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Thread: Mail Service

  1. #1

    Default Mail Service

    Could someone please give me a brief rundown of how mail works there? Is all mail picked up at a post office, delivered or other? I have no idea what to tell people when they ask me if they can mail me stuff. Especially gets confusing when I think about no numbered address system.

  2. #2
    Active TRN Member
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    i use nicabox in managua..they use a miami address..so i can get my credit cards and stuff..cost me about $15 a month..but i know im going to get it..never used the local mail

  3. #3
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Swanny View Post
    Could someone please give me a brief rundown of how mail works there? Is all mail picked up at a post office, delivered or other? I have no idea what to tell people when they ask me if they can mail me stuff. Especially gets confusing when I think about no numbered address system.
    Street deliveries require a description of the house in terms of physical distance from understood landmarks, so everyone I know gets a post office box in most places like Jinotega. If you're in a small town, probably "The Gringo who lives across the street from the corner pulperia with a Pepsi sign" would work, but ask someone in the town how to address things. Correos has a website for the proper forms of street addresses if you read enough Spanish to navigate that. Otherwise, it's a "hold for X" style where you ask the PO clerks if they have anything for you, or rent a box. You don't need a cedula to rent a box (or even your passport, though I think technically, they're supposed to ask to see this).

    Head to Correos as soon as you have a place to live and arrange for a box. You will need a description of the place where you're living (mine is corner of Calle Yucapuca at the T intersection with the road that's one way north, house with double doors on the south west side of the intersection, just translated into Spanish). You'll still have to pick up packages so make sure people tell you when they're sending them and start asking the clerks at Correos if anything has come in yet. Correos doesn't seem to do paper notes in boxes telling you to pick up a package at the desk. Packages take about a month, letters less time. I start asking at three weeks.

    Amazon ships books and CDs through the postal system. I found an on-line cloth store in Denver which will ship to Nicaragua, just haven't ordered from them yet.

    If someone sticks something in a package at the last minute and doesn't have the item on the customs declaration, it may disappear when the package is at Customs. Your chances of recourse on this are around zero. Some people sending things to you may not understand that Customs does mean saying things like "47 silver-plated spoons," not "spoons." For things like books, you don't need to give individual titles, but you do need to give the count: 15 new books and 29 used books. A Cuban standing in line with me at the Annandale PO in Virginia said that I didn't have to do a count because the Customs people would never open the box. They did, and billed me 4-5 cordobas for some item that I hadn't listed.

    So far, nothing sent to my PO Box has been lost, and no mail I've sent out has been lost either. Any package from abroad goes through Customs -- and they do open boxes and bill for duty on anything that's not exempt. If your shipper didn't do a full inventory, Customs will and will enclose a copy in your box. You pay that bill at the Correos desk.

    My physical street does appear to have a name and numbering system, just that nobody ever uses it. Same goes with postal codes.
    Last edited by MizBrown; 08-10-2011 at 04:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    Speaking for Esteli, there is no regular delivery as in a postman walking the street with a sack of mail and stopping at each house. There isn't that much mail to deliver, so apparently when you receive something they send a guy to the house. Addresses are a vector system (from point X, go this direction and distance) and they know how those work. Ask an old timer neighbor for your address if you're not sure, or pick a major landmark like a cathedral or popular bar and count blocks, or meters, to your door. But instead of meters, say "varas" and you'll be in like Flynn.

    And if someone thinks the letter or package contains something valuable, you may not receive it at all. I haven't had that happen, but everyone thinks it's a distinct possibility.

  5. #5
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    Speaking for the DAC. Good Luck.

    Watching Lead Float.

    I did once send Postcards from the Vatican, and the ones I sent got here quicker than to the States. Maybe there is a Frog?
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mail Service

    Sample street address:

    De donde murio' el perro, 3 cuadra abajo, dobla a la derecha y sigue hasta donde estuve el palo grande. De alli, 2 cuandras abajo, y preganta por la casa del Gringo.
    Soy el chele mono.

  7. #7
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    Sample street address:

    De donde murio' el perro, 3 cuadra abajo, dobla a la derecha y sigue hasta donde estuve el palo grande. De alli, 2 cuandras abajo, y preganta por la casa del Gringo.
    Yeah, and a post office box is worth only having to write that all out once.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mail Service

    Good stuff. Couldn't be more clear. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mail Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Speaking for Esteli, there is no regular delivery as in a postman walking the street with a sack of mail and stopping at each house. There isn't that much mail to deliver, so apparently when you receive something they send a guy to the house. Addresses are a vector system (from point X, go this direction and distance) and they know how those work. Ask an old timer neighbor for your address if you're not sure, or pick a major landmark like a cathedral or popular bar and count blocks, or meters, to your door. But instead of meters, say "varas" and you'll be in like Flynn.

    And if someone thinks the letter or package contains something valuable, you may not receive it at all. I haven't had that happen, but everyone thinks it's a distinct possibility.
    A litlle "local" twist on addresses...In Leon

    one block up....means EAST
    one block down....means WEST

    pp

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mail Service

    I have used the mail service coming and going and this is how it worked for me. Sending, was a matter of going to the post office and finding out what I needed to send out needed to be wrapped in the proper shipping style paper, then tied it up and a million stamps later about $15.00 worth pretty well took up the package.

    Then recieving, I had a used computer of mine (no operating system) shipped to me from the USPS to Nica's. It did take some time about 6 weeks and the person at customs was not smart enough to understand how to open a lap top and pried it open and broke the latches. But I got my old computer just the same.

    So for me it was great to send and so so on the recieving end. Nica box was just being introduced in SJDS at the time, and have not use it.
    I never said I was normal !

  11. #11
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mail Service

    Quote Originally Posted by Vampirebat View Post
    I have used the mail service coming and going and this is how it worked for me. Sending, was a matter of going to the post office and finding out what I needed to send out needed to be wrapped in the proper shipping style paper, then tied it up and a million stamps later about $15.00 worth pretty well took up the package.

    Then recieving, I had a used computer of mine (no operating system) shipped to me from the USPS to Nica's. It did take some time about 6 weeks and the person at customs was not smart enough to understand how to open a lap top and pried it open and broke the latches. But I got my old computer just the same.

    So for me it was great to send and so so on the recieving end. Nica box was just being introduced in SJDS at the time, and have not use it.
    I got a Kindle in the box and the kids at DHL receiving had me supervise opening the box and figuring out the thing worked, then it went through the customs guys and was part of my up to $600 every six months duty free allowance (on my cedula, don't know if that would apply to non-residents. Royal PITA to go to Managua for the pickup as DHL requires a side trip from the Customs House for the paperwork. Aduana (Customs) was far nicer and more accommodating than I'd been lead to believe they'd be.

    The up to $600 every six months duty free allowance is something that people should look into getting through someone who'll consolidate their mail order purchases and send all together to take advantage of that. Or order a lot of things through one on-line store.

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