3 Wishes 4 Ambergris Caye
By Wendy Auxillou
Two weeks ago I made three New Year’s wishes for Caye Caulker (hopefully not too late). Although I was a bit distracted this past week thanks to love of family (which I hope you would understand), La Isla Bonita, I have not forgotten you. Please permit me, dear readers, to now make three important wishes for our sisterly island of Ambergris Caye.
First and foremost, I wish that 2006 would become the year that Ambergris Caye becomes crime free, or pretty close. Just this past week, First Caribbean Bank became the 8th bank to call San Pedro Town home. No other town or city in Belize except for La Isla Bonita can now boast of having a branch of every banking institution represented in this country within its town limits. This is nothing short of a ringing endorsement of La Isla Bonita’s prominence as the country’s undisputed economic powerhouse. The foresight, vision, dedication and entrepreneurship of its residents are second to none.
San Pedro Town is primarily a town of competent and confident trailblazers who continuously seek to raise the bar in any endeavour they set themselves on. The proactivity and resulting affluence on Ambergris Caye nourishes not only itself, but by extension the entire country of Belize. The taxes that are collected from this island town alone pay for many an infrastructural projects elsewhere in the country.
Let us never forget, too, that the bread and butter on the tables of the children and families of most of Ambergris Caye (and by extension the tables of the children and families of most of the rest of Belize) are there primarily because this picturesque and romantic island enjoys a solid reputation as a safe and peaceful island destination. Image is everything for Ambergris Caye’s success. Any crime, no matter how petty, becomes not only a crime against a particular victim but in reality a crime against this entire town’s (and probably this entire nation’s) ability to feed itself. Each and every blow to its peaceful and crime-free image is a blow against the livelihood of thousands of people who look to the health of this island’s economy for its sustenance. Hopefully the collaboration of police and police-empowered civilian groups will be successful this year in ridding the island of this scourge.
My second wish is that the cobble-stoning of downtown San Pedro resume (and be completed) as quickly as possible. A combination of heavy rains and heavy traffic over the years have worked adversely to transform the once beautiful sandy streets of this great town into ground up powder — powder that makes for an unsightly situation rain (mud everywhere) or shine (dust everywhere). The areas that are already cobble-stoned are beautiful, and certainly add to the ambience of this already rocking island. Complete cobble-stoning of the downtown area will instantly transform this bustling town center into a more shopping-friendly Mecca for tourists translating into more taxes paid into the general fund and thereby benefiting everyone. As I stated previously, image is everything when it comes to this mother island’s economic health.
My third wish for beautiful Ambergris Caye is that the new port / marina be completed, including the necessary dredging, so that the orderly relocation of all barge docking can finally take place. Because the entryway to the new marina is currently not deep enough for larger vessels, more large barges are now docking in front of the island. Aside from the congestion it causes, it is an inescapable eyesore to the otherwise picture-perfect scenery of this beautiful island. And town center, no less. With all the new development on the island, this practice also continues to threaten the reef, as well as other snorkeling and passenger boats in the area.
If I may add one more wish for braata here too, it would be for the continued health, wealth and happiness of all the residents of La Isla Bonita.
Questions or comments, please write to me at [email protected]