September 2020 Baja Bulletin


COVID-19 Updates for Baja California

-The U.S.-Mexico temporary land border closure was extended and the land borders will remain closed to non-essential travel at least until September 21, 2020. U.S. Citizens and Canadian Citizens have been allowed to cross back north into the U.S.

-Mexico has instated a national “stoplight” system allowing certain regions to begin reopening. The state of Baja California has a “red” light designation and is still closed to non-essential activities. The state of Baja California Sur has an “orange (level 4)” light designation and has begun to reopen hotels, restaurants, car rental companies, sportfishing, beaches, parks, and outdoor activities. Hotels and restaurants are limited to a 40 percent capacity. The stoplight designations are being assessed on a weekly basis.

-Some of the California/Baja land borders are operating on reduced hours. The following are the current hours for border crossings:
San Ysidro: open 24 hours
(PedWest is closed but PedEast remains open 24 hours)
Otay Mesa: open 24 hours
Tecate: 5am-2pm daily
Calexico West: open 24 hours
Calexico East: open 6am-2pm
Andrade: open 6am-2pm

-For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in the state of Baja California (norte) please visit the Baja California COVID-19 page. For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Baja Sur, please visit the BCS COVID-19 website.

-For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call 55-8526-2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has put together a COVID-19 webpage or you can follow them on Facebook for updates.

-You can find the latest updates on our Road Conditions Page. Call the DBTC office at 800-727-2252 for more information about U.S. travelers crossing the border.


BCS Considering Junk Food Ban for Minors

Following other states in mainland Mexico that have passed bills prohibiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages and highly processed foods to anyone under 18, the state of Baja California Sur is proposing a similar bill in September. The bill is being proposed as a way to curb Mexico’s epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, which is highly prevalent in the state. BCS has the highest rates in the country for consumption of soft drinks and junk food.



San Pedro Mártir California Condors

New San Pedro Mártir Condor Station

Baja California Governor Jaime Bonilla Valdez has announced a new scientific station for the California Condor program in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. After nearly going extinct, the California Condors were reintroduced to the San Pedro Mártir in 2002 through a joint program between Mexico and the U.S. Forty-three condors now live in San Pedro Mártir, including 13 chicks that were born in the wild. There’s a team of five researchers who live in the area to monitor the birds and carry out field work to protect the species. The new station will help ensure the species’ continued survival. The state stepped in with funding after President López Obrador cut 75% of the budget of the Natural Protected Areas Commission earlier this year.


New Residences at Rancho La Puerta

Beloved Tecate wellness ranch and spa, Rancho La Puerta, is now offering private residences for sale. The 108 private homes are nestled in a village-inspired community and come with access to the ranch’s 4,000 acre property, access to ranch activities and services, a plethora of amenities, private daily classes, concierge services, a market with fresh local produce and groceries, and a restaurant, bar, and tasting room. For more information, see The Residences at Rancho La Puerta website.



Register to Vote

Message from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico about registering to vote:

Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!  Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

1.  Register to vote:  Start by confirming your voter registration with your state.  Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register.  Go to to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.

2.  Request Your Ballot:  Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via  You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which we recommend you do each year, or each time you move, in order to ensure you are registered and receive a ballot.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives), including primaries and special elections, during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory.  FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.

Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.

3.  Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.

4.  Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically.  If your state requires you to return paper-voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico using the instructions below.

Returning your FPCA or Ballot through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:  You can return your completed FPCA or signed ballot to the United States via the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

In order to mail election-related materials to the United States, you will need two envelopes.  Address the first envelope to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the mailing address below.  Address the second envelope to your local state election office and enclose your FPCA or ballot inside.  The second envelope needs to be postage-paid or have sufficient U.S. postage to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed.  Seal the second envelope, place it inside the first envelope, and mail the package to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  It can take up to four weeks for election-related materials to reach their final destination in the United States.

You can download and print a U.S. postage-paid envelope from theFVAP website.

U.S. Consulate General Tijuana
Voting Assistance Officer
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay, Delegación Centenario, 22425
Tijuana, Baja California

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico at +52 (55) 8526 2561 or via the e-mail address listed above.

Remember, your vote counts!






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