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Cancun

Cancun is as unappealing as you would expect it to be, given that in the 70’s it was just a small fishing village and today is a city of millions. It was created almost entirely to cater for the gringo tourists and so is something like Mexico-in-a-box with selected toppings. Everywhere you see the American corporations like Walmart, Domino Pizza and Office Depot with huge warehouse stores, just like back home, Martha!

It’s a sprawling city that’s too big to walk around and everywhere you see shops selling the same tourist shit hawked all over the Yucatan: blankets, trinkets, ponchos and hammocks, all in bright indigenous colours just garish enough to make a good souvenir. American and European charter tourists fly in here by the millions each year and the entire economy is 100% dependent on foreign disposable income.

So when Hurricane Wilma hit and the ocean waves met with the lagoon behind Cancun at 3 stories high, it was a bit of a shock. The hotel zone was completely trashed and even the Hilton Hotel had a big crack down the side of it. The sand has been washed out from beneath the hotels in Cancun also, so hopefully they won’t just paint over the cracks and open for business.

The government throws tons of money at Cancun after hurricanes and they import new palm trees by truck from Guatemala. That’s what the tourists go crazy for, after all. Either way, the tourism has been damaged by Hurricane Wilma and so has over-spilled south, accelerating the development in Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Cancun is a place a traveler can find work in the tourism business but it’s doubtful if it’s worth it. There are some cool places to hang out though and a lot of cool Mexicans from the big cities come here to seek an alternative life.