The San Pedro Roman Catholic primary school in the early 1980's
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Sunday June 9, 2012

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Above, early 1980's, drawings by Jayson Forman


1979 - 1987

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Iguana Jack
It was in 1975 that John D. Westerhold's (Iguana Jack) adventures landed him in Belize. Jack quickly found a beautiful country and people that were so creatively inspiring that he has called it home ever since. As he sketched and painted some of his favorite people and places, Jack established the very first art gallery in San Pedro in 1980 to display his finest works. Today as Belize continues to change,Jack is still very busy painting and sculpting images of the Belize he loves to call home.
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The San Pedro Roman Catholic primary school in the early 1980's

Jayson Forman: The worst thing I remember is the realization that an adult 4 times my size can spank me with a big fat stick on my hand or calves for getting a test question wrong and my parents were ok with it. WTH??

The best thing was that the classmates you met on day 1 would most likely be your friends for life!

“Beginners” to “Infant II” was basically kindergarten with shorts as part of our uniforms. Things got “real” when we started wearing long pants from “Standard I - VI”.

When the bell rings for the first time, you freeze on the spot like some twisted “red light, green light game”. The second time it rings, you best get your butt in line to avoid the dreaded punishment... another abuse session by an adult...

I sure hope that their discipline practices have evolved since then. It never taught me to become a better student; it just made me memorize text from a book better without actually understanding what I read...

Cheyenne Hennessey: As a little girl to get on the teachers good side you would bring him good whipping sticks. Unless you were me who snuck off grounds to get candy and got sent to the Maestro Reyes for a yard stick on the butt in front of his whole class lol

Primary School Recess Snacks, 1982

by Jayson Forman

During school recess, our snack choices were limited. The only school sanctioned shop was the one run by the principal’s wife, Mrs. “Leecie”.

Alternatively, we could run to the edge of the fence closest to “Carmelita’s store” where she and her husband would sell snacks handed over the school fence.

Occasionally, señor John would stop by as close to the school gate as possible and sell “raspados” (shaved ice). Since outside vendors weren’t allowed in school property, we were all careful not to cross property boundaries onto the street for fear of getting punished.

A few years later, I do remember having an outside vendor seated by Mr. Reyes’ front porch selling the most delicious fresh empanadas but that would kill the snack budget so I ate it sparingly.

My school allowance was 1 shilling (25 cents) and I could buy 2 or 3 popular items with that:

Blue ideal (no idea what flavor “blue” is)
Chillito (spicy chili powder with sugar)
Duvalin (candy cream with pudding consistency)
Tortrix (Tortilla chips from Guatemala)
Quesitos (It’s just like Cheetos)
Tocinitos (Pork rind flavored chips from Guatemala)
Smarties (Cheaper version of M&Ms)
Picnic (Vanilla flavored wafers)

(All these snacks still exist)

Photograph by "Iguana Jack" Westerhold

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