Mail to AURA facilities in Chile

  1. How do I get mail to a fellow employee in Chile?

  2. What is allowed in the mailbag?

  3. How long does it take for the mail pouch to get to Chile?

How do I get mail to a fellow employee in Chile?  

AURA has a continuous mail service for the AURA employees serving at the Chilean observatories (CTIO, Gemini, SOAR, and other tenant facilities). The mail shipments 
are handled by AURA Shipping and Receiving. Mail for Chilean staff is sorted for 
trans-shipment to Chile; held pending the arrival of a Chilean visitor or forwarded 
to former employees.

All mail placed in the "CHILE" mail slots in the main building will be
 collected on a daily basis and forwarded to Chile or held pending the arrival in
Tucson of the Chile-based employee if that is their request. Mail to Chile is shipped weekly by Federal Express.

Except for holidays, mailbag shipments depart Tucson every Wednesday 
at 12:00 pm and, unless slowed by holidays in the U.S. or Chile, arrive in La Serena 
the following week. These mailbag shipments are for priority mailings and 
inter-office envelopes. Bulk subscriptions and other non-first class mailings are forwarded to Chile in weekly freight 

Mail is sent from Chile to Tucson in a weekly mailbag shipment. Generally, the mailbag departs Chile on
Thursday and arrives in Tucson the following Tuesday. The contents of the mailbag
 are received by Logistics personnel and distributed upon arrival.

There is no additional cost for the mail service between Tucson and Chile. If the 
mail is to be forwarded to the local post office the only stamp required is that 
required to send the mail from Tucson to the addressee. Employees sending inter-office
 mail to other employees need not affix postage.

Special requests to hold mail on a temporary basis can be arranged. If not requested, all mail is forwarded to Chile 
as usual. Unless requested by the visitor, freight-mail is not held in Tucson.

Mail designated for holding will be kept in logistics.


What is allowed in the mailbag?  

Contents of the mailbag and freight mail shipments can ONLY consist of printed materials. Personal music CDs and movie DVD's are not
 allowed. Items addressed to employees in Chile that do not meet the "printed 
materials" classification must be sent as non-official freight/personal goods
 shipment and cannot be sent with official items. The Logistics Supervisor is authorized to open all mail destined for
 Chile to verify that the contents comply with the regulations. For further clarification regarding the mail-pouch contact a member of the logistics team.

The mailbag cannot be used for urgent shipments of non-qualified materials including
 urgently needed medication. Such items must be sent as personal goods via an express 
freight service such as Federal Express.

All book orders are sent in the weekly freight shipment and not 
in the mailbag.


How long does it take for the mail pouch to get to Chile?  

Mailbags leave from AURA Shipping & Receiving every Wednesday
 at 2:00 pm. Travel times to Santiago are 
normally 2-3 working days. Mailbags are cleared through Chilean Customs and 
immediately forwarded to La Serena for distribution. Mailbag contents are generally 
distributed as soon as they arrive in La Serena. From the time the bag is sent, it normally takes 5 -7 working days for the mail to reach the Chilean employee.

The weekly mail shipment will not be sent on Holidays and may be subject to delays on weeks that do contain holidays.