I've seen the photos and heard the reports first-hand from San Pedritos about the situation on the back side. Yes, the government probably shouldn't have built there because it's so low-lying, and every hurricane hit or near-hit will certainly affect them, but they did. So now what do you do with the people who have invested their hard-earned money and lives there? There's really no other place to go unless the government relocates San Pedrito somewhere else, but where? One option is the relatively high, rocky area northwest of the river behind and just north of Mary Ellen's Sweet Basil, but that would take time and a huge investment on the part of the government. Anyway, someone will always move to San Pedrito because there's available land there so what's the point? Keith was a freak, what with its westerly winds. Building on poles as they do in San Pedrito and elsewhere will help unless another 'cane sits over them for three days again. If another storm comes in with easterly winds, then the front side will get heavily damaged. It's always a hit or miss proposition that no amount of relocation will rectify in the face of nature. As in Florida, or in the tornado-prone areas of the midwest (where I live), you just learn to build stronger homes. There will always be damage during severe storms, but you rebuild and move on like everyone on AC is doing. I commend the heroic people of AC for their tenacity to face the situation with dignity and hard work after the storm.
After Keith there was a massive relief effort and clean-up focused mainly on the front side. I'm glad the resorts, etc, are rapidly getting fixed up because tourism is exactly what San Pedro needs to fully recover. But let's not forget the many San Pabloans and San Pedritoans who are the backbone of tourism, who take the boats out, act as fishing guides, etc. Perhaps front-side owners and others should now stress that relief and clean-up efforts be directed at their less fortunate friends, family, and co-workers in San Pedrito and San Pablo.
One other point I'd like to make. It's clear that there was a lot of damage on AC due to Keith. Why hide that fact from the world? Natural disasters happen all the time around the world. The storm's over, and AC is being cleaned up and rebuilt. That word is being spread around the tourist world, and tourists WILL be back because (1) there's no denying that AC is a beautiful place to vacation but most importantly, (2) because they herald the tenacious efforts of the people of AC in dealing with nature's current blow to them. It's the people that make the place, that draw many of the tourists back again and again and the world knows it. Just read the thousands of comments on the web page about that. The Belizean (and other) people of AC were hit by a terrible disaster, but they have shown courage and resilience in getting back on their feet and saying "Give us a little time, and we'll be back!". Tourists will flock back just for that, if nothing else. I applaud the people of San Pedro and San Pedrito, and I know I'll be back to continue my 20 year association with bringing tourists and students to Belize several times a year. So let's help them out as well and not hide their loss under the rug. There's nothing to be ashamed of. They will survive.