Billing disputes halt Guatemalan mail

Abe Asher

A halt in mail services to and from the country of Guatemala has impacted several Guatemalan Macalester students.

The United States Postal Service [U.S.P.S.] announced the suspension on April 11. It is, by all accounts, the result of a long contract dispute between the Guatemalan government and its Canadian-run postal agency El Correo de Guatemala.

There was a similar shutdown from May to August last year.

“The mail is a public-private partnership, and the government just didn’t pay their share,” said Guatemalan student Esteban Lemus Wirtz ’19. “They failed to renew the contract with the Canadian company that manages the mail.”

From a Macalester perspective, little can be done. “We really haven’t had to make any changes,” wrote Jeff Rehbein, Macalester’s mailing service site manager through Loffler Companies, in an email to The Mac Weekly.

Guatemala, for the time being, joins Syria, Yemen, and Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine as countries to whom the U.S.P.S. has suspended mailing services.

There is no clear timeline for the resumption of general mailing services to and from Guatemala. In the meantime, Macalester students and others wishing to send mail to or receive mail from the country have several, perhaps less accessible, options for accessing mail services.

“USPS will accept Global Express Guaranteed service at a regular post office. We do not offer that service,” Rehbein wrote. “The other option would be [mailing through] UPS.”

“It isn’t a total shutdown,” Lemus Wirtz said. “But I stopped getting care packages for a while.”