The one-two punch of the 2005 hurricanes, including the record-setting ferocity of Wilma, battered Cancun. Miles of its famous beach were swept out to sea, and the tourist area of this popular Mexican playground was largely left a shambles.
Lost amid the televised images of stranded tourists wandering the streets was the fact that thousands of residents wholly dependent on the tourist industry watched their livelihoods go out with the tide, too.
Following the initial shock, a dazed but determined Cancun went about getting itself back in business. The government trucked in miles of new beach and most everyone in Cancun took a role in helping with the cleanup.
“Everyone had a stake in the recovery,” says Patricia Lopez Mancera, Cancun’s public relations director. “So individuals really felt compelled to help.”
The group effort paid off (and luckily 2007’s menacing storms, Felix and Dean, left the area relatively unharmed). Revamped and reinvigorated – even the airport got a much-needed face-lift – Cancun is more than back. It’s bigger and better than you remember.