Packages sent to Guinea
It is best to send small packages. The Guinean mail system is not reliable, particularly with packages.
Do not, by any means, send packages by surface mail. They will never arrive.
Airmail packages sometimes arrive (50-75% receive rate). Padded 9″x12″ envelopes seemed to work well–they’re much cheaper to send than boxes and I suspect they’re “inspected” less frequently.
Tips for getting your items there via USPS to Guinea:
- Write the address in red ink (writing a name in red ink is seen as bad luck by some traditionalists);
- Mark the box with religious symbols;
- Hide valuable items inside less desirable items (such as inside a box of tampons).
DHL is expensive and may cost the volunteer to receive it, but if it is very important, it is more certain to arrive.
Fed Ex does not deliver to Guinea.
You can send packages via air cargo with Delta Airlines/Air France. It’s $16.72/kilo, at least out of New York (1 kg = 2.2 lb). Whereas a 10 lb box costs over $200 to send with DHL, it’s about $80 via air cargo.
M-Bag is for books, and costs less than other mail. It costs about $4 a pound with a minimum of 11 pounds to send an M-bag to Guinea.
As with the mail, be sure to include and highlight the words “Corps de la Paix Américain ” in the address. This eliminates the confusion of not recognizing the way we write 1927.
Suggestions of things to send:
- Newspaper clippings, magazines, small paperback books
- Photos and pictures
- Music and video
- DVDs for the Conakry house
- Edible goodies: junk food, pasta sauce mix, koolaid, instant meals, ramen noodles, dried fruit, mac & cheese, spices, hot chocolate, granola bars, cocoa
- Frivolous surprises (stickers, bookmarks, etc.)
- Coloring books for the kids