Chetumal’s strategic location is both a boon and bane to its existence. Once a thriving Maya port, Chetumal is also prone to hurricanes that have an uncanny way of wiping the city flat. Leveled by Hurricane Janet in 1955, the city – save for its major tourist spots – was again devastated by Hurricane Dean in 2007. The hurricane displaced a huge population of Chetumal, and those who survived braved the arduous task of rebuilding with rummaged nails, tarpaulin and lumber. The bayside esplanade, when not battered with gusts and giant waves, hosts carnivals and events. The biggest of all festivities is held either late February or late March: an epic show of resilience in the face of catastrophe that Chetumal seemed to have developed to celebrate the belief that whatever happens, life goes on.