A Friend in Colombia Wants to Join Postcrossing

Sunday, October 29, 2023 - 12:18 (UTC -5)

Hello, Postcrossing Support (Paulo, Anna, et al.):

A friend in Manizales, Colombia, wants to join Postcrossing but there are multiple “problems” that he’s asked me to find out about.

First, the PC Postal Monitor shows Colombia’s postal service (called 4-72.com.co) is currently not sending to 176 countries. Yikes! That’s practically the whole world. From what we can see, they’re delivering only to a handful of countries in Western Europe, South America, and the USA. We also looked at the destinations available from Bogotá’s main international airport, El Dorado (airport code BOG), especially Colombia’s national carrier Avianca. But even there, we see some “disconnect”. There are flights from Bogotá to Canada, but Canada is one of the countries shown as “no delivery” on the Postal Monitor. Hard to tell which countries he could actually Send to regularly.

Delivery to Manizales works okay. I send postcards and greeting cards to my friend a number of times throughout the year from the New York Metro area and they usually arrive within 4-6 weeks with some a little sooner and some a little later.

So the first problem is what happens if my friend draws an address to a country to which his postal service doesn’t deliver?

The second thing is PC Travel Mode may not help him, either. He travels to New York 2-3 times a year, but the rest of the time, he’s home in Manizales and thus has practically no options to Send.

Now, I could Send for him from my home along with my regular participation in Postcrossing. He could draw the address, email it to me with his message that he would write on the postcard. He could also pick a postcard from my inventory. (We communicate often via WhatApp). I would send it and then he would receive to home normally into Colombia as time goes on.

But people will complain that he’s violating the PC idea of no third-party participation. And we’re sure that Postcrossers would complain that they’re not getting a “real” postcard from Colombia with a Colombian stamp and postmark.

So what’s your advice here?

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Michael (and Luís in Manizales)

For this, I believe the system will only give addresses that he can send to, per the Postal Monitor, so not to worry

My suggestion would be to still participate from Colombia as much as he can. He will get addresses, albeit to a handful of countries only.

Travel Mode is also an option. Some people don’t send from their home countries because postage is expensive, and use Travel Mode.


As long as countries are listed on the postal monitor as “no delivery” he won’t draw an address from that country.

Whenever he’s in NY he may draw other countries in travel mode.


He won’t draw addresses from countries that don’t allow deliveries.

I believe it’s against the rules for you to write postcards on his behalf!
If he genuinely wants to send and receive postcards from all over the world, he might consider doing forum swaps. He could use your address as a transit site: he writes and stamps the postcard with minimum denomination Columbian stamps, sends them to the USA (to you), and then you send them out to the rest of the world. The process can be reversed for incoming postcards.

This method might be costly and cumbersome, but it’s the only suggestion I can come up with:(

Hope your friend can enjoy postcrossing anyway!


Indeed this is not allowed - you cannot give the address you’ve been assigned to a third party, for data protection reasons. :confused:

I think he should just try signing up and drawing the first five addresses - as the others wrote, he’ll get addresses where mail is possible from Colombia.

And Swaps or Round Robins are an excellent way to get started too!


But which of the Round Robins would be suitable for him? :thinking:

You’re right, it might be difficult to find ones with the right countries. Aren’t there some for members in the USA?

I don’t think it’s necessary at all to go to the trouble of sending cards via the USA - quite apart from the fact that it’s not allowed to share the addresses, as has already been said.

Most of the countries that cannot be sent from Colombia are relatively rare countries.
In addition, there are more than 30 countries available, including the USA, China, Germany, the Netherlands and many other European countries, which is not bad for a start.

And here in the forum he could participate in tags where he can choose the countries he is able to sent.


I vaguely remember in the first year or two of the pandemic that postcrossers in somewhere like Malaysia, or maybe Indonesia, could only send to one other country. And that country was Singapore, with a limited number of postcrossers. (Correct me if I’m wrong, people with a better memory than me.) Nobody suggested that they had to give up postcrossing. It was frustrating for them, but they could still join in. It sounds as though Columbia has a much greater number of countries they can send to, so there really shouldn’t be a problem.


Sunday, October 29, 2023 - 17:30 (UTC -5)


Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.

I did not know that PC ties addresses to the Postal Monitor. Thinking about it, of course that makes good sense.

And I will let my friend know about all the “unofficial” opportunities on the Forum.

I have no idea why so v-e-r-y few people have sent such a minuscule number of postcards from Colombia. Hopefully, my friend can help change that soon.

If I find out anything else, for example, details of sending postcards from 4-72.com.co, I will let you know.

Thanks again,



I guess it may have to do with postal service being not the best.
Incomes may also not be high, and postcards + postage seem like a frivolous expense, good money that could be put towards more pressing needs like food and bills.

I hope Luís enjoys his time in Postcrossing!


yep - I’ve traveled to Colombia 3 times and each time I try to send a postcard. I think it costs about 78,000 pesos to send a post card… about 20 USD. The workers at 4-72 look at you like you’re crazy… they cannot believe anyone would consider sending a postcard. So… my interest in Colombian philately and the Colombian post office keeps growing. You can send mail to Colombia. If you send a postcard to Colombia you’ll get the mail man out of bed. Most people don’t even believe that mail people in Colombia exist at all… but yea/send mail to Colombia. it works. Your Colombian friend might not have even realized that letter delivery was possible. On another note, I am interested in some contemporary Colombian stamps. I bought the Botero sheet for his 90th bday and I just had the Lake Guativita sent to me from the Netherlands. I get the feeling that I will never see any of these stamps on a cover. That’s very upsetting to me. There has to be a source of contemporary Colombian covers… I’m still looking. I’ll be glad to send mail to anyone in Colombia who wants a postcard from the US. Please let me send you a postcard in Colombia!

Interestingly, I got a cover from a Bangla philatelic club - it is like the postmaster let them use any stamp at a special event. Like the postmaster made a special cancelation for the stamp club and accepted ANY stamp just so people could use up old stamps or something. I dream about contacting the representative of the Colombian UPU and pleading with them to help facilitate a postprocessing event in Colombia.

There is almost no place to buy postcards in Colombia. There is a nice collection at the 5th house of the liberator in Bogota. I had a great time there and then lost my purchase somewhere on the grass in bicentennial park. There are a few really lovely cards to choose from at the Botero museum.

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