San Pedro Sun's Annual Year in Review, 2001


The San Pedro Town Council acquired the services of Alberto Villanueva Jr. as Town Administrator.

Government announced its decision to privatize the Belize Water and Sewerage Authority.

One of three Tourism Police Officers was posted permanently in San Pedro from a graduation class of thirteen.

The San Pedro Sun was involved in a New York Times photo shoot at a local food and beverage establishment in San Pedro. The photographs complemented a two-page story on Ambergris Caye written by New York Times' writer Fran Marcos.

Country music star Jerry Jeff Walker, along with over 300 of his fans, converged on the island to enjoy "foot stompin" music performed by Mr. Walker and guitarist John Inmon, raising $25,000 to benefit "La Isla Bonita."

Assistant Inspector of Police Lin den Flowers was appointed as Coastal Executive Officer for Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. He replaced Assistant Superintendent of Police Michael Gutierrez.

Fox Network's "Temptation Island" did more than stir up the sand on Ambergris Caye. Its first episode captured an audience of sixteen million viewers who were exposed to the beauty of Ambergris Caye.

Miss Turismo Centro America 2000, Flor de Maria Garcia Ferrera of Honduras, paid a courtesy visit to San Pedro and other destinations in Belize.

A Green Reef study showed grouper numbers declining due to over-fishing during the full moons of December and January when thousands of Nassau Grouper come together to spawn.


After three years in Belize, United States Ambassador Carolyn Curiel bid farewell to the people of Ambergris Caye.

The San Pedro Lions Club was entrusted with $25,000 raised by Jerry Jeff Walker and his fans to build houses for five families who lost their homes during Hurricane Keith.

San Pedro Lions Clinic underwent a total renovation to provide better service to its customers.

Sofia Guerra was crowned Miss Carnival 2001 kicking-off the Carnival celebrations in San Pedro. The San Pedro Lions Club was voted the best comparsa during the three-day carnival.

San Pedro's own Excalibur team, captained by Arely Marin, captured the honor of Champion Boat at the 11th Annual International Bill Fishing Tournament.

The community of San Pedro showed great support for the earthquake victims of El Salvador raising $38,000 in addition to much needed food and clothing.


The Department of Environment announced they received US$500,000 from the Inter-American Development Bank to be used for the beautification of three major sections in Belize. Beneficiaries of this grant were the areas most affected by Hurricane Keith: Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and the Lamanai Ruin area in Orange Walk.

Students of Island Academy, Lydia's Institute of Fine Education and Isla Bonita Elementary held a peaceful protest to bring safety awareness to the drivers of this community.

Mel Spain was unanimously voted Deputy Mayoress of San Pedro by members of the San Pedro Town Council.

Well-known San Pedro resident and active community leader, Baldemar Graniel Sr. announced his candidacy for standard bearer for Belize Rural South.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve received a grant of $38,000 from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT).

The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Said Musa, was the guest of honor at a ground-breaking ceremony for St. Matthew's new campus on the southern part of the island.


Radio Emmanuel, a Christian radio station was started in San Pedro. Radio Emmanuel is headed by Pastor Vidal Gonzalez of the Assembly of God Church on Angel Coral Street.

The Belize-Mexico Alliance for the Management of the Common Coastal Resources (BEMAMCCOR) met in San Pedro to sign an agreement and terms of reference regarding the management of their countries' shared coastal resources.

The new San Pedro fire station was inaugurated at a cost of $90,000 provided by the Government of Belize.

San Pedro played host to the Lions of Belize Zone 59 to celebrate their 24th annual convention. San Pedro Lions Queen Luisana Nuñez was crowned Miss Belize Lions Zone 59 Queen.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Hon. Daniel Silva officially signed into law the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park Statutory Instrument.


The San Pedro Health Center relocated to a brand new building just north of the high school. The new facility boasts nine rooms.

Alex Eiley was elected as the new president of the San Pedro Lions Club for the year 2001-2002.

The 5th Annual Reef Festival received an impressive turn out and was said to be one of the best ever held.

Mrs. Tomasita Gomez was named Mother of the Year at the annual Mother's Day Program. Mirza Trejo was named Mother/Father of the Year.

The San Pedro Lions Club handed out tables, chairs, computers and other supplies to all the schools of the island. The goods were a donation from "Food for the Poor, Inc." in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Members of the San Pedro Lions Club attended the Annual Istmania Convention in Nicaragua.

The National AIDS Commission (NAC) held a consultation with the community of San Pedro and erected an AIDS billboard at the San Pedro airstrip as part of their awareness campaign.

Eighteen year-old Melina Diaz was announced as Belize's representative for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant.

A San Pedro landmark, the Barrier Reef Hotel was demolished to make way for a new bank.


The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Cancer Society was formed as more than 30 people turned out to support local cancer survivor Janine Lopez in her quest to do more for those afflicted with this life-threatening disease.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve hosted representatives from Panama, East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and Belize at a World Conservation Union (IUCN) workshop entitled "Linking Tourism to Marine Protected Areas and Communities."

Members of the San Pedro Dance Company were presented with Golden Awards at the Belize Schools' Festival of Arts.

The Ministry of Health acquired the services of two additional nurses for the San Pedro Health Center - Nurses Lorlene Ramsundar and Donna Thomas.

Findley Halliday of the San Pedro Dance Company was selected to join the Belize National Dance Company on their European dance tour.

The much-anticipated beginning of the lobster season was considered one of the worst ever.

Representatives from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico rendezvoused in San Pedro for the official launching ceremony of the Meso-american Barrier Reef System Project.


Local tourist guides led reporters along the island's coastline so they could witness the out of control dredging on the front side of Ambergris Caye.

Venus Swimwear catalog models returned to San Pedro for their 2002 catalog photo shoot. The Venus group returned to the island after discovering it to be the perfect background scenery for their swimsuits.

Five dancers from the San Pedro Dance Company traveled to Wisconsin, USA for a three-week dance course.

The San Pedro Lions Club hosted a picnic for 42 members of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired. Twenty-four of the participants were blind and/or visually challenged children.

The Offshore Express, a 55-foot live-a-board vessel operating in San Pedro for many years, sank near Half Moon Caye.


Mexican soap opera star Valentino Lanus was announced as the new conductor for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Lanus replaced Juan Soler who was unable to attend.

SAGA Society, the San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital and the San Pedro Library, each received a generous donation courtesy of the Aimee Eve Polak Memorial Scholarship Fund in the USA.

Medical University of the Americas announced its plans to open a branch Medical University in San Pedro Town, Belize.

Miss Evelyn Lopez of Guatemala was crowned Reina de la Costa Maya 2001-2002.

Sergeant Frank Augustine became the newest addition to the San Pedro Police Department.

Members of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) arrived in Belize at the request of the Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Government Organizations Limited (BACONGO) to meet with organizations and individuals regarding the proposed Chalillo Dam.

Boston Proper, an upscale women's clothing catalog returned to San Pedro with models and photo crew to shoot their upcoming catalog.

Mexico's "Tesorito" Laura Leon gave the San Pedro Sun an exclusive interview before her grand concert during the Costa Maya Festival. She also received a courtesy call from members of the San Pedro Lions Club.

Local airlines Maya Island Air and Tropic Air ceased flights to Corozal based on the fact that the airstrip had deteriorated to an unsafe state of repair.


President of the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, Philip "Billy" Leslie, was named "Tour Guide of the Year" at the 2nd Annual National Tourism Awards ceremony in Belize City.

Avalon Reef Club, the largest resort development yet on Ambergris Caye held a short ground-breaking ceremony. Previously housing 32 units as Casa Caribe, they announced plans for expanding to 242 units.

Charming Dilcia Trejo was crowned Miss San Pedro 2001-2002. Miss Trejo was also awarded the titles of Miss Amity and Miss Photogenic.

Cabinet decided NOT to renew an exclusive license awarded to Belize Telecommunications Limited to provide national and international telecommunication services to Belize.

Manuel Heredia Jr., was announced as the United Democratic Party candidate for Belize Rural South Area Representative.

Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park and Hol Chan Marine Reserve welcomed biologists Gianna Gomez and Kenneth Coonrod to their teams.


A Category 4 hurricane, "Iris," roared ashore the southern coast of Belize leaving several thousand homeless and wreaking havoc in the coastal communities. Residents of San Pedro immediately began a fundraiser, raising over $34,000, and were the first sister community to arrive in Placencia with relief supplies.

The San Pedro Scouts Association officially installed a total of twenty-two members.

The first of eight new aircrafts for Maya Island Air arrived in the country. The 14-seat Cessna Grand Caravan made its maiden voyage to San Pedro carrying members of the Belizean press and airline executives.

Local airlines refused to land on the airstrip at Caye Caulker because they deemed the airstrip unsafe for landing.

Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation (COMPACT) Project held consultations with various members of the San Pedro community regarding future funding for economic projects.

Abel Guerrero Sr. was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest honor given by Lions Club International Foundation.

Mr. Javier Alpuche officially replaced Florencio Acosta as Health Inspector for San Pedro Town.

Ambergris Caye's Coastal Executive Officer Linden Flowers was promoted to Inspector.


SAGA Society and Green Reef joined forces to educate the island's school children to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the wonders of "La Isla Bonita."

Recycling bins were placed around San Pedro Town as part of the Environmental Restoration Project.

A Canadian national attempted to rob Atlantic Bank in broad daylight. Gary Horth was apprehended by San Pedro Police with the help of a security guard from the bank.

Ella Carr was crowned Miss Garifuna San Pedro 2001-2002.

Large amounts of dead fish were discovered in the man-made lagoon at the entrance to the San Pablo Area. Investigation showed the fish died due to Biological Oxygen Demand, a result of someone polluting the lagoon with oil.

World-renown watercolorist Malcolm Farley visited San Pedro and immortalized the beauty of the island on canvas.

Twelve year-old Pablo Guerrero of San Pedro Roman Catholic School was voted the first prize winner of the Belize Lions Zone 59 Peace Poster Contest.

Men, women and children showed support for the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Cancer Society by taking part in the first-ever San Pedro Cancer Walk-a-thon 2001.

Teacher Charlene Lee of Island Academy won a brand new golf cart raffled by Island Supermarket.

SAGA Society announced the release of the new 2002 SAGA Society/Green Reef Belize calendar.


Twenty-three year-old Karen Russell was crowned Miss Belize 2001-2002.

It was announced that visitors to Shark Ray Alley would be charged $7 per visitor per day, effective December 27th, 2001.

The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Cancer Society and the San Pedro Health Center organized a very informative Health Fair at the Lions Den.

Dr. Mazzotti, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Florida, visited with residents of San Pedro Town in an effort to educate them in the proper management of crocodiles.

The traditional Christmas lighting ceremony featured the addition of a 40-foot Christmas tree at Central Park, thanks to Miguel Urbina Jr. from Orange Walk.

Residents of San Pedro and members of the police department met to discuss the issue of escalating crime on the island and police-community relations.

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