By Colleen Beery, Cruz Roja Volunteer Instructor


Think about these scenarios …

You fall and injure yourself badly at home. You call Cruz Roja (or 911) for help. Where would the EMTs find your medical information (such as current medications and conditions) so that they would know how to correctly treat you? 

  • According to a 2019 survey of Lakeside Expats, only 12% of residents have vital medical information stored in or on the refrigerator, where first responders are trained to look first. 

You are in a car accident, or you collapse on the street (at a friend’s, in a store, or anywhere outside your home). Where would anyone find your vital medical information? 

  • According to the same survey, only 35% of residents carry vital medical information (in Spanish and English) with them.


The Cruz Roja Chapala invites you to become better prepared for a medical emergency. In 2013, the Cruz Roja in Chapala, with the help of Dr. Sam Thelin, CRIVC (Cruz Roja International Volunteers Chapala), and a team of local medical professionals, created a Medical Information Kit that could very well save your life. In 2019 this kit was updated and improved to meet the needs of expats and locals alike. For a mere 50 pesos, and an hour of your time at a workshop near you, you could go home with:

  • a completed bilingual “Vial of Life” to place in the refrigerator for first responders to find in a home medical emergency
  • a refrigerator magnet with Cruz Roja’s emergency dispatch number
  • a wallet card, containing vital personal medical information (in Spanish and English)
  • a bilingual list of emergency Lakeside phone numbers to call
  • a card with basic Spanish phrases to use in making an emergency call. 


Cruz Roja Medical Information Kit Workshops are held at the Lake Chapala Society, as well as by request for local social, religious, and neighborhood groups. Workshops can be held in either English or Spanish, depending on the need.  For more information about the kit, to schedule a special workshop for your group, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.