Servicio Postal Mexicano is the federal government service that handles all correspondence that bear official postage. It also offers services such as postal insurance, holds on mail, post-office boxes, messenger services, postal money orders and stamp-collecting services. The main Post Office, the Correo Mayor, is a block north of the Palacio de Bellas Artes on Avenida Lázaro Cárdenas, at the corner of Tacuba. For general postal information, call FonoPost (tel. 55/5385-0960).
Using Lista de Correos (General Delivery) can be more convenient and reliable than other methods of receiving mail. Post offices are located in every town and General Delivery ensures that letters and packages can be picked up at your convenience no matter your schedule or route. Tell your family and friends to print your name and address clearly, as the post office may have trouble deciphering unfamiliar names.
A list will be posted with packages and letters received with the names of the recipients. Interpret the list liberally. If it is close to your name, but not exact, ask to be sure it isn't just a misprint. If the Lista is not posted, go to the clerk and ask, "¿Está la lista de hoy?" ("Is today's list here?"). Should he say "¡Sí!" tell him your name (better yet, write it down) and he'll look through the letters.
Mail is held for ten to fourteen days when addressed to Lista de Correos or Post Restante and then returned to the sender if not claimed. Anticipate this when advising people of your address to avoid arriving somewhere after your correspondence has started the return trip. You can also write "hold for arrival" ("Favor retener, paga almacenaje") but expect to pay a fee for each additional day the mail is held. Packages are held longer, but also cost a small daily storage fee. If you need to mail a package in México City, take it to the post office called Correos Internacional 2, Calle Dr. Andrade and Río de la Loza (Metro: Balderas or Salto del Agua).
It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to noon. The abbreviation for USA-bound mail is either EE.UU. or E.U.A., though USA is also understood. Don't wrap your package too securely until an inspector examines it. Although postal service is improving, your package may take weeks, or even months, to arrive at its destination.For different methods of mail, check out http://www.tomzap.com/mail.html.
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