If you live in Mexico and want to receive mail from abroad, a suggestion is to sign up with a mail forwarding company or have someone bundle your paper mail maybe once a month and send it via courier.
The Mexican postal system, Correos de Mexico, is not fast. As a matter of fact, it’s so slow that most Mexican companies don’t use them either. If you live here, you are no doubt familiar with the envelope-free method of bills being tucked into fence posts and under electric meters.
Bills such as water, electricity, cable and Internet/phone (TelMex, for example) all use their own people to deliver the monthly bills. These bills appear by a company representative who parks his/her moto down the street then walks around tucking the bills into their appropriate addresses.
What happens if it rains, you wonder? Well, your bill gets wet. If the wind blows, the bill often ends up down the street, but don’t think it works as a reason to try and pay late. It’s your responsibility to pay the bill on time regardless.
So, back to the Mexican mail system. The reason these local companies deliver themselves is again, Correos de Mexico is very slow.
So what do you do about getting a letter say, from the US or Canada? Well, you wait. If you’re expecting actual mail to arrive from “abroad” via snail mail, the good news is it will show up. The bad news is it often takes a few months.
I once received a letter in mid-February from the central US. It was a Christmas card post dated December 2. The address was correct. The envelope didn’t contain anything other than a Hallmark card and letter, so no reason to be held up. It just took a long time.
There are dozens of local courier companies running around overly busy at all times. That is why. Local businesses, distant companies, online retailers and private citizens tend to utilize couriers more than then federal mail system.
The best alternative, however, is to simply go paperless. With the available technology, there’s no reason to need a paper copy sent from two or three countries away.
If you are going to temp fate and use Correos de Mexico, you will need to be complete with information when you arrive. Sending a letter out of Mexico will require the same information as if you were sending in the other direction. Sending a letter locally in Mexico takes about 10 days, so again, be patient.
If, on the other hand, you are receiving a package through the federal mail system and Corrers de Mexico came on a day you were not home, you will need to go to them. In order to pick up a package from them, it’s best to write out your full name, address and any tracking number you may have.
You will also 100 percent, need Spanish. They do not speak a word of English at the post office.
If you’re lucky the mailman will leave a parcel pickup card in your box, but don’t count on it. If you have a card, it will make things easier in the way of less questions (en español).
The last time I went, it was because they tried to deliver and I was not home. I also didn’t have a card from the postman. Instead, I had all my information written out and the tracking history on my phone ready for the lady at the post office. That way she can see for herself what she needs to, which was that the package was a failed delivery attempt and had indeed, been returned to the post office for pick up.
(Note: Correos de Mexico will only hold an undelivered package for two weeks before sending it back, so don’t dawdle if you miss the postman).
Of course the online history included my full name and a tracking number. Within minutes she found my package, I flashed my ID, she wrote down a few odds and ends and I was out with package in hand in less than five minutes, so maybe Correos de Mexico isn’t so slow after all.