Who governed the settlement of San Pedro Town?Belize is said to have been settled in 1638 by Captain Peter Wallace, a Scotsman and a pirate. The first settlement was said to have been near Haulover Creek. The settlers discovered a wealth of logwood to be had. They exported logwood to London and their profits were used to develop their settlement. It was not until almost 210 years later that the Island of Ambergris Caye was settled. In 1848 the largest group of documented immigrants from Yucatan, Mexico, came to Ambergris Caye. During that time the owner of the island was pretty much the law of the island. On main land Belize, there were Governors who saw the upkeep of law and order. In the early 1900's when islanders complained about high rental fees the Governor of British Honduras replied that the land owner had every right to charge what ever rent he/she desired.
There was an appointed constable stationed on the island and if there was a problem with that constable, again, the people of San Pedro had to request assistance from the Governor in Belize City. San Pedranos successfully replaced several constables they disapproved of throughout the years.
After more and more concerns arose within the settlement, villagers made a collective effort to take the development and growth of San Pedro into their own hands. The villagers had "Fajinas", working drives. These working drives were to be attended by every member of the village. Each person - man, woman and child - had to contribute. At the Fajinas villagers cleaned the cemetery, streets, beaches and partook in many different tasks to help keep the island beautiful. If a person failed to attended the Fajinas, a fine was imposed by the other members of the village.
Eventually the Village Council was devised and a chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer were appointed to oversee the village.
In 1984 San Pedro was declared a Town and a Town Board was developed. The Town Board consists of a Mayor, Deputy Mayor and five counselors. Election of these representatives are held every three years and the people of the town vote to elect who they want to govern the island of Ambergris Caye.
Contributions made by Mayor Alberto Nuñez and Mr. Leo Cuellar