Not all of Mexico is warm and sunny — it actually can get pretty chilly, so don’t forget to pack the right clothes. We’ve got the packing tips you need to make sure you aren’t stuck wearing shorts and sandals in the cold.
You wouldn’t think sunny Mexico would be the place you’d pack long sleeved shirts and pants…or even a coat, but it can be. Of course, temperatures range depending on where you're volunteering, but for the most part, ILP volunteers are living abroad in the northern, central part of Mexico (near the mountains) where it can get cold, especially at night. Who knew, right?
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We’ve talked to past ILP volunteers to get the scoop on the best things to pack so you are prepared for whatever weather this country can throw at you.
How Cold Does It Get?
Again, things can vary depending on where you are volunteering, but here is some advice that may apply directly (or generally) to your ILP semester.
Volunteer Valerie M. said it was “WAY colder" than she anticipated. In the Guanajuato area, the temps range from the 40's (and below) to the 90's, depending on when you are there. Here's a general outline of the high's and low's per ILP semester:
- Fall Semester (August to December)
80's and 70's during the day, and mid 50's and 40's at night
Spring Semester (January to April)
Mid 70's to the mid 80's during the day, with low 40's or 50's at night
- Summer Semester (May to August)
90's and 80's for you in the day, and nights that dip to be in the low 60's or mid 50's.
Remember, these are averages and it has dropped to be in the high 30’s and low 40’s at night before….which is definitely not weather for shorts. Don’t end up like Hallie C. who only brought summer clothes for her summer semester and had to buy pants and hoodies over there.
To keep yourself warm, our volunteers say to pack like it’s a Utah fall if you're familiar with that. You may find days where it's warm enough for a t-shirt in the afternoon, but you'll want warmer layers for the early morning and evening.
How Should I Pack?
Here’s what Tiffany M. had to say “I was [in Mexico] last fall and wished I would of had more fall type clothes. Jackets, pants, sweats, long sleeves, etc.” Packing a wide variety of clothes for all temperatures and dressing in layers is going to be your best option; It can get chilly at night and in the morning, but once the afternoon hits, it can warm up quite a bit and you won't need those layers. Mexico also has a rainy season, which can make it feel even colder.
In July, the temperatures might be in the 80's, but it pretty much rains for half the days in that month. August and June are also pretty rainy which cools you off. Volunteers have said it's nice to have waterproof shoes for all the rain.
(And Maybe Bring A Blanket)
Most of the world does not have heat in every room, which makes for an icy bedroom on cold nights. Past volunteers in winter semesters have slept in socks and sweaters (and as many layers as possible) for the first while until the weather got warmer.
Another thing that helps is to bring a blanket — ILP supplies your housing which includes your bedding (no, you don’t have to pack sheets, blankets, pillows, and a mattress!), but a lot of volunteers find that having their own blanket that they're familiar with can be a comfort while you're away from home. It can also be nice to have if you're on an air conditioned bus ride.
But Don’t Forget To Pack For Warm Weather!
I know I said it gets cold in Mexico, but it’s not like you are living in the Arctic — it does warm up, too! Plus, you're going to vacation at warm beaches right?
Many people just assume living in Mexico means wearing shorts and sandals all the time, so we want to make sure you are actually packing for everything. Even where you will be teaching, it gets warm so pack for warm weather too, along with your layers. And you’ll probably be traveling and vacationing to places like Puerto Escondido where you can release little sea turtles — you'll want shorts and swimsuit alllllllllll week long.
Come to Mexico with us!
You'll spend a semester beach hopping, exploring the thick jungles (finding hidden swimming spots and ancient ruins on your way) and teaching English to the cutest little kids around.