Most of Mexico will begin daylight saving time (DST) when the clocks move forward by one hour from 2am (or 02:00) to 3am (or 03:00) local time on Sunday, April 3, 2011.
DST in Mexico
Daylight saving time officially begins in most of Mexico on the first Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October. Some areas in northern Mexico that border the United States follow a different daylight saving schedule where DST runs from the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday of November. This schedule applies to the following areas:
- Ciudad Juarez.
- Ciudad Acuña.
- Piedras Negras.
- Nuevo Laredo.
Mexico’s Congress passed a law in December 2009 to ensure that the amended DST schedule for these areas would occur from 2010 onwards. Sonora does not observe DST so the time does not change there. These areas follow the United States’ DST schedule as a way of maintaining strong business ties and economic relations between US/Mexico border cities and towns.
Advantages of DST in Mexico
DST is applied in most of Mexico on a yearly basis to save energy by promoting the rational use of electricity. DST allows for extra hour of sunlight in the afternoon to counter peak electricity demand, in which more natural sunlight is used instead of artificial lighting. Many people in Mexico have access to electricity and live in urban areas, where peak electricity demand occurs after sunset.
Time Zones in Mexico
Mexico observes three different time zones:
- Central Standard Time (CST), which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6 hours), applies to most of the country including Mexico City. This region observes Central Daylight Time (CDT), which is UTC-5 hours, during daylight saving time.
- Mountain Standard Time (MST), or UTC-7 hours, applies to states such as Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Sonora. These areas, except Sonora, shift to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), which is UTC-6 hours, during daylight saving time.
- Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is UTC-8 hours, is used in areas such as Tijuana and Baja California. These areas shift to Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), which is UTC-7 hours, during daylight saving time.
The islands, reefs, and cays that are part of Mexico observe the appropriate time zones allocated to them depending on their geographical location. Daylight saving time is referred to in Spanish as “horario estacional” or “horario de verano”.