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Monday, October 31st 2022

Mexico's Last Daylight Savings

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Introduction:

Mexico’s Last Daylight Savings

It was in 1996 that Mexico began its daylight savings, however, a recent congressional vote approves abolishing springing forward and falling back with the United States. On Wednesday, October 26th, 2022, Mexico’s congress voted to abolish daylight savings.

When Mexicans set their clocks back an hour, it will be for the last time. That’s right, in March of 2023, they will not set their clocks forward an hour.

And Mexico is not the only country that is considering an end to daylight savings. The United States seems to be changing its own perspective on daylight savings—with the US Senate passing legislation to abolish daylight savings. Now it needs to pass the House and President Joe Biden.

The Problems with Daylight Savings

Mexico’s Last Daylight Savings

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO for short) has been a strong proponent of the change for years—and he’s not alone. In a recent poll, 40% of Mexicans support abolishing daylight savings, 35% oppose the change, with another 25% not caring either way.

One study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) found that changing clocks in the summer only saved the country 0.16% energy costs, and the negative side effects in the population having trouble paying attention and adjusting to the new time led this study to conclude that it just wasn’t worth it to change their clocks.

In addition, Mexico doesn’t change its clocks exactly when the United States does. The US changes its clocks from March to November, whereas Mexico changes its clocks from March to October, creating a couple weeks when Mexico City is on Mountain Time—not Central Time.

This all together creates a bit of chaos in the fall weeks. (We are currently in this period now.) Then the US will change its clocks and Mexico City will once again be on Central Time.

The Problems with Quitting Daylight Savings

Mexico’s Last Daylight Savings

It certainly will be easier, but eliminating daylight savings has its own problems too. First off, in a few weeks, the US will change its clocks, and Mexico City will be back on Central Time. But what happens in six months when the United States changes its clocks and Mexico doesn’t?

Well, Mexico City will stay in that weird Mountain Time Zone limbo—but instead of for a couple weeks, it’ll be for seven months.

It gets worse. Cities that are along the border with a large influx of traffic between them, that create an international metropolitan area (like San Diego and Tijuana, for example), will change their clocks.

The following cities will change their clocks:

Baja California

  • Tijuana
  • Mexicali
  • Ensenada
  • Playa Rosarito
  • Tecate

Chihuahua

  • Juarez
  • Ojinaga
  • Coyame del Sotol
  • Guadalupe
  • Janos
  • Manuel Benavides
  • Praxedis G. Guerrero

Coahuila

  • Acuña
  • Piedras Negras
  • Guerrero
  • Hidalgo
  • Jimenez
  • Zaragoza
  • Nava
  • Ocampo

Nuevo Leon

  • Anahuac
  • Los Aldama

Tamaulipas

  • Nuevo Laredo
  • Reynosa
  • Matamoros
  • Camargo
  • Guerrero
  • Gustavo Dias Ordaz
  • Mier
  • Miguel Aleman
  • Rio Bravo
  • Valle Hermoso

*For more information, click here.

In addition, The entire Mexican state of Quintana Roo will also change its clocks to accommodate East Coast and European tourism. That includes tourist hotspots like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cancun, and Isla Mujeres.

*NOTE: The Mexican state of Sonora has never changed its clocks to stay in sync with Arizona, which also does not follow daylight savings.

If you’re confused, you have every right to be. <u>It’s a mess</u>. In short, there will be parts of Mexico that change time zones, and other parts that do not. Sometimes different cities within the same state will not be in the same time zone.

Conclusion:

Mexico’s Last Daylight Savings

If the US’ resolution toward abandoning daylight savings passes, then things will ease up quite a bit. The two nations will likely be in sync (and hopefully they can coordinate their changes so that Mexico City is once again on Central Time).

However, in the meantime, we’ll have to deal with confusion—especially around the border states.

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