• San Pedro center :: 1959
  • Along the beach, recognized are Eiden Salazar,  Elvi  Staines and her Grandmother :: 1960's
  • Central Park and the Barrier Reef Hotel :: 1986
  • Ray Auxillou's Hideaway Lodge on Caye Caulker (1st hotel on CC) and his boat, the Atoll Queen :: 1960's
  • Downtown beachfront in San Pedro :: late 1970's
  • Township Day :: November 27, 1984
  • Huge gaffed lobster :: 1960's
  • A comparsa, Los Torreros for Carnaval, 1960's :: From left to right: Iraida Staines, Angelica Graniel, Concha Dawson, Cruzita Nuñez,Oni Marin, Nieve and Melita Guerrero, Elizabeth Sabido, Victoria Gomez, Helen Paz, Marjeli Heredia, Gloria Staines, and Eva Montejo
  • Central Park :: 1960's
  • Ambergris Lodge and Lily's Hotel :: 1980's
Articles on Belize Belizean Artists and paintings Banks of Belize The Belize Barrier Reef Birds and Birding in Belize Belize Blogs Boat Charters Bookstore Businesses in Belize Belizean Casinos Caving and Cave tubing in Belize Annual Costa Maya Festival Cruise Ships Belize Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Electronic greeting cards with a Belizean flavor Economics of Belize Ambergris Caye Field Guide Fishing in Belize tarpon bonefish Golf carts Belize History Knowledgebase for Belize and Ambergris Caye Hol Chan Marine Reserve Belizean Holidays Belize Resorts, lodging Belize Maps Tour Guides in Belize Belize Message Boards / Forums National Parks and Reserves in Belize Latest Belize News Ambergris Caye Telephonebook /Directory Photographs of Belize Belize Restaurants Real Estate and Realtors in Belize Shopping in Belize Sitemap Snorkeling in Belize Spa / Massage What to do in Belize Belize Tour Guides, Travel Agents Quick Travel Hints Video Volunteers and Volunteering in Belize Belize Weather Forecast and conditions Belize Weddings, Getting married in Belize What's New on the Website Artists in Belize, Belizean Art

Thelargest of the 200 plus islands of Belize, Ambergris Caye (Am-BURR-jis Key) is a twenty five mile long island made up of three main areas. Mangrove swamps, lagoons, and sand. The lagoons are to the western (leeward) side of the island. The Barrier Reef lies about a half mile to the east of the island, running the entire length, the reef and the land touching at the northeast of the island at Rocky Point. The sand reaches a height of three to five feet above sea level, to a maximum of 10 feet at San Pedro Town.

European contact with Ambergris Caye settlers is documented from 1508. At that time, the area was populated by the Maya. An incredible people, the Maya lived throughout Central America, flourishing from 250 A.D. to 900. Many Maya settlements were still thriving when contact with europeans was made.

The Mayan civilization flourished in Central America from about 2000 B.C. to about 1000 A.D. These short, muscular built, red-skinned Indians built great temples, made astonishing artifacts, tools and pottery, carved their history on slabs of stelae and made scholastic achievements that forever changed the world. They were great astronomers, created an efficient calendar, derived their own writing system and developed ingenious mathematical concepts including the concept of 0.

Among their greatest achievements was that they managed to devise a fantastic trade route throughout Central America from Mexico to as far off as Roatan Island, Honduras. It is believed that the first Mayan setters that occupied Ambergris Caye totaled 10,000, inhabited almost every part of the island and initially set up fishing villages. As their settlements progressed they converted their settlements into trading centers.

To better accommodate their trading, it is believed that the Mayans dug a narrow channel, less than a mile long and no wider than a few feet, at the northern most tip of the Caye. Actually, Ambergris Caye is not really a caye but rather the end of the Yucatan Peninsula. The channel separates Ambergris Caye from Mexico and allowed the Mayans to cut their travel time considerably, since they no longer had to travel all the way around the island to get to northern mainland Belize and Chetumal Bay. Today the channel is called Bacalar Chico and is a marine reserve.

Very scientifically advanced, the Maya had a system of mathematics more advanced than Europe. They had a detailed written language, and as farmers, they raised corn along with tobacco, cacao, cotton, and other vegetables.

Ambergris Caye History- by George Parham
Ambergris Caye History- by Glenn Godfrey
Maya History
Early History of Belize, Glyphs, Timeline
150th Anniversary of San Pedro Town
Field Guide to Ambergris Caye
Angel Nuñez' column "25 Years Ago on Ambergris Caye"
Herman Smith's column on Archaeology in Belize
Maya History of the island
Marco Gonzales
Belize History
Maya Sites in Belize
Geography of Fishing
Mervino's Hole in the Web
Mervino's Hole in the Web: San Pedro, Building Victoria House
Belize and San Pedro Photo Gallery
Alternative Medicine in Belize
Aztec Account of Spanish Conquest
Archaeology of Ambergris Caye
Geology of Ambergris Caye
Excavations on Ambergris Caye
Sailing the Caribbean Alone, 1911
Recognition of Psychiatric Disorder in British Honduras, 1973
Caste War of the Yucatan, 1847 - 1901
Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa
The Maya Chronicles
After The Castes War -- The Last Cupuls
Holocene Sediments of the Belize Shelf
Geologic Origins of Ambergris Caye
Maritime Trade On Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Museum
Popol Vuh - The Maya Book of the Dawn Of Life,
Maya Cookbook
Autobiography: Raymond Denis Auxillou Jr.
Aztec Life
Mesoamerican Studies
History of Orange Walk
2001- Year in Review
Ramon Nunez: Fisherman, First Diver in Belize, Tourism Ambassador
Building with Thatch
Mayan House Construction
The Way We Lived Back Then
Portfolio of information on British Honduras (1961)
History of Elvi's Kitchen
Caye Caulker, Memories of a summer in 1975

The Maya had this really great system, the village, the Acolde, the Village common land where the Acolde (mayor) gave permission for each villager (and where) to make milpa.

Ten Hectares is sufficient to feed a family of 7 for ever and one day. As they need to only plant one Hectares per year and in ten it is ready to do over.

The Spanish were astounded by the "easy" life the Maya had. In six months of work they could grow enough food to feed themselves with enough left over for trade for other necessities. The other six months of the year was available for any pursuit they wished. They did have 22 major fiestas per year!!

Now this "system" operated in perfect harmony with man and nature for many thousands of years. Population levels were around 2 million just for Northern Belize.

Around 800 A.D. the Maya began to abandon their cities in Central America. Various causes such as lack of water, disease, poor soil, or class uprising are suspected. Click here for tours to the Maya world.

When Europeans arrived on Ambergris Caye, the island was ruled by the declining, but still functional Maya principality of Chetumal. There was a trading system throughout northern Belize, especially between the Chetumal and the Ulna regions. Trade was based on cacao, with canoes travelling south from Yucatan with fish, cloth, clothing, slaves, and other items, then returning home with cacao. Ambergris Caye was a hub of a this activity. Centrally located in the trading web, it was a rest stop for traders headed north or south on the route. All the Chetumal traffic came by Ambergris Caye. The local economy was thus based on fishing, providing foodstuffs for the northern Belize logging camps as well as large parts of the Maya area. Boat related industry, due to the significance of the trade route, were also important to the island.

The island was also important for its abundant seafood supply and it strategic military position at the mouth of the Bay of Chetumal.

There are numerous ruins on the island, though not of the large-temple type that you see on the mainland. The locals islanders were fisherman, and their camps when discovered are lower to the ground, with pockets of conch shells and pottery pieces. Tending to be marked by black or dark colored dirt, sites such as the one at Tres Cocos are just beginning to be fully explored. For a text-only description of Maya life on Ambergris Caye, click here.

The Mayans continued to thrive until about 1000 A.D. when they declined and left the island unoccupied until the coming of a new people who would contribute monumentally to the history of the Island.

In the 1600s British pirates roaming the Caribbean found a little haven, discretely tucked inside a great barrier reef. It is believed that the pirates used Ambergris Caye as a safehaven to hide-out and stash their valuables and that they eventually dredged the Bacalar Channel to facilitate the transportation of their treasures to mainland Belize. It is during this period that Ambergris Caye supposedly got its name. The pirates, always out to make a quick buck, are believed to have been whalers and eventually logwood cutters. It is said that the pirates collected Whale excrement, called ambergris, that washed up on shore of the island. The oil from this ambergris was sent to Europe where it was highly valued for its use in making perfumes.

The pirates eventually turned to logwood cutting on the mainland, and left the island unoccupied.

The island served as a hideaway for the ships attacking the Spanish fleet during the 17th century. The remote locations and safe harbours offered a haven for the English, French, and Dutch pirates of the day. The many shipwrecks in the area can attest to that! The village of San Pedro was founded by Mestizo refugees from the wars in the Yucatan area. English officials allowed them to settle hoping they would help to feed the workers in the wood-products camps. The first big migration was in 1848-1849. Thus the English became landlords over the farmers and fishermen of the area.

As time progressed the British settlers who inhabited mainland Belize achieved great economic and political advances. A company of wealthy businessmen formed a company named Belize Agriculture Company and held the first legal title to the island. They acquired the island for agricultural purposes. and it is believed that they might have planted Sea Island Cotton. This business failed and in 1842 the land was sold to Mr. Welsh and Mr. Golf. These men later approached the Superintendent in charge and requested that they be given title to the land because they had purchased it from the Belize Agriculture Company. The Superintendent was hesitant because there was an ongoing territorial dispute between the British and Mexicans over the island. Mexico claimed Ambergris Caye as a part of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Superintendent did not wish to provoke the Mexicans but eventually conceded an issued a Crown Grant on March 19th,1842.

By this time the Caye was already inhabited by Mexican fishermen and their families, probably from Xcalak, Mexico just north of Ambergris Caye. In 1847 the Mayans in Mexico who had been kept in legal slavery by the Spanish and Mexicans for more than 300 years revolted and the Caste War ensued and lasted for 60 years. Mayans, Mexicans and even Spanish fled to find a safe haven that they could call home.In the first year of the war refugees entered the British settlement and requested permission to settle mostly in the northern part of present day Belize. Permission was granted and a small number of immigrants numbering about 50 families, came to Ambergris Caye and joined the settlers already there.

In 1850, the very first document was signed and sent to Belize City by residents of the island asking that Cristiano Novelo (great great ... uncle of Mito Paz) be named head of the alcalde – the government system used for small villages. The village was officially called San Pedro in the document.

In 1866 Robert Humes purchased the land from Golf and Welsh. Humes later sold the land to James Mercier Putman, William Standernwick Cary and Justavo Von Ohlafen. The three men later mortgaged the land to a Mr. Antonio Mathe for $9,000.00. Mathe later died bankrupt and the bank ordered the Caye to be auctioned. On September 13th, 1869 Mr. James Humes Blake purchased the Caye for $625.00. Mr. Blake at the time was a Magistrate in Corozal, northern Belize. The island was passed down to members of the Parham and Alamilla families who married into the Blake family.

The Blake family (a family of British descent but living on the mainland of then British Honduras) were land owners and business people. They were in the logwood business – a tree that was logged heavily in Belize and used for die. When there was a substitute found for the dye, they moved into the chicle business. Trees (the sapodilla) used for extracting rubbery material used for bubble gum.

In the 1870s, the Blake family bought Ambergris Caye and started a coconut business. Mr Blake and his wife from the Alamilla family moved to San Pedro to run that venture.

For years, the island was all about coconuts. And the land owners were the Blakes, the Alamillas and later the Parhams. Laborers grew, husked and dried coconuts (called copra) for shipment to the United States.

Throughout the next 50 years, settlers developed the island's fishing industry, planted and harvested coconut plantations and contributed to the islands distinct beauty and history.

The economic base of the island has switched between fishing, logwood, chicle, coconuts, lobster, and tourism.

Ambergris Caye has a long dry season that extends from March through May. The other 9 months average 50 inches of rain. Average temperature is 89-94 degrees during the summer and 70-85 during winter. A few hurricanes have hit the island, but the reef offers sturdy protection, and no lives have been lost.

The logwood on the island was useful to the European wool industry to make dies, so about 1890 contractors employed San Pedranos to fell the huge logwood thicket on the island. Difficult work, it wreaked a toll on the workers. Market forces served to kill this industry around 1910.

The base for chewing gum, chicle, was derived from the juices of the sapodilla tree, which were bled to get the raw material. Around the turn of the century, Ambergris Caye began to derive income from this industry. Still the hub in the area, San Pedro became a growth town overnight as the huge new fields in the Quintana Roo area were opened up for production.

Wealthy individuals provided funds to hire workers to bleed chicle in certain areas. Groups of three to four men would bleed and cook the sap. They then sold the chicle to the contractor. Effectively, it was the age-old system where the worker works all day and owes the boss at the end of the day. And a class of involuntary servitude was created.

Eventually, by the Depression of the 1930's, the chicle boom collapsed as a result of the general economic malaise plus the development of synthetic substitutes for chewing gum base.

The coconut industry was central to the island economy from the 1880's through the 1930's. Brought by the Spaniards, this crop thrived in Ambergris Caye. The Blakes, Alamillas and Parham's, the most influential families of the times, also owned most of the coconut plantations that were established on the island. The work was capital intensive, and San Pedranos served as the workers, not as farmers. Sometimes having to wear nets over their entire bodies while they worked, the insects were a bad problem for the working crews. The nuts were picked, peeled, then delivered to storage sheds where they were shipped to Belize City.

Click map for larger version!
This is a map of the original land grants and the 83 families who received them. Courtesy George Parham.

The indentured system continued to flourish, as many of the cocals, or work areas, were too far away for workers to get home at night. Thus the bosses built sheds for the workers, and charged them to live there, for food and provisions, and the same old story was repeated.

Since the Blakes and the Alamillas owned the entire island, they were able to prevent any competing businesses on the island. Their ownership of most of the boats travelling to and fro the island completed their hegemony of the island's trade.

Workers were paid very poorly in the early 1900's, around $12 a month plus a few rations. The coconut farms were heavily hit and eventually destroyed by a series of hurricanes between 1942 and 1955. In 1942 a hurricane made a direct hit on Caye Caulker in November. It is estimated to have hit with winds at 110 mph but as Wikipedia says that may be a conservative estimate. It left only 7 buildings remains in San Pedro, destroyed the northern settlement (the village that was north of Rocky Point) and all of the coconut trees.

The attack at Pearl Harbor had happened less than a year before and World War Two was raging across the globe. The men of Ambergris Caye were jobless (no coconut palms, no jobs) – and many left the island looking for work. America was looking for male labor (Mito Paz’s uncle went to work in a factory in Pittsburgh, later to return). A few joined the war effort (we were still British Honduras at that point), one or two went down to Panama to help with expansion and lock work on the canal, some went to the mainland. And after the war many returned.

By then lobstering was on the upswing, and labor for coconuts became scarce. The farms were abandoned in the 1960's when speculation made the land worth more for real estate than farming.

The islanders enjoyed a life of freedom but it was by no means an easy one. In the late mid 1900s the villagers claimed that the Blake family in the person of, Anita Alamilla the great, great grand daughter of James Humes Blake, was charging outrageous amounts of money for land rental. This was money that they could not possiblyafford. The first settlers had been squatters and had not been charged rent until the Blake/Alamilla/ Parham family had come into possession of the Caye. On several occasions they petitioned the Governor to render whatever assistance he could. Through very short correspondence the Governor responded that because the land was privately owned there was nothing that he could do. This continued until Belize became self-governing in 1964 and the Peoples United Party came to their assistance by purchasing land, having it surveyed and issuing lots to the settlers.

Prior to the 1920's, lobsters were considered "trash fish," more likely to be swept off the dock than harvested. The waters were "infested" with them, and got caught in the fishermen's nets. A few years later, the spiny lobsters were being herded like cattle onto the beaches, the clear waters turned red with the herd. By the 1950's, the "trash fish" were the base of the islands economy.

The lobster export business is highly dependent upon freezer storage. The lack of competitors to sell to hindered the price for years. Most freezing equipment was based on the mainland, and the attempt to get good equipment onto the island of Ambergris Caye was fought for years. A Captain Foote came to the island buying lobster for one cent a pound, later freezer boats and canning began to buy lobsters and prices crept up slowly. At one point after WW2, a man with a Catalina seaplane would fly down to the island, fill it with a few thousand pounds of lobster and fly away to Florida. Taking the lobster on concession! He still owes local fishermen for his last load.

The arrival of the freezer vessel Betty Jean marked the introduction of the island to the market. No money was paid to the islanders until the lobsters were sold, and once a shipment of 4,000 pounds was never paid for.

20-30 foot boats carried the men to the lobster grounds, which began to encompass Turneffe, Lighthouse Reef, and the Blue Hole as the closer grounds became fished out. This required longer trips, and the method of catch became skindiving to catch lobsters in the deeper waters. Skindiving used to be the hallmark method of the San Pedrano lobster fisherman, now there are special traps placed.

An attempt to eliminate the middleman was behind the rise of the co-operatives in the 1950's and 1960's. Hard bargaining and the last minute help of an American freezer company saved the day when the two major buyers attempted to bust the co-operative in 1960. One company, Del Caribe, announced they would pay a penny a pound. The fishermen, stuck with a huge opening day harvest, thus with their backs to the wall, had to boycott both buyers. Butcher Scott held the lobsters in his cold storage long enough for the negotiations to occur. By late 1960, the co-operative was able to sell the 4,000 pounds held in storage. They did better and better each year.

Fishing really started to take off on the island – and the boat were not all that different from the ones used today. The biggest differences? Today, ice is used and then they used a “live well”. Water circulated through the center of the boat to keep the catch alive. The boats were out to sea for up to 15 days. AND there was no motor.

Fishing, mainly for snapper, mullet and bonefish, continued. Small scale at first. The pre-Lenten season was the most active with dried fish being sold as far as Honduras. Much was done using nets, some using fish traps. You can still see a few on the back side of the island today.

Attempts to organize a co-operative in San Pedro began in late 1961. Every fisherman was contacted, but many were skeptical. Twenty men finally agreed to join, and letters were filed to begin the process of legality.

In the early 1960s, to unite and get a better price, the Caye Caulker fishing co-op was founded and then a year later, one in San Pedro. In March 1963, the San Pedro co-operative was registered under the name Caribeña Producers Co-operative Society Limited. Some had to use their homes and property as collateral.

The Caribbean Queen Company agreed to purchase and export the lobsters under the co-operative's quota. The co-op received lobsters from the members on the beach in front of the village. After learning from this initial arrangement, the co-operative attempted to get a freezer plant on the island. When this fell through, and for other reasons, the co-operative decided to stop selling to Caribbean and begin to deal with a company headed by Apolonio Alamilla.

Through 1964, the co-operative exported through local agents. This kept the price down, and the market was $1.04 a pound, despite rising prices in the U.S. These years also brought the beginnings of the export of conch and scale fish as well, providing an alternate product for the fishermen of Ambergris Caye to sell. A four month lobster season was also mandated.

In 1964, negotiations for a freezer plant were finally completed. Thus plant allowed annual production to hit 179,132 pounds in 1965. The record high of 184,000 pounds was in 1984. The co-operative and its 217 members were then the backbone of the community, which nearly put a halt to coconut farming and work in the bush.

Making a living became easier with the unity and the co-ops but the island’s industry was about to shift to tourism. A growing scarcity of product and the growth of tourism have resulted in a decline in the membership of the co-operative today. Production in 1992-1993 was an annual low of 18,000 pounds. Today, tourism is the economic heavy. Beginning with the Holiday hotel, started by the Grief family in November of 1965 and built with a foundation of ground conch shells, began attracting the tourism that is the mainstay of the economy now. In 1967 the Paradise opened, and by 1970 the Coral Beach Hotel had established the first dive shop. Tourist accommodations started popping up all over the place, and some local folks converted rooms or build small guest houses on their land. Visitors remember this personalized atmosphere and laid-back style. It became a trademark for San Pedro.

More and more fishermen began to add to their income by serving as fishing or diving guides for tourists. Guiding came naturally to them, as it involved things that are important to their way of life- fishing, snorkeling, sailing. As fishing declined, tourism increased.

Ambergris Caye has a past full of contrasts. The Maya who settled throughout the island and developed an economy based on trading and exploitation of the marine resources had practically nothing in common with the pirates who succeeded them, or with the British agriculturists who marshalled their slaves in a futile attempt to convert the island into a cotton plantation. And, of course, all these were distinct from the Mestizo refugees who fled the war in Yucatan for the tranquility of the caye.

Conditions in the island have also differed greatly from time to time. The way of life of the first permanent residents of San Pedro was quiet and unpressured. The villagers fished, farmed their milpas and tended their chicken and livestock with almost no outside interference. They had brought with them their Yucatan culture and customs, their diet of beans and tortillas, their simple homes of thatched roofs and walls plastered with white lime and mud.

Then the unexpected advent of the Blake dynasty radically changed the life of the San Pedranos. Overnight they found themselves without any legal rights to remain on the land they had lived on and farmed for several decades. From independent small fishermen and farmers they became wage labourers working for a triumvirate of ruling families in a succession of new industries - logwood, chicle, coconut - their lives transformed into a grinding monotony, guided only by their employers' need to accumulate more wealth.

This was a time when ownership of almost the whole island was concentrated in the hands of a few people. Virtually any person on the island could be orders to vacate, for the flimsiest of reasons and at a day's notice, the house in which he or she had been born, raised and lived all their life. This was the case of the local midwife, Desideria, who was ordered to dismantle her home because its rustic condition detracted from the elegance of the Casino which was being built on the lot next door.

Those were the days when a desperate bachelor such as Natividad Guerrero could get a bride from the transient Maya settlements at Basil Jones in exchange for a box of groceries from Belize City. Basil Jones is a named Maya site.

Life is no longer this way on the island, of course. The absolute power which the Blakes exercised over almost every facet of the villagers' lives has long gone. The erosion of this hegemony began in 1943, when the Colonial Government initiated the forerunner of the present day village council by appointing a small group of villagers to make recommendations on plans and projects for the caye. In the 1960s, it continued with the acquisition and redistribution by the government of large portions of the village to San Pedranos. Finally, it culminated with the growth of the fishing and tourism industries which allowed the villagers to break the Blakes' economic stronghold.

The growth of the fishing co-op had a profound effect on life in Ambergris Caye. The establishment of the co-op's headquarters and processing plant on the island kept the maximum amount of money circulating in the community and therefore significantly contributed to the overall increase in the villagers' standard of living. San Pedro, which was abandoned by several residents during the 1940s as a result of the economic depression which followed the devastation of the 1931 hurricane and the decline in the coconut industry, was by the mid-1980s one of the most economically affluent communities in Belize.

In 1984 San Pedro officially went from being a village to a town. Victoria House was built, and the airstrip began getting a little more business. The tourist industry began to grow faster. For an account of this time, click here for Mervino's Hole in the Web.

Today the island's prosperity is dependent on tourism. Innumerable job opportunities created by tourism and related activities have attracted people from throughout Belize and new immigrants from Central America mix with the island population. Although official figures reflect a population of an estimated population of over 8,000 (2010 census), half of whom are new arrivals.

San Pedro's education system includes two primary schools, a private school, three pre-schools and a high school established in its own new building. At the latter, training for the tourism industry is offered, as well as ample preparation for higher studies. San Pedranos can also receive medical care at the recently established clinic.

In line with world trends in communications San Pedro now boasts a TV station, cable network with 22 channels, fax machines and a telephone exchange system linked by satellite. A new desalination water system has been installed and will soon be followed by a second one. The island is extending a complete water and sewerage service, which will reach the new areas of San Pablo and San Pedrito.

Tourist accommodation is provided by over 50 hotels, ranging from small pensions to luxury resorts which can double the island's population during the high season. With the only hyperbaric recompression chamber in Belize Ambergris Caye keeps up its reputation for being a diver's paradise.

What used to be a simple airstrip located at the south end of the town has grown to a small yet busy airport surrounded by houses and tourist establishments. Frequent flights from three airline companies link the island to various destinations in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. The government has recognized the urgent need for a new airport outside the inhabited areas and plans are under way for its relocation as in the past few years, GOB gave approval for an "international" airport at Basil Jones, over 10 miles north of San Pedro. The island is also accessible by sea by the many boats which provide regular ferry or special taxi services to and from Belize City, a ride of about one hour through the numerous neighboring cayes.

One of Ambergris Caye's most pressing concerns is the availability of lots for houses. Real estate has been subject to high speculation and prices for lots have become unaffordable for most Belizeans. Foreign ownership has helped to complicate the problem, making it difficult to obtain good lots for the future expansion of the town and to accommodate its growing population of 2000 young people in school. In an effort to find solutions the Town Board has set up a development project known as San Pablo. Some 200 lots have already been issued and sold at affordable prices and some 600 more are available for distribution and sale. An additional 250 lots will be distributed, mostly to young people whose needs are immediate, through a reclamation project spearheaded by the government.

With the continued development of the tourism industry, San Pedro and Ambergris Cave must carefully chart the course of its development. Close attention must be paid to the protection of the environment: the land and beaches, the sea and the reef, as well as the air. Ecology is threatened and it is urgent that San Pedranos develop an increased appreciation of the island's fragile environment and learn to respect and protect it in their daily lives. The passing of laws and development of conservation measures is also necessary. One step in the right direction is the creation of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Following its success, Ambergris is considering other reef reserves, beach reserves - as in the case of turtle nesting grounds - and bird sanctuaries. The reef and its underwater beauty must not be taken for granted. Development and sea dredging can result in damage to the reef. Moreover, the water table on the caye flows out into the sea so that waste water and sewage disposal must also be considered carefully. future.

Ironically, it is the very vehicles of emancipation, the development of the fishing and tourism industries, which pose the most serious threats to the island's future. The caye's fragile ecology is threatened by massive and uncontrolled expansion; the resources of the sea are being rapidly exhausted; the village's sense of community and cultural identity has been altered.

Paradoxically, it is by turning back to their past that San Pedranos can find solutions to their problems in the future. Today, as tourism takes an ever increasing share of the caye's economic and human resources, as the villagers are submitted to increasing bombardment by foreign values, ideas, and influence, it is important that San Pedranos have a strong sense of their history, their identity and self-worth. A people cannot choose the circumstances in which they make their history, but they can become conscious of themselves and their past, and from that font they can attempt to draw the confidence, discipline and ideas to deal with their potential problems in the future.

In the past, San Pedranos have proved that they are resilient, resourceful and courageous. The problems and challenges that they face in the future are no worse than the problems they faced and partly overcame in the past. Given a continuing commitment on their part to finding workable solutions to their problems and a continuing belief in their own dignity and value, there is no reason why they should not succeed and no reason why the island should not remain, for many years to come, a paradise with a future equal in richness to its past.

If you enjoyed this history, and would like more detail, click here for a text-only larger extraction from the Glenn Godfrey book just below....

A Timeline of Belize and Belize City Events & Heritage Site

Pre-Columbian Civilization

15000 -7000 BC
During the Paleo-Indian Period, humans traversed the America's as hunters and gathers. Fossil remains show that the giant-sloth was hunted in Belize.

7000-2500 BC
During the Archaic Period, humans in Mesoamerica continue to thrive as hunters and gatherers and make advancements in plant domestication.

1000 BC - 250AD
During the Pre-Classic, the Maya emerge as a distinct and shared culture. They establish early settlements and developed agriculture.

250 - 900 AD
During the Classic Period, the Maya achieved significant milestones in the areas of engineering, mathematics, astronomy, arts, agriculture and in main-land and maritime trade.

900 - 1492 AD
During the Post-Classic, the Maya civilization experienced a decline in city-states and the population declines. At the time of colonial contact, the Maya resided in three heavily populated areas of Belize: Chactemal, Dzuluinicob, and Manche Chol.


Colon 4th voyage is along the coastline of Honduras and Belize

Vicente Yafiez Pinzon and Juan Diaz de Solis sail along the coast of Belize

Guerrero, Jeronimo de Aguilar and others are shipwrecked off the coast of Yucatan

Missionaries establish a Christian church at Lamanai

Franciscan priests carry out Visita missions in Belize


English pirates, buccaneers and merchants sailed off the coast of Belize

The English captured Jamaica from the Spanish. Capt. Francisco Perez carried out a census of Maya residing near Tipu in Western Belize

Treaty of Madrid

Pirate Bartholomew Sharpe and other Englishmen capture Dominican Fray Joseph Delgado. Sharpe was operating out of St. George's Caye.

St. George's Caye continues to be settled


The English Crown granted the Asiento, a licence to trade enslaved people

Record of enslaved Africans in Belize

Burnaby's Code (first written constitution) is signed on St. George's Caye First recorded uprising by enslaved people

Uprising by enslaved people

Uprising by enslaved people

St. George's Caye captured by Spaniard; settlers are imprisoned in Merida and Cuba

Treaty of Versailles signed giving formal recognition to extract logwood between Belize River and Rio Hondo.

The Settlement at the mouth of the Belize River becomes the de facto capital. Convention of London is signed. Mosquito Shore evacuees arrive in Belize

Public Meeting is held on 1 June to decide on whether to stay or evacuate the Belize Settlement in face of impending Spanish invasion

Yarborough Cemetery is opened

Fortifications are established at the mouth of the Belize River; Newton Barracks established.

Battle of St. George's Caye


Garinagu arrive in Belize

Abolition of the Slave Trade Act passed on 25 March; the trade becomes illegal throughout the British Empire

Fort George was established on an islet off the coast of Belize

First recorded major fire in Belize Town

St. John's Cathedral construction begins; consecrated in 1826

Government House is built 1816 Honduras Free School is inaugurated 1818 Supreme Court is built 1819 First bridge is built (later replaced by Swing Bridge) Eboe Town area reserved for persons of the Eboe (Igbo) tribe

Public Hospital opens in New North Town between Eve Street and the sea. Last recorded revolt of the enslaved led by Will and Sharper; Martial Law is declared.

Wesley Church opens; later destroyed in 1863

Enslaved persons are emancipated (freed) in all British colonies at midnight 31 July

Old Market constructed at the foot of the Swing Bridge (now Commercial Center)

US Consulate to Belize opens on 12 February at the former residence of P.W. Shufeldt. Caste War Refugees arrive in Belize

St. Mary's Church established; a more permanent structure was completed in 1888

Her Majesty's Prison built; (now Museum of Belize)

Colonial authorities recognize the Alcalde System

Anglo-Guatemala Treaty is signed 1860s East Indians arrive in Belize

Belize (British Honduras) is officially declared a colony

Court House Green (Battlefield Park) is acquired and declared a public space. Scot's Kirk (Presbyterian Church) opens

Arrival of Chinese in Belize

Big Wesley (Church) opens Completion of Haulover and Circular Road (now Princess Margaret Drive)

American Ex-Confederates arrive in Belize 1871 Belize is declared a Crown Colony

Belize is administered by Jamaica (until 1874)

Brodie and Cuthbert store opens on Albert Street

Wesleyan High School (later Wesley College) established at the corner of Albert and South Streets The Vaults are completed by Gustav von Ohlaffen; closed in 1886.

Lord Ridge Cemetery consecrated and opened

St. John's Berchman College established; becomes St. John's College in 1896

Currency used in Belize, the Dollar, is devalued. Constabulary Police riot in Orange Walk Town. Residents of Belize Town also rioted.


Belize City receives electricity and street lights

Mule Park opens

Supreme Court building destroyed by fire on 7 August; Governor Hart Bennett is killed

Ex-servicemen Riot

Marcus Garvey visits Belize

Queen Street Police Station constructed

Belize Stores open (later becomes Paslow Building)

Swing Bridge is opened to the public on 11 April. Final reclamations of Fort George

Supreme Court building reconstructed in the likeness of the building before 1918 fire. Baron Bliss Lighthouse and tomb are constructed.

The Great House is built

Great Depression

Hurricane devastates Belize City on 10 September

Queen Street Baptist Church built following 1931 destruction of original building

Antonio Soberanis leads Labour Movement St. Catherine's Academy opens

Belize Town officially becomes a City

Nationalist (Political) Movement begins

St. John's College relocated to current location on Princess Margaret Drive

Bliss Institute construction begins; opens 1955

Adult Suffrage achieved

Palotti High school founded; main building constructed in 1959

St. Mary's Church reconstructed. Princess Margaret visits Belize

Hurricane Hattie devastates Belize City on 31 October

Presbyterian Church reconstructed following Hurricane Hattie

Webster's Proposal is published

Belmopan is established. Direction of driving is changed from the right side to left side

Name is officially changed to "Belize" on 1 June

Voting age changed from 21 years to 18 years

Riots against the Heads of Agreement. Independence is achieved on 21 September

Isaiah Morter Statue is erected

Related Links:

The above was paraphrased from the book "Ambergris Caye, Paradise with a Past" by Glenn Godfrey, Cubola Productions, Belize
Click here for more information about this excellent book.

Click here to go to Angel Nuñez' column "25 Years Ago on Ambergris Caye"

Click here for an overview of Belize History- Shipwrecks, wars, pirates, early fortifications, genesis of the names "Belize" and "Ambergris Caye", artifacts discovered in the area, and more!

Today, Ambergris Caye has some 13 dive shops, offering complete rental and services of qualified instructors and guides. Three day courses provide the novice diver with a complete course on the safety in lessons in a safe underwater environment. And the sights offered inside the reef, in six foot deep water, offer the casual swimmer and life-jacket floater with a mask access to more incredible views than divers in most places in the world....

Other attractions include para sailing, glass-bottom boats, jet skiing, hydro sliding, beach combing, horseback riding, bicycling, bird-watching, basking in the sun, riding in golf carts, or taking a day-tour to one of the many sites on the Belizean mainland.

Over 800 rooms are available on the island, in absolutely any price range, and all expenses are moderately priced. My first time there, I was amazed at how many places I could eat really inexpensively. Definently cheaper than at home, in Eugene, Oregon- not exactly a high-priced area. I spent much less money than I thought I would. Many fine restaurants are available, with exquisite tastes for your taste buds to savor. The night-time boat rides are a dream, the sky ablaze with stars. You can swim 24 hours a day. The world of beauty in the water both animal and plant life is of a color and diversity unforeseen. Truly stunning, and peaceful.

Lots of night-time music mixed in a family-type atmosphere make for a incredible place. No sex industry in sight, a welcome relief from the bombardment of images in many cultures and vacation spots of today. A quiet and charming little town.

In one short afternoon, I saw the incredible world of the Ambergris Caye barrier reef. In a mere six feet- eight feet of clear, warm water, wearing only goggles, I was able to sit on the bottom of the ocean, inside huge schools of wondrously colored fish. Friendly sharks would come cruising by, stingrays that you could feed if careful. I had never snorkeled or gone diving. I was a total rookie. Yet I got a never-to-be-forgotten first view of wonderland. I swam around for hours, sometimes with a snorkel, but I most preferred it with mask only. The silence that allows you to close with the beasties is so peaceful and beautiful.

I will be back many times to that world, but I will always owe Norman Eiley my birth into it. Just as I cherish the midwives that bore my children. Come and stick your toes into the water...

Marty Casado, webmaster, AmbergrisCaye.com

You Know You are an Old-timer Belizean if:

You know Paslow Building
You have to cross swing bridge before it swings at 5:30
You buy a pack of bread every day
Your get your free calendar from the grocery store
You know Georgie August meat market
You used to get your bun from Sonny and Tan
You eat either kraft cheese and bread, fry cake and beans or Johnny cake and fry fish for tea
You chew up your chicken bone
Your neighborhood grocery store used to give you credit and mark it on paper or in a book
You feed your dog with table scraps
You eat fish on good friday
You know Catto rules the canal
You go to the cayes on Holy Thursday
You listen to cross country bicycle race on Holy Saturday
You know it will rain when the Harriers (roaches) start flying around
You burned fish (mosquito coils) for flies
You argue which meat pie is better Gunns or Darios
You know Gunns sells the best tamales and panades
You get new clothes for Easter Sunday
You Get Box from States and keep enhaling the box to smell "states smell"
You eat apple and grapes around Christmas time
You go to Brodies to see the electronic Santa waving in the show window
You pull out your old sweater when Joe North(Christmas drizzle) arrives
You only get toys for Christmas
There are always three glass salad bowls among your wedding presents
Your birthday presents included a wash cloth and a cake of soap
You know where Shubbu got shot (butt)
You know Mass Man (bucket covered his face)
You Know they say that George Price and Seffe da batty man
You know Rudy Cabral and Shirley were Belize first queens (transvestite)
You know Bialzibug and Chicky Chick
You know Tablada
You try to ride Ramsey Mule & Cart
You buy Craboo at Bridge Foot
You know Simon Quan only wear bilgy T-shirts and rides a bike
You know Augusto Quan's kids were security guards, on the ladder in the store
Every oriental person is a chiney
You listened to Doctor Paul or chechie
You got a birthday request on Radio Belize
You listened to Saturday night top 10 on Radio Belize or childrens corner before school
You wait up to hear boledo play at 9'o'clock at night and lottery on Sunday
You walk home for lunch, if you did not get a piece of pig tail in your beans you felt cheated
You Goal in Life is to go to SAM
You good shoe is your Sunday pair
You went to the faucet to get bath water
You bathe with a dipper, brush your teeth at the back step and wash your face in a basin
You peed in a white bucket
You know the scent of a canal anywhere
You wade through high tide when it rains hard
You have used Lifebuoy or Lux soap before
You use cuticura powder to dust your chest after a bath
Your first tooth paste was colgate
Sometimes you cleaned your butt with hard paper
Your Grandmother had a Glass Scrubbing Board and wooden clothes pin
Your Grandmother shopping cart is a big hand bag
The "bouy" was the star of the show
You washed your clothes in a bath pan and used Soap Powder
You used Yodora or mum (deodorant)
You fresen up with Limacol, Bay rum or dettol
You varnish your furniture, get new linoleum and curtains for Christmas
You use Batty Bus to get to Chetumal or Merida
You dance behind Lord Raburn band in the parade
You only eat turkey for Christmas or New Year
Every sunday you eat Rice & Beans, chicken & salad
You eat Megan smokey Rice & Beans after dance
You eat McClarens hops & Pies at break time
You know Malick eye drop in the ice cream
You know cashew wine or seed come from Boom or Crooked tree
You know scissors Wednesday is sewing factory pay day
You drink chevans lemonade before coke came to town
You just had to have an ideal, greasy greasy, honey bun or a wangla
You went to big hospital once in your life
You had a romantic walk at the Fort (Baron Bliss grave)
You bathe at barracks or hanger
You went to birds isle at least once
You know the weed smoking bad boys hang out a Yabrough bridge or Majestic Alley
You know Jane Usher is queen of credit union
You purge with castor oil, worm oil or serossie before school opens
Your school supply were two exercise book and a pen
You had to dodge your friends to empty the bucket in canal

If you read all this and agree with at least five you are either a Kruffy, Kerub, Panya, Koolie, Wiika, Engin or half Limey, no buts or maybe.

You are a true Born Belizean, All a-wi da wan -----Sub Ombre Floreo

Can you remember when...

Close your eyes and go back,
Before the Internet or the MAC,
Before semi-automatics and crack,
Before Hattieville Ramada,
and all the problems with Guatemala,
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo
when life was simple and air conditioning was your open window.

Go way, way back.
I'm talking bout playing hide and seek at dusk,
sitting on the veranda, eating hot Creole bread and butter. Seferino, Eustace Usher and Everall Waight on Radio Belize. Red light, Green light (those are games, we had no traffic lights in Belize).
Powder milk (AKA Klim) and a potted meat sandwich for lunch was dandy.
Kottobrute, tableta, stretch-mi-guts, wangla and goatshit for candy.
Boil corn and ducuno from Fullmoon Bevas on Hydes Lane.
Macobi (pepitos) seeds from Bredda Roy or Don Marin at Holy Redeemer.
Playing caparuche or gamma in the neighbour's yard,
Hopscotch, marbles, ludo, snake and ladder, Jacks, cricket,
Mother May I, Say, Say, Say and Ring around the Roses.
Hula Hoops and racing bicycle rims.
Bradley's lemonade (all flavors were lemonade) and 2 panades for 5 cents.
Dit's meat pies (1 for 5) and Happy Hour's cowfoot soup (only 35).
Black shoe polish on mustaches to get into Eden, Majestic, or Palace,
Crossing kinnel iron, a nude dip at barracks.
The smell of the sun and lickin' salty lips.

Wait ......
10:30 Sunday morning matinee, Superman, The Three Stooges and Bugs.
Back further, listening to Reverend Matthew and Chichi on the radio.
Catching needle cases (never knew their real names) off the clothes line, Making your own kites with kite paper from Angelus Press and flour paste.
Making sure roaches wouldn't eat your kite by putting kerosene in the paste.
Playing sling shot or using rubber bands with orange peeling to sting maclala.
Remember when walking from New Road to New Market seemed far away?
And going downtown on Albert Street seemed like going somewhere?
Ghost stories at bedtime, climbing trees, gathering black berries and mangoes.
An ice cream cone from one-eye Mallick on a hot summer day,
Tuti-Fruti, Sour Sap or maybe Sugar Corn. You found his other eye, you say?
A burger and coke from Shammah's drug store on Queen Street,
A million mosquito bites, flit, fish (for mosquitoes) and sleeping under nets.
Kerosene lamps, gas lamps and candles.
Etnas (one-holed kerosene stoves), chamber pots and the good old white bucket.
Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, playing house (oooh, I liked that).
Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott, when all leading actors were "the bwai",
Sittin on the fence whistling at girls passing by.
Sliding down the rail of the steps, catching a splinter in your ass.
Jumping on the bed (if you had one) and pillow fights.
Running from Catate and Dilo till you were out of breath,
And laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.
Being tired just from playing. Remember that?

I'm not finished just yet.
Eating Klim with sugar, kawsham too.
Remember when...
The sneakers at Bata for girls and boys were called puss?
And you were ashamed to wear them at school cause they only cost a dollar? When it took five minutes for the transitor radio to warm up?
And you listened to championship fights and that was fun?
When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got there?
When every kid owned some type of dog?
And how you cried when they poisoned yours?
When five cents was a decent allowance, and 10 cents a miracle?
When Saldivar bread went up 2 cents and everyone talked about it for weeks?
When you lined up outside Jail at 5:00 AM for hot jail bread?
When you'd reach into a stinking, muddy drain for a penny?
When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school?
And jukking behind convent or up by Haulover was cool?
When girls wore quindolyn to church every Sunday?
And your clothes were always clean and pressed, even though you didn't have many?
And we'd all have to be at the 8:30 AM mass on Sunday or else?
When you got brawta from the grocery store regardless of how much you bought?
And 12 cents American cheese and a pack bread fed a family of 8?
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the box?
When any parent could whap any kid and nobody, not even the kid, gave it any thought?
When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited you at home?
When you wore two or more pairs of short pants under your long pants to ease the sting from that sash corn or tambran whip from one of your male teachers?
When we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings,drugs, gangs, etc?
When our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat?
When you didn't dare talk back to your parents, at least not to their face?

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, yeah, I remember that!
There's nothing like the good old days! They were good then,
and they're good now when we think about them.
Share some of these thoughts with a friend who can relate, then share it with someone who missed out on them.

Here is the main text on this page in Spanish ....

La más grande de las más de 200 islas de Belice, Ambergris Caye (Am-BURR-jis Key) es una isla de veinticinco millas de largo compuesta por tres áreas principales. Manglares, lagunas y arena. Las lagunas están al lado occidental (sotavento) de la isla. La Barrera de Coral se encuentra aproximadamente a media milla al este de la isla, recorriendo toda la longitud, el arrecife y la tierra se tocan en el noreste de la isla en Rocky Point. La arena alcanza una altura de tres a cinco pies sobre el nivel del mar, hasta un máximo de 10 pies en San Pedro Town.

El contacto europeo con los colonos de Ambergris Caye está documentado desde 1508. En ese momento, el área estaba poblada por los mayas. Un pueblo increíble, los mayas vivieron en toda América Central, floreciendo desde 250 dC hasta 900. Muchos asentamientos mayas todavía estaban prosperando cuando se estableció contacto con los europeos.

La civilización maya floreció en América Central desde aproximadamente el año 2000 a. C. hasta aproximadamente el 1000 d. C. Estos indios bajos, musculosos y de piel roja construyeron grandes templos, hicieron asombrosos artefactos, herramientas y cerámica, tallaron su historia en losas de estelas y lograron logros escolares que para siempre cambió el mundo. Fueron grandes astrónomos, crearon un calendario eficiente , derivaron su propio sistema de escritura y desarrollaron ingeniosos conceptos matemáticos, incluido el concepto de 0.

Entre sus mayores logros estuvo que lograron diseñar una ruta comercial fantástica a través de Centroamérica desde México hasta la isla de Roatán, Honduras. Se cree que los primeros pobladores mayas que ocuparon Cayo Ambergris totalizaron 10,000, habitaron casi todas las partes de la isla e inicialmente establecieron pueblos de pescadores. A medida que progresaron sus asentamientos, los convirtieron en centros comerciales.

Para adaptarse mejor a su comercio, se cree que los mayas cavaron un canal estrecho, de menos de una milla de largo y no más ancho de unos pocos pies, en el extremo norte del Cayo. En realidad, Ambergris Caye no es realmente un cayo, sino el final de la península de Yucatán. El canal separa Cayo Ambergris de México y permitió a los mayas reducir considerablemente el tiempo de viaje, ya que ya no tenían que recorrer toda la isla para llegar al norte de Belice continental y la bahía de Chetumal. Hoy el canal se llama Bacalar Chico y es una reserva marina.

Muy avanzados científicamente, los mayas tenían un sistema matemático más avanzado que Europa. Tenían un lenguaje escrito detallado y, como agricultores, cultivaban maíz junto con tabaco, cacao, algodón y otras verduras.

Los mayas tenían este gran sistema, la aldea, el Acolde, la tierra común de la aldea donde el Acolde (alcalde) daba permiso a cada aldeano (y dónde) para hacer milpa.

Diez hectáreas son suficientes para alimentar a una familia de 7 para siempre y un día. Como solo necesitan plantar una hectárea por año y en diez está lista para rehacer.

Los españoles estaban asombrados por la vida "fácil" que tenían los mayas. En seis meses de trabajo, podían cultivar suficientes alimentos para alimentarse con lo suficiente para intercambiar con otras necesidades. Los otros seis meses del año estaban disponibles para cualquier actividad que quisieran. ¡Tenían 22 fiestas mayores al año!

Ahora bien, este "sistema" operó en perfecta armonía con el hombre y la naturaleza durante muchos miles de años. Los niveles de población rondaban los 2 millones solo para el norte de Belice.

Alrededor del 800 d.C., los mayas comenzaron a abandonar sus ciudades en Centroamérica. Se sospechan varias causas, como falta de agua, enfermedades, suelo pobre o levantamiento de clases. Haga clic aquí para tours al mundo maya.

Cuando los europeos llegaron a Cayo Ambergris, la isla estaba gobernada por el principado maya de Chetumal, en declive, pero aún funcional. Había un sistema de comercio en todo el norte de Belice, especialmente entre las regiones de Chetumal y Ulna.

El comercio se basaba en el cacao, con canoas que viajaban hacia el sur desde Yucatán con pescado, telas, ropa, esclavos y otros artículos, y luego regresaban a casa con cacao.. Cayo Ambergris fue un centro de esta actividad. Ubicado en el centro de la red comercial, era una parada de descanso para los comerciantes que se dirigían al norte o al sur de la ruta. Todo el tráfico de Chetumal llegó por Ambergris Caye. Por lo tanto, la economía local se basaba en la pesca, proporcionando alimentos para los campamentos madereros del norte de Belice, así como para gran parte del área maya. La industria relacionada con los barcos, debido a la importancia de la ruta comercial, también fue importante para la isla.

La isla también fue importante por su abundante suministro de mariscos y su posición militar estratégica en la desembocadura de la Bahía de Chetumal.

Hay numerosas ruinas en la isla, aunque no del tipo de templo grande que se ve en el continente. Los habitantes de las islas eran pescadores y, cuando se descubren, sus campamentos están más cerca del suelo, con bolsas de caracolas y piezas de cerámica. Los sitios como el de Tres Cocos, que tienden a estar marcados por tierra negra o de color oscuro, apenas están comenzando a ser explorados por completo. Para obtener una descripción de solo texto de la vida maya en Ambergris Caye, haga clic aquí .

Los mayas continuaron prosperando hasta aproximadamente el año 1000 d.C., cuando declinaron y dejaron la isla desocupada hasta la llegada de un nuevo pueblo que contribuiría monumentalmente a la historia de la isla.

En el siglo XVII, los piratas británicos que deambulaban por el Caribe encontraron un pequeño refugio, discretamente escondido dentro de una gran barrera de coral. Se cree que los piratas usaron Cayo Ambergris como refugio seguro para esconderse y guardar sus objetos de valor y que finalmente dragaron el Canal de Bacalar para facilitar el transporte de sus tesoros a la parte continental de Belice. Es durante este período que supuestamente Ambergris Caye obtuvo su nombre. Se cree que los piratas, siempre dispuestos a ganar dinero rápido, fueron balleneros y, finalmente, cortadores de leña. Se dice que los piratas recolectaron excrementos de ballena, llamados ámbar gris, que llegaron a la orilla de la isla. El aceite de este ámbar gris se envió a Europa donde fue muy valorado por su uso en la elaboración de perfumes.

Los piratas finalmente recurrieron a la tala de troncos en tierra firme y dejaron la isla desocupada.

La isla sirvió de refugio a los barcos que atacaron a la flota española durante el siglo XVII. Los lugares remotos y los puertos seguros ofrecían un refugio para los piratas ingleses, franceses y holandeses de la época. ¡Los numerosos naufragios en la zona pueden dar fe de ello! El pueblo de San Pedro fue fundado por refugiados mestizos de las guerras en el área de Yucatán. Los funcionarios ingleses les permitieron establecerse con la esperanza de ayudar a alimentar a los trabajadores en los campos de productos de madera. La primera gran migración fue en 1848-1849. Así, los ingleses se convirtieron en terratenientes de los agricultores y pescadores de la zona.

A medida que avanzaba el tiempo, los colonos británicos que habitaban el continente Belice lograron grandes avances económicos y políticos. Una empresa de ricos empresarios formó una empresa llamada Belize Agriculture Company y ostentaba el primer título legal de la isla. Adquirieron la isla con fines agrícolas. y se cree que pudieron haber plantado Sea Island Cotton. Este negocio fracasó y en 1842 la tierra fue vendida a Mr. Welsh y Mr. Golf. Estos hombres luego se acercaron al Superintendente a cargo y solicitaron que se les otorgara el título de propiedad de la tierra porque la habían comprado a la Compañía Agrícola de Belice. El superintendente dudaba porque había una disputa territorial en curso entre británicos y mexicanos sobre la isla. México reclamó Cayo Ambergris como parte de la Península de Yucatán.

Para entonces, el Cayo ya estaba habitado por pescadores mexicanos y sus familias, probablemente de Xcalak, México, al norte de Cayo Ambergris. En 1847, los mayas de México, que habían sido mantenidos en esclavitud legal por españoles y mexicanos durante más de 300 años, se rebelaron y la Guerra de Castas se desató y duró 60 años. Mayas, mexicanos e incluso españoles huyeron en busca de un refugio seguro al que pudieran llamar hogar. En el primer año de la guerra, los refugiados ingresaron al asentamiento británico y solicitaron permiso para establecerse principalmente en la parte norte de la actual Belice. Se concedió el permiso y un pequeño número de inmigrantes, unas 50 familias, llegaron a Ambergris Caye y se unieron a los colonos que ya estaban allí.

En 1850, los residentes de la isla firmaron y enviaron el primer documento a la ciudad de Belice pidiendo que Cristiano Novelo (tío abuelo de Mito Paz) fuera nombrado jefe del alcalde, el sistema de gobierno utilizado para las aldeas pequeñas. El pueblo se llamaba oficialmente San Pedro en el documento.

En 1866, Robert Humes compró el terreno a Golf and Welsh. Humes luego vendió la tierra a James Mercier Putman, William Standernwick Cary y Justavo Von Ohlafen. Posteriormente, los tres hombres hipotecaron la tierra a un Sr. Antonio Mathe por $ 9,000.00. Mathe murió más tarde en bancarrota y el banco ordenó la subasta del Caye. El 13 de septiembre de 1869, el Sr. James Humes Blake compró el Caye por $ 625.00. El Sr. Blake en ese momento era magistrado en Corozal, norte de Belice. La isla pasó a los miembros de las familias Parham y Alamilla que se casaron con miembros de la familia Blake.

La familia Blake (una familia de ascendencia británica pero que vivía en el continente de la entonces Honduras Británica) eran propietarios de tierras y empresarios. Estaban en el negocio de la madera de palo, un árbol que se talaba mucho en Belice y se usaba para morir. Cuando encontraron un sustituto del tinte, se mudaron al negocio del chicle. Árboles (el zapote) que se utilizan para extraer material gomoso utilizado para la goma de mascar.

En la década de 1870, la familia Blake compró Ambergris Caye y comenzó un negocio de cocos. El Sr. Blake y su esposa de la familia Alamilla se mudaron a San Pedro para dirigir esa empresa.

Durante años, la isla se centró en los cocos. Y los terratenientes fueron los Blake, los Alamillas y más tarde los Parham. Los trabajadores cultivaron, descascarillaron y secaron cocos (llamados copra) para enviarlos a los Estados Unidos.

A lo largo de los siguientes 50 años, los colonos desarrollaron la industria pesquera de la isla, plantaron y cosecharon plantaciones de cocos y contribuyeron a la belleza e historia distintivas de las islas.

La base económica de la isla ha cambiado entre la pesca, el palo de palo, el chicle, el coco, la langosta y el turismo.

Ambergris Caye tiene una larga estación seca que se extiende desde marzo hasta mayo. Los otros 9 meses promedian 50 pulgadas de lluvia. La temperatura promedio es de 89 a 94 grados durante el verano y de 70 a 85 durante el invierno. Algunos huracanes han azotado la isla, pero el arrecife ofrece una protección sólida y no se han perdido vidas.

El palo de palo en la isla era útil para la industria europea de la lana para hacer troqueles, por lo que alrededor de 1890 los contratistas emplearon a San Pedranos para talar el enorme matorral de palo de palo en la isla. Un trabajo difícil que pasó factura a los trabajadores. Las fuerzas del mercado sirvieron para acabar con esta industria alrededor de 1910.

La base de la goma de mascar, el chicle, se derivaba de los jugos del árbol de zapote, que se desangraba para obtener la materia prima. Alrededor del cambio de siglo, Ambergris Caye comenzó a obtener ingresos de esta industria. Aún siendo el centro del área, San Pedro se convirtió en una ciudad en crecimiento de la noche a la mañana cuando los enormes campos nuevos en el área de Quintana Roo se abrieron para la producción.

Las personas adineradas proporcionaron fondos para contratar trabajadores para sangrar chicle en ciertas áreas. Grupos de tres o cuatro hombres sangrarían y cocinarían la savia. Luego vendieron el chicle al contratista. Efectivamente, era el sistema antiguo donde el trabajador trabaja todo el día y le debe al jefe al final del día. Y se creó una clase de servidumbre involuntaria.

Finalmente, por la Depresión de la década de 1930, el auge del chicle se derrumbó como resultado del malestar económico general más el desarrollo de sustitutos sintéticos para la base de chicle.

La industria del coco fue fundamental para la economía de la isla desde la década de 1880 hasta la de 1930. Traído por los españoles, este cultivo prosperó en Ambergris Caye. Los Blake, Alamilla y Parham, las familias más influyentes de la época, también eran dueños de la mayoría de las plantaciones de cocoteros que se establecieron en la isla. El trabajo era intensivo en capital y San Pedranos servía como trabajadores, no como agricultores. A veces, al tener que usar redes sobre todo el cuerpo mientras trabajaban, los insectos eran un grave problema para las cuadrillas de trabajo. Las nueces fueron recolectadas, peladas y luego entregadas a cobertizos de almacenamiento donde fueron enviadas a la ciudad de Belice.

Este es un mapa de las mercedes de tierras originales y las 83 familias que las recibieron. Cortesía de George Parham.

El sistema de contrato continuó floreciendo, ya que muchas de las cocales, o áreas de trabajo, estaban demasiado lejos para que los trabajadores pudieran llegar a casa por la noche. Así, los patrones construyeron galpones para los trabajadores y les cobraron por vivir allí, por comida y víveres, y se repitió la misma vieja historia.

Dado que los Blake y los Alamilla eran dueños de toda la isla, pudieron evitar cualquier negocio competitivo en la isla. Su propiedad de la mayoría de los barcos que viajaban de un lado a otro de la isla completó su hegemonía del comercio de la isla.

A los trabajadores se les pagaba muy mal a principios del siglo XX, alrededor de $ 12 al mes más algunas raciones. Las granjas de coco fueron fuertemente golpeadas y finalmente destruidas por una serie de huracanes entre 1942 y 1955. En 1942, un huracán golpeó directamente Caye Caulker en noviembre. Se estima que golpeó con vientos de 110 mph, pero como dice Wikipedia, puede ser una estimación conservadora. Dejó solo 7 restos de edificios en San Pedro, destruyó el asentamiento del norte (el pueblo que estaba al norte de Rocky Point) y todos los cocoteros.

El ataque a Pearl Harbor había ocurrido menos de un año antes y la Segunda Guerra Mundial se estaba librando en todo el mundo. Los hombres de Ambergris Caye estaban desempleados (sin cocoteros, sin trabajo) y muchos abandonaron la isla en busca de trabajo. Estados Unidos buscaba mano de obra masculina (el tío de Mito Paz se fue a trabajar a una fábrica en Pittsburgh, para luego regresar). Algunos se unieron al esfuerzo de guerra (todavía éramos Honduras Británica en ese momento), uno o dos fueron a Panamá para ayudar con la expansión y el trabajo de bloqueo en el canal, algunos fueron al continente. Y después de la guerra muchos regresaron.

Para entonces, la langosta estaba en alza y la mano de obra para los cocos escaseaba. Las granjas fueron abandonadas en la década de 1960 cuando la especulación hizo que la tierra valiera más para los bienes raíces que para la agricultura.

Los isleños disfrutaron de una vida en libertad, pero de ninguna manera fue fácil. A finales de la década de 1900, los aldeanos afirmaron que la familia Blake, en la persona de Anita Alamilla, la bisnieta de James Humes Blake, estaba cobrando cantidades escandalosas de dinero por el alquiler de la tierra. Este era un dinero que posiblemente no podrían pagar. Los primeros colonos habían sido ocupantes ilegales y no se les cobró alquiler hasta que la familia Blake / Alamilla / Parham tomó posesión de Caye. En varias ocasiones solicitaron al Gobernador que les brindara toda la asistencia que pudiera. A través de una correspondencia muy breve, el gobernador respondió que debido a que la tierra era de propiedad privada no había nada que pudiera hacer. Esto continuó hasta que Belice se convirtió en autónomo en 1964 y el Partido de los Pueblos Unidos acudió en su ayuda comprando tierras,

Antes de la década de 1920, las langostas se consideraban "peces basura", y era más probable que fueran arrastradas del muelle que cosechadas. Las aguas fueron "infestadas" con ellos y quedaron atrapadas en las redes de los pescadores. Unos años más tarde, las langostas espinosas fueron conducidas como ganado a las playas, las aguas cristalinas se volvieron rojas con la manada. En la década de 1950, los "peces basura" eran la base de la economía de las islas.

El negocio de exportación de langosta depende en gran medida del almacenamiento en congelador. La falta de competidores para vender obstaculizó el precio durante años. La mayor parte del equipo de congelación se basó en el continente, y el intento de llevar un buen equipo a la isla de Ambergris Caye se libró durante años. Un capitán Foote llegó a la isla comprando langosta a un centavo la libra, más tarde los barcos congeladores y enlatados comenzaron a comprar langostas y los precios subieron lentamente. En un momento después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, un hombre con un hidroavión Catalina volaba hasta la isla, la llenaba con unos pocos miles de libras de langosta y volaba a Florida. ¡Tomando la langosta en concesión! Todavía les debe a los pescadores locales su última carga.

La llegada del barco congelador Betty Jean marcó la introducción de la isla al mercado. No se pagó dinero a los isleños hasta que se vendieron las langostas y, una vez, nunca se pagó un envío de 4.000 libras.

Barcos de 20 a 30 pies llevaron a los hombres a las zonas de langosta, que empezaron a abarcar Turneffe, Lighthouse Reef y Blue Hole a medida que las zonas más cercanas se fueron pescando. Esto requirió viajes más largos, y el método de captura se convirtió en skindiving para capturar langostas en aguas más profundas. El skindiving fue el método característico del pescador de langosta de San Pedrano durante muchos años, ahora se colocan trampas especiales.

Un intento de eliminar al intermediario estuvo detrás del surgimiento de las cooperativas en las décadas de 1950 y 1960. Un duro regateo y la ayuda de última hora de una empresa estadounidense de congeladores salvaron el día en que los dos principales compradores intentaron arruinar la cooperativa en 1960. Una empresa, Del Caribe, anunció que pagaría un centavo la libra. Los pescadores, atascados con una gran cosecha del día de apertura, por lo tanto de espaldas a la pared, tuvieron que boicotear a ambos compradores. Butcher Scott mantuvo las langostas en su cámara frigorífica el tiempo suficiente para que se llevaran a cabo las negociaciones. A finales de 1960, la cooperativa pudo vender las 4.000 libras almacenadas. Lo hicieron cada vez mejor cada año.

La pesca realmente comenzó a despegar en la isla, y el bote no era tan diferente de los que se usan hoy. ¿Las mayores diferencias? Hoy en día se usa hielo y luego se usa un “vivir bien”. El agua circulaba por el centro del bote para mantener viva la captura. Los barcos estuvieron en el mar hasta por 15 días. Y no había motor.

Prosiguió la pesca, principalmente de pargos, salmonetes y macabí. Pequeña escala al principio. La temporada previa a la Cuaresma fue la más activa y el pescado seco se vendió hasta Honduras. Se hizo mucho con redes, algunas con trampas para peces . Todavía puedes ver algunos en la parte trasera de la isla hoy.

Los intentos de organizar una cooperativa en San Pedro comenzaron a fines de 1961. Se contactó a todos los pescadores, pero muchos se mostraron escépticos. Finalmente, veinte hombres aceptaron unirse y se archivaron cartas para iniciar el proceso de legalidad.

A principios de la década de 1960, para unirse y obtener un mejor precio, se fundó la cooperativa de pesca Caye Caulker y luego, un año después, una en San Pedro. En marzo de 1963, la cooperativa San Pedro se registró con el nombre de Caribeña Producers Co-operative Society Limited. Algunos tuvieron que usar sus casas y propiedades como garantía.

La Caribbean Queen Company acordó comprar y exportar las langostas bajo la cuota de la cooperativa. La cooperativa recibió langostas de los miembros en la playa frente al pueblo. Después de aprender de este arreglo inicial, la cooperativa intentó conseguir una planta de congeladores en la isla. Cuando esto fracasó, y por otras razones, la cooperativa decidió dejar de vender al Caribe y comenzar a negociar con una empresa dirigida por Apolonio Alamilla.

Hasta 1964, la cooperativa exportó a través de agentes locales. Esto mantuvo el precio bajo, y el mercado fue de $ 1.04 la libra, a pesar del aumento de los precios en los EE. UU. Estos años también trajeron el comienzo de la exportación de caracoles y escamas, proporcionando un producto alternativo para que los pescadores de Ambergris Caye lo vendieran. También se ordenó una temporada de langosta de cuatro meses.

En 1964, finalmente se completaron las negociaciones para una planta de congeladores. Por lo tanto, la planta permitió que la producción anual alcanzara las 179,132 libras en 1965. El récord de 184,000 libras fue en 1984. La cooperativa y sus 217 miembros eran entonces la columna vertebral de la comunidad, que casi detuvo el cultivo de coco y el trabajo en el arbusto.

Ganarse la vida se volvió más fácil con la unidad y las cooperativas, pero la industria de la isla estaba a punto de cambiar al turismo. La creciente escasez de productos y el crecimiento del turismo han provocado una disminución en el número de miembros de la cooperativa en la actualidad. La producción en 1992-1993 fue un mínimo anual de 18.000 libras. Hoy, el turismo es el pesado económico. Comenzando con el hotel Holiday, iniciado por la familia Grief en noviembre de 1965 y construido con una base de caracolas molidas, comenzó a atraer el turismo que ahora es el pilar de la economía. En 1967 se inauguró el Paradise, y en 1970 el Coral Beach Hotel había establecido la primera tienda de buceo. Los alojamientos turísticos comenzaron a aparecer por todas partes y algunos lugareños convirtieron habitaciones o construyeron pequeñas casas de huéspedes en sus tierras. Los visitantes recuerdan este ambiente personalizado y estilo relajado. Se convirtió en una marca registrada de San Pedro.

Cada vez más pescadores comenzaron a aumentar sus ingresos sirviendo como guías de pesca o buceo para los turistas. El servicio de guía fue algo natural para ellos, ya que involucraba cosas que son importantes para su forma de vida: pesca, snorkel, navegación. A medida que la pesca disminuyó, el turismo aumentó.

Ambergris Caye tiene un pasado lleno de contrastes. Los mayas que se asentaron en toda la isla y desarrollaron una economía basada en el comercio y la explotación de los recursos marinos no tenían prácticamente nada en común con los piratas que los sucedieron, ni con los agricultores británicos que ordenaron a sus esclavos en un vano intento de convertir la isla en una plantación de algodón. Y, por supuesto, todos estos eran distintos de los refugiados mestizos que huyeron de la guerra en Yucatán por la tranquilidad del cayo.

Las condiciones en la isla también han variado mucho de vez en cuando. La forma de vida de los primeros residentes permanentes de San Pedro era tranquila y sin presiones. Los aldeanos pescaban, cultivaban sus milpas y cuidaban sus pollos y ganado casi sin interferencias externas. Habían traído consigo su cultura y costumbres yucatecas, su dieta de frijoles y tortillas, sus casas sencillas de techos de paja y paredes enyesadas con cal blanca y barro.

Luego, el inesperado advenimiento de la dinastía Blake cambió radicalmente la vida de los San Pedrano. De la noche a la mañana se encontraron sin ningún derecho legal a permanecer en la tierra en la que habían vivido y cultivado durante varias décadas. De pequeños pescadores y agricultores independientes se convirtieron en trabajadores asalariados que trabajaban para un triunvirato de familias gobernantes en una sucesión de nuevas industrias - madera de palo, chicle, coco - y sus vidas se transformaron en una monotonía de molienda, guiada únicamente por la necesidad de sus empleadores de acumular más riqueza.

Este fue un momento en el que la propiedad de casi toda la isla se concentraba en manos de unas pocas personas. Prácticamente cualquier persona en la isla podría recibir la orden de desalojar, por las razones más endebles y con un día de anticipación, la casa en la que nació, se crió y vivió toda su vida. Este fue el caso de la comadrona local, Desideria, a quien se le ordenó desmantelar su casa porque su condición rústica restaba mérito a la elegancia del Casino que se estaba construyendo en el lote de al lado.

Eran los días en que un soltero desesperado como Natividad Guerrero podría conseguir una novia de los asentamientos mayas transitorios en Basil Jones en canjear por una caja de comestibles de la ciudad de Belice. Basil Jones es un sitio maya con nombre.

La vida ya no es así en la isla, claro. El poder absoluto que los Blake ejercían sobre casi todas las facetas de la vida de los aldeanos desapareció hace mucho tiempo. La erosión de esta hegemonía comenzó en 1943, cuando el Gobierno Colonial inició el precursor del actual consejo de aldea al nombrar un pequeño grupo de aldeanos para hacer recomendaciones sobre planes y proyectos para el cayo. En la década de 1960, continuó con la adquisición y redistribución por parte del gobierno de grandes porciones del pueblo a San Pedranos. Finalmente, culminó con el crecimiento de las industrias pesquera y turística, lo que permitió a los aldeanos romper la fortaleza económica de los Blake.

El crecimiento de la cooperativa de pesca tuvo un efecto profundo en la vida en Ambergris Caye. El establecimiento de la sede de la cooperativa y la planta de procesamiento en la isla mantuvo la máxima cantidad de dinero circulando en la comunidad y, por lo tanto, contribuyó significativamente al aumento general del nivel de vida de los aldeanos. San Pedro, que fue abandonado por varios residentes durante la década de 1940 como resultado de la depresión económica que siguió a la devastación del huracán de 1931 y al declive de la industria del coco, era a mediados de la década de 1980 una de las comunidades económicamente más prósperas de Belice. .

En 1984 San Pedro pasó oficialmente de ser un pueblo a un pueblo. Se construyó Victoria House y la pista de aterrizaje comenzó a generar más negocios. La industria turística comenzó a crecer más rápido. Para obtener una cuenta de este tiempo.

Hoy la prosperidad de la isla depende del turismo. Innumerables oportunidades laborales creadas por el turismo y actividades relacionadas han atraído a gente de todo Belice y nuevos inmigrantes de Centroamérica se mezclan con la población de la isla. Se puede estimar que cerca de 8.000 personas residen en la isla, la mitad de las cuales son recién llegados.

El sistema educativo de San Pedro incluye dos escuelas primarias, una escuela privada, tres preescolares y una escuela secundaria establecida en su propio edificio nuevo. En esta última se ofrece formación para la industria turística, así como una amplia preparación para estudios superiores. San Pedranos también puede recibir atención médica en la clínica recientemente establecida.

En línea con las tendencias mundiales en comunicaciones, San Pedro ahora cuenta con una estación de televisión, red de cable con 22 canales, máquinas de fax y un sistema de central telefónica conectada por satélite. Se ha instalado un nuevo sistema de desalinización de agua y pronto será seguido por un segundo. La isla está ampliando un servicio completo de agua y alcantarillado, que llegará a las nuevas áreas de San Pablo y San Pedrito.

El alojamiento turístico es proporcionado por más de 50 hoteles, que van desde pequeñas pensiones hasta complejos turísticos de lujo que pueden duplicar la población de la isla durante la temporada alta. Con la única cámara de recompresión hiperbárica en Belice, Ambergris Caye mantiene su reputación de ser un paraíso para los buceadores.

Lo que solía ser una simple pista de aterrizaje ubicada en el extremo sur de la ciudad convertido en un aeropuerto pequeño pero ajetreado, rodeado de casas y establecimientos turísticos. Los vuelos frecuentes de tres compañías aéreas conectan la isla con varios destinos en Belice, Guatemala y México. El gobierno tiene reconoció la urgente necesidad de un nuevo aeropuerto fuera de las zonas habitadas y Hay planes en marcha para su reubicación, ya que en los últimos años, GOB dio la aprobación para un aeropuerto "internacional" en Basil Jones, a más de 10 millas al norte de San Pedro. La isla también es accesible por mar por los numerosos barcos que ofrecen servicios regulares de ferry o taxi especial hacia y de la ciudad de Belice, un viaje de aproximadamente una hora a través de los numerosos vecinos cayes.

Una de las preocupaciones más urgentes de Ambergris Caye es la disponibilidad de lotes para casas. Los bienes raíces han estado sujetos a una gran especulación y los precios de los lotes se han vuelto inasequibles para la mayoría de los beliceños. La propiedad extranjera ha contribuido a complicar el problema, dificultando la obtención de buenos lotes para la futura expansión de la ciudad y para acomodar a su creciente población de 2.000 jóvenes. En un esfuerzo por encontrar soluciones, el Ayuntamiento ha puesto en marcha un proyecto de desarrollo conocido como San Pablo. Ya se han emitido y vendido unos 200 lotes a precios asequibles y unos 600 más están disponibles para distribución y venta. Se distribuirán 250 lotes adicionales, principalmente a jóvenes cuyas necesidades son inmediatas, a través de un proyecto de recuperación encabezado por el gobierno.

Con el continuo desarrollo de la industria del turismo, San Pedro y Ambergris Cave deben trazar cuidadosamente el curso de su desarrollo. Se debe prestar mucha atención a la protección del medio ambiente: la tierra y las playas, el mar y el arrecife, así como el aire. La ecología está amenazada y es urgente que San Pedranos desarrolle una mayor apreciación del frágil medio ambiente de la isla y aprenda a respetarlo y protegerlo en su vida diaria. También es necesaria la aprobación de leyes y el desarrollo de medidas de conservación. Un paso en la dirección correcta es la creación de la Reserva Marina Hol Chan. Tras su éxito, Ambergris está considerando otras reservas de arrecifes, reservas de playa, como en el caso de las zonas de anidación de tortugas, y santuarios de aves. El arrecife y su belleza submarina no deben darse por sentados. El desarrollo y el dragado del mar pueden resultar en daños al arrecife. Además, el nivel freático en el cayo desemboca en el mar, por lo que las aguas residuales y la eliminación de aguas residuales también deben considerarse cuidadosamente. futuro.

Irónicamente, son los propios vehículos de la emancipación, el desarrollo de las industrias pesquera y turística, los que plantean las amenazas más graves para el futuro de la isla. La frágil ecología del cayo se ve amenazada por una expansión masiva e incontrolada; los recursos del mar se están agotando rápidamente; el sentido de comunidad e identidad cultural de la aldea se ha modificado.

Paradójicamente, es volviendo a su pasado que San Pedranos puede encontrar soluciones a sus problemas en el futuro. Hoy en día, como el turismo toma una parte cada vez mayor de los recursos económicos y humanos del cayo, mientras los aldeanos se ven sometidos a un bombardeo cada vez mayor de valores, ideas e influencias extranjeras, es importante que San Pedranos tenga un fuerte sentido de su historia, su identidad. y autoestima. Un pueblo no puede elegir las circunstancias en las que hace su historia, pero puede tomar conciencia de sí mismo y de su pasado, y de esa fuente puede intentar extraer la confianza, la disciplina y las ideas para afrontar sus problemas potenciales en el futuro.

En el pasado, los San Pedranos han demostrado que son resistentes, ingeniosos y valientes. Los problemas y desafíos que enfrentan en el futuro no son peores que los problemas que enfrentaron y que superaron en parte en el pasado. Dado el compromiso continuo de su parte de encontrar soluciones viables a sus problemas y una creencia constante en su propia dignidad y valor, no hay ninguna razón por la que no deban tener éxito y ninguna razón por la que la isla no deba permanecer, durante muchos años más, un paraíso con un futuro igual en riqueza a su pasado.

Ambergris Museum | Maya History | Early History of Belize, Glyphs, Timeline | 150th Anniversary of San Pedro Town | Field Guide to Ambergris Caye | Angel Nuñez' column "25 Years Ago on Ambergris Caye" | Herman Smith's column on Archaeology in Belize | Maya History of the island | Maya Sites in Belize | Alternative Medicine in Belize | Aztec Account of Spanish Conquest | Excavations on Ambergris Caye | Belize History - Extensive | Popol Vuh, Mayan Religious Document | Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa | Aztec Life |

Ambergris Caye, Belize History

button Home button Island button Community button History button Visitor Center button Goods & Services button Search button Forum button Contact Us button

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Get an Email version of this webpageEmail

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize