Miami has always been the commercial and cultural center for Florida and the nearby Caribbean, but in the past 30 years it has emerged as a world-class international hub and a gateway for all of Latin America. In many ways it serves as the central logistical and cultural hub of the entire Western Hemisphere. The inevitable result is a diverse and invigorating Latin culture superimposed upon what was already a major commercial, resort, and retirement area dating back to the 1920’s. Many think of it as a tourist center, but import/export and international financial trade with Latin countries make up a far larger part of the economy. These activities bring a large banking industry as well as cargo transport and warehousing; the manufacturing and corporate headquarters rosters are also growing. The city is busy- in many ways stressful- and the mix of cultures, heat, and poverty has occasionally boiled over into ethnic and civil strife. But the city is fun and undeniably alive.