San Pedro Sun'sAnnual Year in Review, 1999
Pedro "Jimbo" Vasquez was hired as the new foreman of the San Pedro Town Board. Vasquez replaced Ernesto Caliz.
The Belize Tourist Board relocated its executive offices to the new Central Bank building on Goal Lane in Belize City.
The San Pedro Town Board started the beach reclamation project. This was necessary after Hurricane Mitch claimed a great amount of the beach.
Area Representative of Belize Rural South, Hon. Patty Arceo opened her new office in San Pedro located on Tarpon Street.
Lydia‰s Institute of Fine Education incorporated music into its school‰s curriculum for the formation of the first marching band in San Pedro. Dale Wallace, musician, teaches the class.
Hon. Patty Arceo hosted a breakfast for Madame Siew (wife of Prime Minister Vincent C. Siew of Taiwan) and spouses of the Chinese dignitaries. Wil and Friends of San Pedro entertained the gathering.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Mark Espat signed the Statutory Instrument regulating minimum standards for the registration of hotels and resorts in Belize.
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association Office hired the services of Mr. Roberto Bradley Jr. as Office Manager.
San Pedro hosted the first Mayor‰s Association meeting of 1999. The main topic on the agenda was the discussion of how to go about the privatization of garbage and tax collection.
The Island Sports Council donated $780.50 to the R.C. School from the funds raised at a volleyball tournament held at Playador Beach Resort.
Members of the San Pedro branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association hosted a North American press group. This was done in an effort to educate foreign readers that Belize was not severely affected by Hurricane Mitch.
Rendezvous Estates Restaurant and Bar donated $1000 to the San Pedro Health Center.
Barbara‰s Dance Group celebrated their first anniversary with a dance recital of all their dances at the San Pedro Lions Den.
Miss Dominican Republic won the title of Miss Rainforest International. This was the first year that this pageant was held. The countries that participated were: Dominican Republic, Belize, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama. The pageant was held in Santa Elena, Cayo.
Children of the San Pedro R.C. School took part in the Love FM/Town Board Clean Up-Campaign.
The San Pedro Lions Club annual Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) fundraiser was a big success.
Carnaval 1999 was enjoyed by many. The three day celebration kicked off with the crowning of Danielita Rivero as Miss Carnaval. The San Pedro Lions Club was voted best comparsa group for their three day participation.
Candice Chavannes and Rodrigo Allen of St. Peter‰s topped the Caye Zone Eliminations of the National Coca-Cola Spelling Bee.
Ian Ritchie won the overall annual San Pedro Sun Valentine‰s Day Poetry Contest. His winning poem in the humor category was chosen from the hundreds of entries submitted by locals and foreigners.
San Pedro Turquoise won the First Division Football championship in a game against Kremandala Lakers played at the M.C.C. Grounds.
Renown Belizean Punta Rock art ist, Andy Palacio visited San Pedro Town after returning from Paris, France where he took part in an International Music Trade Show.
Students of Lydia‰s Institute of Fine Education formed the first cheerleaders team in San Pedro. The students are coached by Susan Boyd.
The swearing of the Caye Caulker and San Pedro Special Constabulary took place at the San Pedro Town Board. Among the dignitaries present for the ceremony was Minister of National Security and Immigration Hon. Jorge Espat.
Dilcia Danellie Trejo was crowned Miss San Pedro High at a fundraiser put together by the seniors of the school.
The San Pedro Chapter of BTIA opted to remain as a branch of the Belize BTIA after a series of meetings.
Physicians and health care professionals from the community joined the medical students of St. Matthew‰s University in providing assistance and information for the first "Spring into Health" fair which was held at the Lions Den.
The Belize Bank donated a new computer monitor to the San Pedro R.C. School as an addition to the introduction of computer classes to the students.
The San Pedro Foundation released a 1999 calendar with scenes of San Pedro as a new way of raising funds for their organization. The foundation assists young Belizean students with scholarship funding.
The San Pedro Library Arts contest was well attended. Hundreds of entries were received and many came out to support the barbecue fundraiser to assist with the library‰s expenses.
Mayor Alberto Nuñez and Deputy Mayor Eiden Salazar Jr. were re-elected to serve another year in their capacity as Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively.
The children of San Pedro were treated to outings, parties, picnics and sporting activities as part of Children‰s Week.
Lions Club District Governor, Lion Alberto Mahler visited the San Pedro Lions Club as part of his official visit to the clubs of Belize.
The San Pedro Lions Club rebuilt the pier and beautified the Mosquito Coast Park in a series of work-a-thons.
Dr. Herman Smith, a resident of Ambergris Caye and citizen of Belize published a 72-page book of short stories about the ancient Maya. The book entitled "Archeology Without Tears" is a compilation of "Dig It" columns that Dr. Smith wrote for the San Pedro Sun.
Green Reef put forth a proposal to the BTB to establish a "Learning Center" to be located in San Pedro. The purpose is to provide education for tour guides and service industry personnel requiring additional occupational training.
It was announced that Irenie Gonzalez would represent the San Pedro Lions Club at the Lions District 59 Convention in San Estevan, Orange Walk.
Pre-schools in San Pedro observed Child Stimulation Month and held art exhibits and cultural days.
Selected teachers of the San Pedro R.C. School were asked to assist in the rewriting of the curriculum for all schools in Belize.
Island Supermarket on Coconut Drive opened its doors to the public. Island Supermarket is now the biggest market on the island.
San Pedro celebrated the Easter holidays with annual religious ceremonies and beach parties for the hundreds of tourists visiting the island.
The San Pedro Foundation, a government registered, non-profit organization awarded scholarships to three outstanding Belizeans. The recipients of the scholarships were: Mariana Ancona, Mary Gonzalez and Karen Martinez.
The new logo for the Belize Tourism Board was unveiled. The colorful new logo sports a toucan, a rising sun and the headline, "Catch the Adventure." Additionally, many advertisements carry the slogan "Mother Nature‰s Best Kept Secret."
The San Pedro Sub-Office of Social Security opened in San Pedro. The office, a sub-office of the Belize District, is only the second sub-office in the country.
Bobbie, a wounded Loggerhead turtle that had been found suffering from head injuries, was released into the wild after being rehabilitated by Dr. Bron Eastwood and family.
Severo Guerrero, a local tour guide took Mark Sosin, host of America‰s longest running saltwater TV show, Saltwater Journal, on a two-day fishing expedition. This was part of a promotional video shoot for Journey‰s End Resort.
San Pedro Lions Club attended the XXII D-59 Lions Convention in San Estevan. They won first prize for best organized group, second prize for best float and for the most attendees.
Candice Chavannes of St. Peter‰s Elementary won the National Spelling Bee Contest. This was the first time a student of San Pedro won this competition. Candice was awarded a computer for her school and one for herself.
Mrs. Flora Ancona‰s biography was added to the Turton Library Center in Belize City. Mrs. Ancona was chosen by the San Pedro Librarian for her outgoing personality in the community.
Green Reef held its Reef Festival at Central Park. The festival is an annual event in which the organization promotes the importance of our fragile reef system.
Tour guides, local environmentalists, concerned citizens, media groups and Hon. Patty Arceo came together in action against the "protrusion into the reef" that was built as a result of an intake water pipe that was part of NOVA Shrimp Farm‰s development plan.
The XLVI Annual General Meeting of the Ministries of Agriculture of Central America was held at Journey‰s End Resort in San Pedro. Elected to serve as president was Belize‰s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Co-operatives, Hon. Daniel Silva.
Belize Electricity Limited executives came to San Pedro to explain and answer questions concerning BEL‰s efforts to correct the electricity problems that had been plaguing Ambergris Caye for the last year.
A grand Mother‰s Day celebration was held at Central Park. Miss Lina Guemez was chosen as Mother of the Year. Many prizes were given throughout the evening.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Mark Espat and Director of Tourism, Valerie Woods visited San Pedro and hosted a public forum at the Town Hall. Members of various organizations and the community came out to hear and speak about the latest developments in the Tourism Industry.
Miss Belize, Viola Jeffery, traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to represent our country in the Miss Universe Pageant.
The four-day hurricane preparedness drill "Exercise Millennium Breeze" ended. The drill was rated "Excellent" after the committee underwent the process of evacuation, simulating procedures to be followed after a real hurricane is declared.
The Government of Belize an nounced the decision to begin an Amnesty Initiative for illegal and undocumented immigrants residing in Belize. Offices were opened throughout the country including one in San Pedro Town.
Government presented the Town Council Bill to the San Pedro public for review. Even though there was a small turnout, some recommendations were made.
Seventeen people from San Pedro and Caye Caulker were sworn in as Justices of the Peace by acting Chief Justice Troadio Gonzalez.
Hon. Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education and Sports met with teachers and principals of San Pedro. The purpose of the meeting was to give San Pedro educators an opportunity to voice their opinions, problems and ask for assistance from the Ministry.
San Pedro hosted a team of professionals from the James Hendricks Memorial Drug Abuse Treatment and Prevention Workshop. The group spent a full day on the island where they were entertained by tours of the reef, lunch, dancers and overall good San Pedro hospitality.
Lisa Sharp, a student of San Pedro Roman Catholic School, achieved a 97.78 percentile score, the highest of 77 students from San Pedro who sat the Belize National Selection Examination (BNSE).
Fourteen-year-old San Pedro beauty, Melina Guerrero was chosen to be the model in the San Pedro entry of the Mundo Maya posters which launched a new marketing/promotion campaign. Eight posters were designed to represent the districts; one for the cayes and others of the entire country.
San Pedro celebrated in honor of their patron Saint Peter. The week-long activities included dinners for the senior citizens, dance presentations, a fair and religious ceremonies including the annual boat procession.
Ceci Lara and Luisana Nuñez, both members of the San Pedro Dance Company, are awarded a two-week dance scholarship at The Dance Factory in Wisconsin, USA.
A unanimous agreement stated that San Pedro Town will not allow four-storey buildings. This was the decision of the people at a public meeting hosted by the Belize Tourism Association (BTIA) regarding the proposed Fountain Blue Project.
The San Pedro Branch of the Credit Union was revived. The Union operates out of the San Pedro Tour Guide Office.
The San Pedro Lions Club installed their new Board of Directors. Mr. Severo Guerrero replaces Ruben Gonzalez as President.
Green Reef held a community consultation workshop to introduce their Management Plan for the Bird Sanctuaries.
It was announced that Adaly Guerrero and Christina Astheimer would represent San Pedro at the Miss Teen Belize Pageant to be held in Belize City.
For the first time ever, Bingo was introduced in San Pedro. The Boatyard Bar holds Bingo Loco every Tuesday and this fun activity quickly became one of San Pedro‰s favorite pastimes.
Eighteen-year-old San Pedro beauty, Vanya Vasquez was chosen to represent Belize at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant to be held during the Costa Maya Festival.
Hercules (a rescued orphan manatee) was taken to Xcaret in Mexico after he was found stranded in the Belize River. Hercules will remain there until he reaches adulthood and will then be returned to Belize.
Maya Island Air was selected by consumers as "Their Favorite Brand" according to a market study and was eligible to receive the benefits, rights and results granted by "Opinion Publica La Ceiba" (OPSA).
Christina Astheimer of San Pedro wins the title of Miss Teen Belize. Christina competed against eleven other teens from throughout the country.
Renown Mexican Soap Opera Star, Mauricio Islas arrived in San Pedro to act as official host of the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant.
The Belize National Fire Service held their sixth Fire Olympiad in San Pedro. Representatives from all districts participated in simulating fire fighting drills. The winning team was Belize Airport Authority‰s Crash Fire and Rescue team.
San Pedro‰s resident doctor of many years, Otto Rodriguez suffered from severe heart problems and had to be hospitalized in Belize City and transferred to a hospital in the USA.
Green Reef hosted a group of thirty teachers for the 7th Annual Teacher‰s Study Tour at the San Pedro Town Hall. The group visited Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley as part of the workshop.
The Costa Maya Festival came to an end. Miss Denisse Guzman of Mexico was crowned Reina de la Costa Maya. Belize‰s Representative Miss Vanya Vasquez of San Pedro won the title of "Piel Coppertone" for her lovely skin. The band Kairo attracted hundreds to the festival grounds for Belize/International Day. Despite some last minute cancellations, the festival was very well attended.
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was the venue for the XXXV Regional Meeting of the Mundo Maya Organization hosted by Belize‰s Minister of Tourism, Mark Espat. The Regional Commission is comprised of public and private sector representatives from each of the five Mundo Maya countries - Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. During the meeting, several major initiatives were discussed including deadlines for a new regional tourism information system, the designation of official Mundo Maya airline carriers, the establishment of a permanent technical secretariat and the distribution of a primary school Mundo Maya education manual.
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives Hon. Daniel Silva officially declared the annexation of Shark Ray Alley as Zone "D" of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Volunteers and rangers of Bacalar Chico Reserve monitored and aided 82 newborn Loggerhead turtles to sea.
The San Pedro Dance Company participated at Carnival ‰99 in Belize City. Even though the company was there only as an exhibition and not as competition, this was the first time that a delegation from San Pedro took part in Belize‰s most colorful carnival.
The Coastal Zone Management and Institute celebrated the second annual Manatee week. In San Pedro, Green Reef actively promoted the manatee‰s role in the ecosystem and educated the public on ways to protect this endangered specie. On display were various posters relating to manatee information and on exhibit, a manatee skeleton.
The Center for Marine Conservation, along with the Belize Scouts Association, held a nationwide coastal clean-up. Over thirty students of San Pedro joined Green Reef for a beach clean-up.
The Ministry of National Security and Immigration announced the appointment of Mr. Hughington Williams as Commissioner of Police. This announcement came as a result of the retirement of Commissioner Ornel Brooks. Mr. Williams was previously the Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The Prime Minister‰s Office announced adjustments to the Cabinet. Included in these, was the appointment of Hon. Patty Arceo, Area Representative of Belize Rural South as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry.
The 7th Annual Belikin Blue Water Fishing Tournament was held. Art Picou of San Pedro brought in the heaviest Blue Marlin weighing 297 pounds. This fish also gave the boat Freedom the Champion Boat prize.
The official ground-breaking ceremony for the San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital was held.
The San Pedro Lions Club acquired the services of Dr. Lenin Quintana Reyes to work at the Lions Clinic. Dr. Reyes, a qualified practitioner for over eleven years, is originally from Santiago, Cuba.
The San Pedro Dance Company was a big hit at the Expofer ‰99 fair held in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. The company was awarded with a certificate of recognition from the XXIV edition of the Expofer Festival.
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church underwent renovations including a brand new ceiling, built courtesy of an anonymous donor.
Tropic Air celebrated its 20th anniversary. As part of their celebrations the general public was invited to open houses at offices country-wide to enjoy snacks and refreshments as well as a one-day-only $20 charge for one-way plane rides to single destinations.
Elsy Soriano was chosen the first Miss Garifuna San Pedro. This first time pageant attracted hundreds at Central Park to witness the beauty of the Garifuna culture.
The BoatYard‰s Island Ferry became San Pedro‰s newest ferry service featuring regularly scheduled departure and arrival times. The ferry services business and residential stops from the north to the south of Ambergris Caye.
Maya Island Air was awarded the prestigious La Ceiba de Oro Award in Guatemala City. Maya Island Air‰s outstanding customer service, safety record and reliability aided the company in achieving the award.
Upper class students and football team members from San Pedro R. C. School joined members of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association in mixing materials to make two additional reef balls (fish habitats). This was part of an educational program required by the SPTGA to give a specific group or school background on the Slackchwe Habitat Enhancement Project.
A portion of Coconut Drive from Esmeralda Lane going south to the junction leading to the beach near Belizean Reef was given a new look after cobblestones were placed as a road surface. This was necessary to alleviate the "water" and "mud hole" problems caused by rains in this area.
Bacalar Chico Ranger Isaias Majil returned to San Pedro from a two-week intensive course in Costa Rica. The course covered the evolution, reproduction and monitoring of turtles.
San Pedro celebrated its 15th Township Anniversary. During this celebration, also the anniversary of the San Pedro Dance Company, the talented dancers kept the audience on their feet with their wonderful dance renditions.
The Hon. Patty Arceo acquired the services of three trained specialists from the Government Press Office to film a documentary about San Pedro. The documentary will be used as a marketing tool to promote our island abroad.
The San Pedro Police Department observed Police Week. Various activities were held culminating with a parade and an awards ceremony. Miss Lane Llewelyn was presented an award as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year for her unconditional help and support of the San Pedro police department.
Two San Pedro Schools, Lydia‰s Institute of Fine Education (LIFE) and ABC Pre-school, were handed over responsibility for the first of two re-constructed parks.
The San Pedro Garifuna Committee elected a new Board of Directors. Joseph Elijio was chosen President of the committee.
Local resident and artist Jane McCarver held a benefit art exhibit with proceeds going to the Lions Inter-Community Hospital. A total of seventy-six paintings went on sale for a total value of $10,000.
The San Pedro Post Office relocated to a bigger office suite in the same Alijua Building on Barrier Reef Drive across from Atlantic Bank Limited.
Island Ferry Services donated $1000 worth of ferry tokens to the San Pedro Police Department to be used for patrolling and/or policing the north and south ends of the island.
A tragic fire destroyed two buildings on Barrier Reef Drive. The fire was contained after the community came together and formed a water bucket brigade to combat the fire.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Rudolph Orio was transferred to Mango Creek in southern Belize. ASP Michael Gutierrez replaced ASP Orio.
The residents of San Pedro united in an all-day fundraiser for the recent fire victims. By the end of the day, a total of over $72,000 worth of cash, pledges and material donations had been received.
San Pedro welcomed the debut of the Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. The show was performed by members of Barbara‰s Dance Group as part of the Millennium Celebrations.
The San Pedro Town Board and the Y2KCC organized several entertaining events at Central Park leading up to the New Year. Presentations were given by the students of Lydia‰s Institute of Fine Education, Barbara‰s Dance Group, the Pantempers Steel Band, the Belize Dance Company, the San Pedro Dance Company, former Miss San Pedros and Mothers of the Year and many fine musicians.