TIME ZONES: Cancun is
in the CENTRAL time zone, the same as Chicago, Minneapolis,
Dallas, etc. (GMT minus 6 hours).
SAVING TIME: Cancun observes daylight saving
time, on the same schedule as the United States. If you’re
from Arizona or Indiana, you are aware that parts of these
states do not observe daylight savings time – during
the months when the rest of North America is observing
daylight saving time, the time difference between Mexico
and those areas will be increased by one hour.
24-HOUR CLOCK: Time in Cancun is often
referred to by the 24-hour clock (known as ‘military
time’ to some). This is especially true when in
writing, such as in printed advertising. It’s easy
to discern: Any time posted as 13:00 or higher is in the
24-hour clock. Simply subtract “12” from the
number of hours displayed. For example, if a soccer match
is advertised as being broadcast at 17:30, it will be
shown at 5:30 in the afternoon. 18:00 means 6pm, 20:00
means 8 pm, etc.
“MEXICAN TIME”: Cancun
is no stranger to ‘Mexican Time’, even though
it is a city which caters to tourists who are more or
less used to the idea of being on time for any appointment
or meeting. This is referred to as “Mexican Time”.
“Five Mexican minutes” means up to 10 or 15
minutes. The Mexican culture is not nearly as obsessed
with promptness as the rest of North America or the rest
of the planet, for that matter. This is a laid-back culture,
where the word “mañana” (which literally
means ‘tomorrow’) actually means “some
day other than today”.
Your best advice is to NOT FIGHT IT. You are in Mexico
now, and Mexican Time applies to you no matter where you
come from. Whereas being 15 minutes late for an appointment
in the rest of North America would be considered rude,
in Cancun, and the rest of Mexico being as late as half-an-hour
or more is just considered ‘the way it is’.
“Go with the flow” is the way to regulate
your vacation clock.
This can be wildly annoying
to people who move here and expect things to work the
same way as they are familiar with back home. Remember
that Dorothy duly noted “We’re not in Kansas
anymore, Toto”. Mexico is not Kansas, nor anyplace
else for that matter, Toto, except Mexico. Relax and adapt,
or forever be resigned to an aggravation you can not change.