Writing a letter at Palacio Real de los Capitanes

Rudy Giron: Antigua Guatemala &emdash; Writing a letter at Palacio Real de los Capitanes

It seems that in this day and age, writing physical tangible letters is out of fashion. Years ago I wrote a post about post office service in Guatemala and abroad entitled Postscript. You can read it further down.

The Post Card Request Side Note: Once again, with the excuse of an experiment and that I would like to know about you and your home town I am requesting a post card from you. I would like to receive a simple hand-written note on a post card, with stamps if at all possible, showing a landmark from your city or anything you like to share. My mailing address follows:

Rudy Giron
P.O. Box 139, El Correo
Antigua Guatemala, 03001
Guatemala, C.A.

Once you have mailed the post card, please come back the Contact the author page and let me know you have sent it. I will write back to you the moment I receive it and, perhaps, I will send you a hand-written post card in return (it all depends on the how many I receive and how expensive is to send it to you). Come on people, let me know you really like the work I put in this web site through a simple hand-written note on a post card. I will be waiting for your post card!

Sometimes bad things turn good. Guatemala’s postal service is so slow, expensive and unreliable that in Guatemala the concept of junk mail is non-existent. El Correo, Guatemala’s postal service, is a Canadian private company with the support of the Canadian Postal Service. El Correo is the result of the infamous recipe prescribed forced onto poor countries: Privatize everything! For better or worse that’s what we got.

El Correo is slow: to receive our telephone invoices printed and mailed in Guatemala City (La Nueva Guatemala) to our P.O. Box in the postal office of El Correo in La Antigua Guatemala can take up to three weeks or more.

El Correo is expensive: to mail a Revue magazine (about the size of the Readers’ Digest) to the U.S. or Canada can cost about Q70/US$9. Post cards about $1 and letters depends on the weight.

El Correo is unreliable: Once I sent myself some post cards from the postal office to our house, which is about 2 miles away, and they never arrived. El cartero, the postman, only delivers once a week or once every two weeks in the communities surrounding La Antigua Guatemala. Because of this we have now a post office box.

But, we get no junk mail. That alone is a fortune. Furthermore, El Correo is reliable for sending and receiving mail and post cards from abroad as long as you have a P.O. Box; even if it is expensive and slow. To send a letter to the U.S. or Canada can take up to three weeks; almost the same time it takes for the invoice mailed in GuateCity to reach La Antigua. El Correo can be inexpensive too, mostly inside Guatemala, since sending a normal letter or post card (20 grams or less) can cost only 20 centavos (Q.0.20/US$0.025). You can download their price list as a PDF file here. But please, don’t expect the tracking service to work, especially in Guatemala.

© 2016, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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