Edilberto "Betito" Marin of San Pedro with his daughters Mireya Castillo, Imelda Staines, Flor Nunez, and Nita Marin
He was raised in a large family of six along with Aldo, Carlos, Wilber, Marcelina Noly, and Ony. He sadly left behind a family of four (all girls) including Mireya Castillo, Imelda Staines, Flor Nunez, and Nita Marin. Edilberto Marin, (RIP) known by all as Betito, was raised in a humble family in San Pedro by his dad who was a fisherman a mother with domestic duties. After completion of his secondary studies in the city, Betito took on his first job as bookkeeper/accountant at Caribena Fishing Cooperative
Assuming a responsibility at Caribena was a very important job at the time because the entire village of some 190 fishermen or families depended on you and your success. At the time Caribena had a processing plant, ice factory, large freezing storage capacity, and modern officwas exporting to the United States whole fish, fillet, conch fillet, shrimps, and lobster. Betito led a business/community operation that was the backbone of the community. Betito therefore led San Pedro during its highest time of economic and social growth and transformation.
Betito had an instinct and passion for community service. He was a chartered member of the San Pedro Lions Club where he served as director, treasurer, secretary and President. He also served as governor of of the Belize Group of Lions Clubs, the highest position in the Lions service organization. Betito's pet projects were the Lions Clinic, Mosquito Coast Park, The Lions Den and traveling to the regional conventions in Central America. An outstanding leader that he was, Betito was always in the forefront as an organizer. Consequently, he won many awards including the prestigious Melvin Jones Award, again the highest award in Lionism.
His love for community prompted him to do more. He was a member of the village council and worked under Chico Gomez (RIP) in the struggle go bring township to San Pedro. He ran and won three elections to serve in the San Pedro Town Council in its early years. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace. Betito at one time owned and operated a large grocery store, did real estate for U.S. investor Bob Witte and filed income tax returns for persons on the island that needed his professional service. If I were to describe Betito in one word, the first word that would come to mind is "loyal"--loyal to his wife, loyal o his family, his job and his community.
Gone a bit too soon for his family and friends but not before leaving behind a wonderful legacy of fatherly love, professional work, service to the poor and less fortunate and public service to his community. Betito was a man with strong roots and left his footprints for others to follow. For this reason his community declares him "Un orgullo San Pedrano" A Pride of San Pedro.
Photographs and text by Angel Nunez
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