"There’s no charge for the Green Angels, but tipping is customary.”
Michelle Cardenas from San Diego became worried to hear that Angeles Verdes (Green Angels), a free of charge and national road service, might be discontinued in certain parts of Mexico.
“The Green Angels towed our car to Rosarito when we broke down on the toll road,” she said, “they came up at the right time, and possibly saved our lives by helping us move our car.”
Cardenas and her family traveled from San Diego to Ensenada on a regular basis until two months ago, when the port city that’s about 75 miles south of San Diego restricted non-essential traveling into the city, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Baja California Sur Angeles Verdes division: "We will only provide the service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”
Green Angels Facebook page
“I saw the ElSudCaliforniano.com news report about the Mexican government cutting funding for the Green Angels,” Cardenas said of the June 21 story, “we planned on driving down to Cabo San Lucas when they lift the restrictions, but need to make an emergency plan if the Green Angels are 86-ed.”
David Ortega Castro, head of the Baja California Sur Angeles Verdes division, reportedly said: “the reduction of 75 percent of operating expenses in federal agencies went into effect earlier this month (June), after the decree that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued on April 23 went into effect. The [services] will be exercised with a different work schedule, we will only provide the service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”
The news report added that the national road service “used to have 30 liters of gasoline allocated daily, however, given the budget cuts, they will only have 10 liters available.”
In 2006, our Toyota broke down by the cliffs overlooking Salsipuedes north of the Ensenada toll booth. I remember a Green Angels truck driver coming by to our assistance with tools and canisters of gasoline; the only thing the driver requested was our toll booth ticket.
Last year, Pam posted on Facebook that she and her husband were driving from Ensenada northbound to San Diego as well; she said her husband locked the keys in their SUV when they pulled over.
“He accidentally got locked out of the car and the engine was running,” she continued, “[then] a Green Angels guy came along after about ten minutes and popped the lock. Just so you know there’s no charge for the Green Angels, but tipping is customary.”
Angeles Verdes hasn’t updated their Facebook page since January 8, when they honored the passing of the head of their Tabasco region. The day before, the corporation posted a meme that reads “cumulative report of services attended by Ángeles Verdes from December 20 to January 6: 14,169 services provided; 59,312 tourists served; 779,471 kilometers traveled; 41 accidents attended to …. call 078 [on your telephone, if you are stranded].”
On October 2018, Pamela V., reached out to her Facebook buddies. “OK, only Baja-related because Green Angels and Federales are everywhere, and my friend is actually headed to Baja. Hopefully this might prove useful information for someone. My girlfriend just got her second flat of the day on Carretera 15D outside Los Mochis. She tried for awhile to call Green Angels with no luck, so contacted me in Guerrero to see if I could try for her, or try other emergency numbers. For over an hour I tried various emergency phone numbers with no response. Even the Federales did not answer. [It’s] getting dark and she is getting scared. I decided to tweet the Federales, and within minutes had response, although they referred me to CEAC. A grúa (tow truck) was with her within minutes, dispatched by CEAC.”
Cardenas says there are other options for American travelers: “Go to Talk Baja on Facebook, and reach out to the expats that have been on the forum for years; message them for advice, and see if they can check up on you as you travel north or south, city to city, and town to town. I’ve seen many Americans relocating to Baja to retire and/or save money, and they get daily advice and keep one another in the loop on the Talk Baja page.”
The page is the “largest online discussion group forum for the Baja California peninsula with over 48K members and growing … [for] news, weather updates, hurricane forecasts, highway and road conditions, fishing / surf reports, [and intel on] off-road racing, travel, ex-pat retirement living and more.”
As this article goes to print, the circa-1960 corporation that’s listed on the government website, makes no mention on the site about the change of services or the budget cuts recently reported by Mexican news outlets, it does mention: “Angeles Verdes has a great objective: that the tourists live a pleasant experience on their vacations and road trips. The Green Angels offers quality services in the 32 entities of the country, and thanks to a team of 697 public servants driving in 323 units, they travel up to 22 million kilometers a year.”
On their Twitter page, the last update prior to this story going to print was made on June 22. “Cumulative report of services attended by Angeles Verdes from June 19-21: 695 services provided; 2,233 tourists served; 39,98 kilometers traveled …. call 078 [on your telephone, if you are stranded].”