Mexico’s mail varies in speed and quality of service. The largest cities have five to seven day delivery times from the U.S. while rural Mexican mail can take up to a month. All outgoing mail is assigned a rate of “Airmail” and the charge for a one ounce letter is about fifty U.S. cents (Five Pesos). A special service was introduced in 1995, named “MEXPOST”. For a fee of around twelve dollars U.S. your letter will reach it’s destination in the U.S. or Canada, in about three days. This service is not available in rural cities or towns as an international airport must be close by, for the system to work effectively. MexPost is the most secure way that you can mail documents through the post office.
Correctly addressing a letter originating outside of Mexico is a must. Here’s a sample of a correctly addressed article:
Lista de Correos
Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico
Lista de Correos, means “General Delivery”. Don’t add unnecessary formalities or embellishments to the addressee’s name. Mexican names usually emphasize the middle name as the paternal one. Therefore, if the letter was addressed to John Adam Smith, the post office will recognize it as being addressed to “John Adam S.”. This is how the letter will be written on “The List” which will either be an actual piece of paper with names on it (a number next to the name indicates how many parcels are waiting to be picked up), or a “verbal” list. When going to the post office to pick up mail, expect to show your tourist card, plus a picture I.D. as verification. If you think that the sender addressed you as “Mr. John A. Smith” then look for an article addressed to “MR John”. It makes picking up the mail a little more exciting. The post office will not accept anything but Mexican pesos. Mail is generally held for two weeks. Unclaimed letters have an excellent chance of making it back to the sender.