Difference in Jamaica and Florida time zones


I live in Trinidad and we are in the same timezone as the eastern united states even though geographically we are relatively far to the east of the eastern US.

How is it then that Jamaica, which is alot closer west to the eastern US in a different time zone (GMT-5) than for instance Florida (GMT-4) and is therefore 1 hour behind?

In: 29

Many places don’t practice daylight savings time like the USA does therefore they fall an hour behind.

E.g, my wife is from Ecuador and we live in Florida. On a globe Ecuador is literally due south of Florida. Yet they are an hour behind because of daylight savings time.

I understand how daylight savings would influence this but right now as daylight savings are ongoing in the US, we (in Trinidad) are on the same time as the Eastern US, but Jamaica isn’t.

You are not actually in the same time zone. Yours is called [Atlantic Standard Time](https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/ast) (UTC-4), eastern US alternates between [Eastern Standard Time](https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/est) (UTC-5) and [Eastern Daylight Time](https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/edt). (UTC-4). Jamaica does not observe daylight saving time and is thus permanently in the Eastern Standard Time. EST is the geographically “correct” time for the eastern US, but they choose to run 1 hour ahead during summer.

Countries simply decide in which timezone they want to be. Usually that corresponds to their actual geographical location but there are exemptions.

E.g. China geographically spans from UTC +5 to UTC +9, but they decided to have the whole country on UTC +8, while neighboring Russia has different time zones for different regions.

Time zones (on land) aren’t always straight lines, they’re often following state/country/province borders.


Trinidad is UTC-4, Eastern US is -5 and Jamaica is -5. But during the northern summer, Eastern US is -4 (‘spring forward’) while Jamaica stays -5.

Chile is the opposite. They also have daylight savings so in their summer they are UTC-3, in winter they are UTC-4. So right now, they are at the same time as Eastern US. In the northern winter/southern summer, Chile is 2 hrs ahead of eastern US.