Caye Caulker Boat Builder, Grandpa Peter Young, long ago
2nd photo: Steve Young Sr. ; Frank Young; Peter Young & Raymond Matus (but not sure who is whom). On Caye Caulker, Belize.
Mr. Peter Young was one of several very skilled boat builders on the island. Some of his legendary boat-building contemporaries are/were Normal “Spin” Alamina, Nelson Young, Valentin Alamina, Juni Zaldivar, Ray Auxillou and probably a few more I’ve forgotten.
Plank by plank, the boat builders would painstakingly shape and build their extremely seaworthy crafts from scratch. Very much a labor of love, building a boat would take months if not years. During the boat building days, electricity on the island was non-existent. Each craft was shaped and built using what would be considered very rudimentary tools today. The thought of building such magnificent works of art under those conditions is unthinkable. But build they did, and what they built was extraordinary by any standards.
Of the few surviving boat builders of the time, the only remaining one still practicing his craft is Mr. Juni Zaldivar who can be found across from the basketball court.
Photograph courtesy Renan Gongora
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