Exploring Ambergris Caye’s early tourism days
History serves as an opportunity to travel back in time and explore past events about a settlement, a region, or a country. Belizean history is rich and diverse, highlighting different past events across the country. However, there are many questions about specific chapters of the Belizean society. Have you ever wondered how San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye transformed from a quaint fishing village to the prime tourism destination it is today? The answer to clear such curiosity is by visiting the recently opened San Pedro Tourism Information Center on Angel Coral Street across from the Saca Chispas field, where you can find the book ‘San Pedro History of Tourism.’ This unique and well-documented history of the island was penned by well-known islander Guillermo ‘Mito’ Paz, and it can be yours for just BZ$30.
The book covers topics about tourism in the early days, from the birth of modern tourism to the introduction of the aviation industry in San Pedro. According to Paz, it goes back as far as 1920 and reflects on the adventures, struggles, and experiences of the early pioneers behind the development of the island’s village and tourism industry. The book comes with extraordinary pictures providing a peek into the past. Paz, who, besides writing the book, also oversaw the design and layout, shared that he started working on the project around 2015. It was not an easy feat and required long hours of research and interviews. At times he felt the pressure was too heavy, but with the encouragement of friends and family, he pushed on until he finished the manuscripts. “I am proud of this book; although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed every minute invested in our island’s history documentation,” Paz said. This masterpiece was finally published in March 2020 by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) at BRC Printing Ltd in the Cayo District. An official launching ceremony was scheduled for March 29, 2020, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event never took place.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun