Huge group of San Pedro High School students and other folks, 1987
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Wednesday January 4, 2012

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San Pedro High School is a private and government aided secondary school located in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Central America. The school was founded in 1971 at a time when only few students could afford to attend high school in Belize City on the mainland and was established to break away from this pattern and provide secondary educational opportunity for a wider sector of the community. It started with 30 students and graduated 9 in its first graduation. Presently the demand for education is ever evident as the enrollment pattern gradually increase. The current school body is 450+ students and the last graduating class of 2010-2011 was 75 graduates.
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Huge group of San Pedro High School students and other folks, 1987
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Can You find You?

this is great

This was what my 16th year revolved around..The Choppers..and the Maintenence men....mmmmmm Dated 2. Martyn Turel and John Fellowes

And of coarse Mrs. Paz.. man she wouldn't let me slack and get away with stuff!!

I see Mr Alan Forman, Mr Chico Gomez, looks like Joe Elijio, Mike Arnott, Dennis Eiley, Gerald Leslie, Dale Wallace - man my eyes aren't that good either.

well I see Nigel, and Sherlette Belisle..Felix Ayuso, Coqui, Marissa, (my class so it's

:'-( I just found Florencio Acosta..(man I'm missing photos! I should have one of him..he was a good friend)

ha ha..just found HillyBoo, (Gilberto Lara)

Found sooo many more looking at My original when I read my Mom's Post It..ohhh Thank You Mr. Nunez!

i think my sister sonia duarte is there but not sure hard to see - i am thinking she is the one stooped down on the ground next to a blonde :)

ha ha .. I am that blonde..

Ellen Reyes is on one side of me...

ya know if I do ever come home, people will smuck my head cuz I don't remember

LOL...yes i see Helen i meant on your other side three in a row "she" is in the middle..

???Ellen..right..geez don't tell me I've spelled her name wrong for 30 years!!!!

Next you'll tell me it's Judi Bremekamp Leslie

no my bad it is Ellen Reyes :)

The British at San Pedro High School

The Brits were very active in Belize from 1970s and through the 80s making reconnaissance flights around the country, airlifting emergency patients, and of course protecting our borders with Guatemala. They also vacationed on Ambergris Caye and were very generous tourists. For a while they were very active in San Pedro and helped tremendously with the construction of the new San Pedro High Building. Since 1981 when we formed the San Pedro High School Building Committee, Mr. Allan Forman, chairman of the committee solicited help from the British High Commission and was very lucky to obtain the help we needed. Approval was given for 20 British soldiers stationed at the Belize airport to come to San Pedro to work on the construction of the building.

The British soldiers arrived for duty for a period of two weeks. As soon as one group had completed service, another group was dispatched. With pick axe and shovels, they dug for the footings and the beams and entire foundation of the ground floor under the watchful eyes and supervision of Peace Corps Volunteer, Bill Robinson. They cut steel and prepared for the slab that was due to be cast. This work went on for almost one year- one year of technical and strenuous labor that saved the high school thousands of dollars. I once remarked to some of them that it was very hot and strenuous labor to which one of them remarked: No mate, any work outside of airport camp is a blessing and welcome. We love this. This is Heaven.

On a note of interest, besides not having to pay them one cent, the British Army Administration saw it fit to give the construction workers a splendid farewell party with an ample supply of chicken, beef and pork barbecue, and an equal supply of beer. Members of the San Pedro High School Building Committee, Betito Marin, Allan Forman (+), Pedro Salazar, Norman Eiley, John Belisle (+), Wilfredo Alamilla Sr., and myself were invited to the party where we were thanked by the Brits for giving them the opportunity to participate in the construction of San Pedro High School.

The British Helicopter made several landings both at the airstrip as well as on site at the high school to bring the working crew to San Pedro. Just a few months after the high school was completed and inaugurated in 1987, the Brits flew their helicopter over the high school, and two sky divers jumped out and landed right on the grounds of the high school. There they handed over a plaque to commemorate their cooperation in the project. Also wanting to add financially to the same project, they delivered a check to be used towards the completion of the science laboratory. This money was received by science teacher Miss Liani Lopez Paz and witnessed by the entire student body of San Pedro High, and Mayor Gilberto Gomez.

Why was the landing of a helicopter permitted on the high school campus? Well, the entire Boca del Rio area was pretty much uninhabited with the exception of the high school and one or two residences. Besides the Brits were a high authority in Belize in the 1980s and pretty much landed anywhere without informing anybody except airport camp. This is a historic landing on Ambergris Caye in 1988 exactly 25 years ago. Teachers and students in 1988 ought to remember this very warmly and vividly. I do.

Photograph courtesy Coffey Murphy

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