Celi McCorkel with a loaded empanada, 1981
Celi McCorkel gives us Johnny Greif, Celi Jean Greif, Lisa Guerrero and Martin McCorkel. They too will provide strong roots for our soil. CeliNunez McCorkel was born and raised in San Pedro. After graduating from high school in Belize City, and "nothing much" to do in her fishing village with her diploma, a quick trip to the U S A changed her life. There she realized that one has to create the things that on one wants to do or become.
Remember King Midas that touched anything and it became gold? Celi Mc has had the good fortune that everything she touched became a success. After an early marriage, Celi ventured into opening the very first hotel on the Island, Holiday Hotel, thus opening the doors for tourism in Belize. Immediately Celi knew that for successful tourism, we would need good air transport and she commenced her drive to get government to open an airstrip. That too was a resounding success because San Pedro become connected to the world even before the telephone. This unstoppable woman would not stop and proceeded to establish commercial air travel from Belize City International to San Pedro. Today all 8, 867 square miles of Belize are connected by airline. Celi was also instrumental in the formation of BTIA The Belize Tourism Industry Association., still going strong as B T B. Then Celi also partook in in the formation and operations of BHA, the Belize Hotel Association. Early in her life Celi was invited to be a part of San Pedro High School and bring secondary education to the Island. Her contributions to San Pedro High cannot be measured in dollars and cents but in the impact she has had in the lives ofa hundreds, if not thousands, of young Belizeans who have benefited from this institution. An icon in her own rights, Celi McCorkel lives a humble life and always aims at helping people and making new friends. High respect to this woman whose roots have really gone deep and are well rooted into the long future. Angel Nunez
Photograph by "Iguana Jack" Westerhold
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