Phone service to the U.S. in the '70's

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 20:49 (335 days ago) @ abuelajudy

Hi pals in Zihuatanejo and fellow lovers of Zihuatanejo,

Have any of you been traveling in Mexico long enough to answer this?

I'm writing a novel set in Mexico in the early 70's.

How hard was it to call the U.S. in those days? Would a hotel in Zihua have been able to place the call for you? How would you place the call if you were in a small town in the boondocks? Would a prosperous farm in the boondocks have a phone? Would it be possible to place the call from there?

I spent a lot of time in Mexico in the early 70's, but it never occurred to me that it might be possible to call home, so if it was possible, I didn't know. It was all snail mail in those days, at least for me.

As always, thanks! I hope you who are in Zihua are having fun. I'm jealous.


The Sotavento, Catalina and Calpulli were the only hotels on La Ropa beach back in '74 and I believe only the Sotavento had a phone because that's where and how I met Gerald Shaw who passed away earlier this year. Only 3 or 4 other places with telephones existed in downtown Zihuatanejo back then. One was my then future wife's family's home, one was the Caseta de Larga Distancia, and I believe there was a phone at the Palacio Federal. Maybe Mexicana de Aviación at the small airport near where Materiales Sotelo now is also had a phone.

It usually took several tries by operator to get through. I don't think direct dialing was an option then.

There would be no telephones in rural areas but there would be radios of various sorts. It was a real big deal here in the 40's when my then future father-in-law made the first radio phone call to Mexico City from Zihuatanejo. We still have one of his old telegraph keys that he had used previous to the arrival of radio and phone calls.

So from a prosperous farm in the boondocks radio calls may have been possible.

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