Today’s Topic: Mail in México
Wherever you’re moving from, chances are pretty good you’ll want to keep getting your mail. Bank statements, credit card bills, or holiday cards from people you ‘forgot’ to tell you’ve moved. By now you’ve heard the horror stories of the Méxican post. Months can go by until a single letter is delivered. Personally, I imagine the postal workers playing poker in a smoky back room. Whoever loses has to get up and toss a handful of letters from their bin into the processor. Perhaps you’ll get the unlucky worker and your mail will shoot through the system; or more likely you’ll get the card shark and your letter will never see the light of day.
Regardless of the why’s of México’s postal problems, you’ll want something reliable. Coming from the USA, I use a service called Traveling Mailbox (http://www.travelingmailbox.com). There are other similar services out there as well. In order to use them, you need to complete an authorization form allowing them to receive your mail. Then you tell the post office to forward (permanently or temporarily) your mail to the address they provide. When you get new mail they scan the front of the envelope and send you an email. Then you have the option of having the contents scanned and put online for you to view, shredded, or physically forwarded to you.
Traveling mailbox also offers, for a small additional fee, addresses in several cities. I didn’t want to look like I was too far away from my original location, so I’m using an address local to Seattle, where I’m originally from.
So far this arrangement is working for me. I also have the USPS send me scans of the mail they say they’re delivering to me (it’s a free service called ‘informed delivery’ – google it!). That way I get a little heads up on what to expect. I also see the junk mail that isn’t being forwarded to my Traveling Mailbox address.
There is a similar option locally here in Mazatlán called “Post and Ship”. They’re located in the Gold Zone on Calle Bugambilias just off of Av. Camaron Sabalo (website: http://postandshipmzt.com/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PostandShip). If you use their service, you forward your mail to a Texas address. Twice a week they physically bundle the mail up and bring it down to Mazatlán. It’s a good, reliable option if you don’t like the idea of other people opening your mail. Post and Ship is also a good option if you have an address here in Mazatlán that’s hard to deliver to. My address is an interior apartment. There’s a mail slot in our door at the street, but no way for anything other than a small letter to make its way inside.
For sending or receiving packages outside of México, I recommend DHL. They seem to have the fewest complaints. There are several DHL offices around town. You can also use Post and Ship – they’ll send your letters/packages back to the USA, then put them into the USPS system. I believe they have other shipping options for packages available as well.
If you like to order things from Amazon.com.mx, I hear they’re now delivering to some OXXO’s. You’ll get a notification, pop over, show some id, and away you go with your package. This is great for the people like me who have difficult-to-deliver-to addresses.
In closing I’ll let you get a look of what the post office in México City looks like. I haven’t made it there myself, but it’s on my short-list!