she was immediately accosted by a pair of young bandits who forced her back inside and tied her up at knifepoint
She managed to get free shortly after the thieves departed the premises with a load of valuable loot. She then picked up the phone and dialed 911 to call for help. Flustered by the frightening incident she wasn’t able to express her situation in Spanish. To her surprise, rather than mustering some sort of response, the operator simply hung up.