Living AbroadMexico

The Trials and Tribulations of the Mexican Postal Service

‘Oh, Mexican postal service, where would we be without you?!’ said no one, ever. The postal system in Mexico rightly has an absolutely awful reputation, mainly because it is absolutely awful. However, as an immigrant in Mexico sometimes you just need some home comforts and, short of a family or friend coming to visit, there’s no other way your chocolate and teabags are getting to you without sending them via air mail.

Around about Christmas time, my mum messaged me and told me she needed my address in Mexico City for some unknown, unspecified reason. Sceptical, I sent it to her and instructed her to write it word for word as I had, but also warned her off sending anything through Royal Mail because it just wouldn’t arrive.

I think the conversation went something like this:

Me: *my address*

Mum: That’s the one!

Me: …why?

Mum: Christmas card!

mexican postal service

The overuse of exclamation points should have given away her dastardly plan to send me a parcel and not just a card, but because mums are known for their fondness for the old shift+1 combination, I didn’t think anything else of it. Lo and behold, after much prying as to whether anything had arrived for me, she revealed she had in fact sent a parcel, and with Royal Mail no less.

To say I was annoyed was an understatement, especially when I warned her that nothing ever successfully made it to Mexico. (Inti can vouch for that, as I think only one of the four parcels I used to send him ever made it to his door. Someone else somewhere in Mexico is really enjoying my Tunnocks wafers. Probably. Maybe.)

mexican postal service

Good news!

Anyway, the annoyance passed, as did the months, until finally my roommate practically passed out with shock when a note was slipped under our door telling me to go and collect my parcel from the post office. On it was stamped the ominous note ‘Second and Last Warning’, although we never saw the first delivery attempt. Either way, I trotted off the very same day to the post office to collect my parcel and was met with a small Next box covered in customs tape, air mail stickers, stamps and declarations but with the happy little rectangle of cardboard my dad had written my address on over two months prior. I don’t know why, but a tiny wave of nostalgia washed over me as the post office lady examined my visa before handing me a box cutter to check customs officials hadn’t had away with my Christmas treats.mexican postal service

mexican postal service

mexican postal service

So, is the Mexican postal service that bad?

Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised with the smoothness of the collection process once I received the delivery slip. However, I still stand by my statement that the Mexican postal service is absolutely awful, because it’s the getting the delivery slip which is the hard part…


  1. alwaysagringa 12 February, 2017 at 22:41 Reply

    Hi Lauren! The Mexican mail system is intriguing and I am still trying to figure it out. Do you have mailboxes down there in Mexico City? Here in San Luis they just throw your mail on the garage floor. We have received a few letters from home so far, just a couple months later. lol I just ordered a dress from the US and am interested to see if it will ever make it here. Enjoyed your post!

    • Lauren 12 February, 2017 at 23:35 Reply

      They do have post boxes but I literally never send anything anywhere from here! It just doesn\’t arrive. We also get random bits of mail just shoved under the communal door, so it\’s always a miracle when it makes it to your actual flat! 🙂

  2. tatumskipper 15 February, 2017 at 15:37 Reply

    So crazy! Love this post because not too many people talk about the postal systems in other countries! Will definitely have to remember this!

  3. ajauntwithjoy 15 February, 2017 at 17:01 Reply

    I had no idea it was that bad! I\’m glad you got your box of goodies though haha those treats all look so good!

  4. Jess 15 February, 2017 at 19:54 Reply

    Ahh the joys of living abroad! I remember being on a semester abroad in South America and Dad sending me a parcel of tim tams and vegemite from Australia. It cost four times as much as the contents to send and then I had to pay an import tax on the other end! The things we do for a taste of home.

  5. findyourworldgirl 15 February, 2017 at 23:09 Reply

    I had never thought about the postal service when considering living abroad, so interesting to hear about though!!

  6. Iva 16 February, 2017 at 00:34 Reply

    When we\’re far from home, it\’s always worrying to know whether or not, or when they would actually receive what we are sending them. Oftentimes have to get a specialty courier just to make sure.

  7. Bruce McClarron 15 April, 2018 at 08:32 Reply

    Lauren….Is it really that bloody bad there??? I have to get some new “passport photo’s” over to the UK (Durham) pretty damn quickly!! What’s the best, economical way to do that dear?? How the hell do BUSINESSES operate in this 3rd world country!!

    I was sending mail regularly to Bogota , Colombia – since 1980 and I married my wife a year later!! They are a 3rd world country also!! Plse explain the difference!!


    • Lauren 16 April, 2018 at 21:39 Reply

      Neither Mexico nor Colombia are third world countries, but I have had some poor experiences sending things out of and into the country using the regular mail service. I have had good experiences sending things within the country. I recommend using a company like Fed Ex or DHL.

  8. Eve 21 September, 2018 at 21:17 Reply

    Hi Lauren- My boyfriend has sent me a letter with a small present in it (small letter size), from London to Mexico City. However he did’nt put the flat number, therefore I am really worried about it not arriving! Should I just look out for it under the apartment block’s main front door? Let me know!

      • RAY LANG 1 November, 2018 at 10:48 Reply

        I sent a package of little gifts to my friend in Mexico (I live in England) via DHL, and it’s been stuck in customs over there for one month.
        After a long time trying to find out why the hold up, they say it’s a little chocolate bar I had included.
        No choc allowed according to my post office list of prohibited items to Mexico.
        For some reason, the customs officers don’t seem to have the brain power, to remove the choc, re-package the box and send the gifts.
        They even took a photograph of all the gifts, and sent the photo to my friend in Mexico.
        How stupid is that.
        Now looks like I will have to pay for it’s return, for me to send back.
        I’m sure the human race is dumbing down. RAY.

        • Lauren 10 November, 2018 at 17:07 Reply

          They make the rules up as they go along! I’ve had chocolate sent, but I’ve heard of similar situations where packages are stopped for having chocolate in them.

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