<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> RVers Info for Green Angels
NOTE: While this is designated as an ARCHIVE FILE, it is retained despite the date of first publication because it offers information of continuing current interest and/or for its historical perspective. Please be guided accordingly.




David Eidell (09/07)

For the last several decades Mexico's federal government has maintained a huge nationwide fleet of tourist assistance utility trucks. Every major highway in the country has at least one truck that passes by a location at least twice a day.

The fabled "Green Angels" has befriended many an RVer over the years. The personnel are mechanically inclined and familiar with repair, tow truck and medical service throughout their patrol area. Although personnel are limited to emergency or temporary repairs (like changing a flat or fuel pump) they can radio for assistance. Because of Mexico`s massive number of trucks, a heavy-duty tow truck is never far away.

Service trucks carry spare gasoline, diesel fuel, some generic radiator and heater hoses, wire and cable etc. Car owners are required to pay for parts and material used. Service is free, but a tip is appreciated---the last flat tire I had I slipped them a hundred pesos (around nine dollars) after the job was done. A gringo mechanic makes about ten times the wage of a Green Angel, and I feel that adequately compensated personnel make for *really* eager helpers, day or night, rain or shine.

Service trucks were painted an unmistakeable (chartreuse?) shade of green for many years. These days, newer model trucks are painted mostly white with a green stripe down the sides. Better yet the emergency lights atop the cab (called a light bar) are lensed GREEN---a real standout color on the shoulder of the road.

When my rear tire blew out, I eased off the shoulder, as far right as I could get while still placing the tire on asphalt. Next I raised the hood (motorhomers can also raise a couple of side bin doors). Pusher diesels can open the rear access door. Even though my hood has nothing to do with a flat tire, it is an unmistakeable sign of needing the Green Angels.

Cell phone coverage was insufficient in the canyon that I was in, so I grabbed a paperback and settled in for "a spell". About forty five minutes later a Mexican car loaded with adults and children pull in ahead of me, streaming steam from the radiator. Ten minutes after that a GREEN ANGEL popped up over a hill, and wouldn't you know it...he made a u-turn and pulled in behind the car (he had no way of knowing who was first in line). A half hour later I was on the road, vowing to purchase that three and a half ton floor jack in Costco, Morelia.

Here is the national cellphone number for Los Angeles Verdes (bilingual service)...

(81) 83 40 2113

Angeles Verdes personnel also carry federal complaint forms for tourists. If you believe that you have been ripped off by a business or store (or cop), the filling-out of a complaint form spells a major headache for the offender. Complaints made on the forms are treated very seriously by the Mexican government. The personnel will tear off a copy of the completed form, and then they send their copies in by courier, right to Mexico City.

I wish the immensely wealthy country of Los Estados Unidos had the same degree of service and committment to tourists and travelers as do their "poor" neighbor to the south.