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My wife here in St. Louis, attends a great place called the International Institute, where they give free English lessons on all levels, but they also educate the students in American culture and society, e.g., how to purchase a car, register it, etc., what to do in case of an emergency, what areas of the city are safe, and so forth.

I was wondering if there is any school like this in Mexico City? I feel overwhelmed just thinking about the amount of stuff I don't know about Mexican culture and society. :help: Like I have heard that it is best not to get involved with the Mexico City police or courts, that the police are involved in all kinds of skulduggery and that I should just try to settle disputes on my own.

I don't know what to do in an emergency. Do I dial 911? There's so much I don't know, so I was wondering if there is any society or school that offers classes in acclimating oneself to Mexican culture and society? Or maybe a good book? I need to continue my Spanish lessons too.

Thanks.
Vortexijah
 

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Just living in Mexico is a learning experience and the best 'teachers' of cultural and procedural differences will be your neighbors and others who have gone before you. Many are participants on this forum, so feel free to ask specific questions and, I'm sure, you will get answers and suggestions.

Your concern about involving police is justified. First, you must become familiar with the many different kinds of 'police' in Mexico and understand that a traffic cop has no jurisdiction if you are being robbed right in front of him. He is only authorized to deal with traffic matters. Others may only deal with a crime if they see it happen. Otherwise, you have to go to the offices of the Ministerio Publico, with a translator, to report a crime that has already happened. If it is a robbery or burglary, you will need the receipts for the stolen goods in order to prove that they were yours. Yes, life is different here but it is also quite wonderful.
In an 'emergency' there is no 911 in Mexico, but there is a 066 for emergency police or 065 for Cruz Roja (Red Cross Ambulance). The latter are the only ones who may give medical assistance at an accident or other emergency call; not civilians, not police, nobody else. Other than that, Mexicans are very helpful and will assist you in calling the 'Green Angels' if you break down on the highway, or even helping you repair your car, put you up for the night, etc. Great hospitality!
 
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