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Wade&Carito

sending letters to Ecuador

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I am planning on sending some letters to Guayaquil after I return back to the US, they will be a standard US size letter envelope. I went with my fiancee to Serventriega to find out how I could send something and have it available for pick up at their office. There was much lost in translation and I was told that the mail needs to be sent from Miami and only to one location in Guayaquil that is international. I am planning on mailing form Oregon and want to avoid those super high fees of Fed Ex and DHL. Has anyone else sent mail from US to Ecuador and can you please tell me how you do it. I thought I could use USPS and send it to the Serventriega office address in care of my fiancee with her telephone number on the envelope and they could call her when it arrives. The do not deliver mail to the homes in her area, nothing every gets delivered there, no fedex, no DHL. There are no house numbers and no one has ever received any type of mail, seems kind of bizarre but that is how it is. Anything sent will have to be sent somewhere to be picked up.

Thank you very much.

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Mrs. T-B. says that any mail from the U.S. is presumed to have money in it, so it will probably be opened or stolen and never delivered. Why not combine the letters with other paperwork (of any kind) and send it by courier?


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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If you are sending something valuable, your best bet is a service like fed-ex. However if its just a regular letter or card you can send it from the states via usps for around $1. It takes 2-3 weeks to arrive. When I was living in the US everything I sent made it, and now that I am living in Ecuador everything sent to me via usps has made it as well. However some places are notorious for having problems with receiving mail here. Is there someone she knows with a better address that could receive it for her? Also check with the consulate and see if they will receive mail for someone there.

Or maybe your fiance can open a P.O. box a a local post office. That might be a better bet.

Edited by amyjohans

**USC Filing Abroad**

01/29/2011 Marriage in Ecuador

USCIS 9 days!

3/7/2012 I-130 sent

3/12/2012 NOA1 received via email

3/15/2012 USCIS check cashed

3/20/2012 NOA2

4/23/2012 case received at NVC

5/10/2012 case number received via phone

5/30/2012 DS-3032 submitted

-intentional break, not ready to move yet-

8/9/2012 IV Bill and AOS fee paid

8/16/2012 AOS I-864 submitted

9/12/2012 Case Complete at NVC

10/3/2012 Interview date assigned

11/20/2012 Interview Date

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If you are sending something valuable, your best bet is a service like fed-ex. However if its just a regular letter or card you can send it from the states via usps for around $1. It takes 2-3 weeks to arrive. When I was living in the US everything I sent made it, and now that I am living in Ecuador everything sent to me via usps has made it as well. However some places are notorious for having problems with receiving mail here. Is there someone she knows with a better address that could receive it for her? Also check with the consulate and see if they will receive mail for someone there.

Or maybe your fiance can open a P.O. box a a local post office. That might be a better bet.

I sent all letters and a few small packages (soft envelopes) via USPS and everything arrived when I was mailing a lot there a few years ago. I did once try to send a beautiful autumn leaf and they took the leaf out but the colors and outline had transferred to the paper, so no big deal. I know of others who have sent money in a card via USPS and it all arrived as well.

When I lived there I received numerous cards and packages via USPS direct to my little P.O. Box.

I've never had a problem with using USPS and sending to Ecuador (Tungurahua and Pastaza region), but I've never sent anything terribly valuable either. It was when my parents sent me a few books and such when I was there that we had a problem with DHL--and don't get me started on the problems we had with DHL's non-delivery of our documents and terrible service post Consulate interview for the CR-1 visa.


Time Line

2007-11-10.....Marriage in Ecuador

2008-01-11.....I-130 Sent

2008-04-28.....I-130 Approved

2008-05-02.....NVC Received

2008-08-20.....Case Complete at NVC

2008-10-14.....Interview--221g, asked to present joint sponsor inspite of NVC approval

2008-11-07.....Visa due to arrive. DHL truck delivering visa was robbed, Consulate required us to present I-864s and DS-230 again, had to get a new passport and other related documents

2008-11-14.....Presented all new documents in person at Consulate, visa printed same day

2008-11-25.....POE Atlanta

2008-12-26.....Green Card and 2nd Welcome Letter arrive

2010-09-02.....Date of NOA ROC 1-751

2010-12-13.....Approval of ROC

2011-01-12.....10 year Permanent Resident card arrived

2011-12-20.....N-400 Application mailed

2011-12-29.....NOA

2012-02-02.....Walk-in biometrics (appt was for 2/16)

2012-04-17.....Interview

2012-05-18.....Naturalization Ceremony

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ok, thank you very much. I also posted this question to the gringo tree network which consists mostly of gringos in Cuenca, apparently there are about 4,000 Americans living there! Anyway, it seems as though people do not have any problem with USPS as long as there is a good street address or a PO Box at the main post office. I will try to find out where that is in Guayaquil and see if we can get a PO box there, I am leaving in 4 days after about 3 months being back here. I won't be able to come back until sometime early next year :( I only hope we can get through this process and get her to the US soon!!

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Good luck, and let us know what you learn about the GYQ postal situation, si man!


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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ok, a PO Box at Correos del Ecuador was $6.00 for the rest of this year. It will be $20.00 in January for the whole year (it costs $20 a year). This is for those people who do not have a specific street address like my fiancee. I have talked to quite a few people now who get mail from the US this way and there is rarely any problems. I will send a few test letters to see how well this will work. it will be a much less expensive option but for important things I will still use FED-EX or DHL.

Good luck, and let us know what you learn about the GYQ postal situation, si man!

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