Our Community - Lina Guemez - "San Pedro's reigning Mother of the Year"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 19            May 11, 2000

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Lina Guemez

A mother's love is eternal and eternal is the love and respect they deserve. To quote a poem, "As I think of the problems that I have given you, I think of how much I have loved you since the day that I saw you. For you are more precious than gold and more valuable than diamonds; for you are my mother and to my mother, I pledge my eternal love." This Sunday, May 14th, Mother's Day is celebrated worldwide. It is with this in mind that we pay tribute to San Pedro's Mother of the Year 1999-2000, Mrs. Lina Guemez.

    On June 12th, 1939, Lina was born a twin to a brother Carlos in the village of San Pedro to parents Bernalda "Miss Bel" and Carlos Alamilla. Three years later they moved to Belize City where Lina's father got a job transporting logwood from Belize to Chetumal, Mexico. Young Lina attended and graduated from Holy Redeemer Primary School and then went into the working world to help her family. She was first employed as a clerk at Benny's Store, which at the time was a fabric store. At age 29, Lina had her first child, Omar. Lina's motherly instincts were natural and her first child meant everything to her.

    She recalls that life in the city was good, but her mother missed living in San Pedro. After much persuasion, they succeeded in convincing her father to move back to the village. Everyone returned to the island except for her twin brother, who had married and decided to settle in Belize City permanently.

    Back in San Pedro, Lina went to work for Mr. Fido and Mrs. Fina Nuñez in their grocery store, located where Fido's Courtyard is today. Even though she spent part of the day working, she counted the minutes until she would be close to her dear child again. The times spent with him, she says are priceless. She warmly recalls memories of singing lullabies and telling stories to him. Three years after returning to San Pedro she married Mr. Juan Guemez, to whom she had another child. The birth of her baby girl, Yadira made her life complete. Now Lina had two precious treasures that she cherished with all her heart. A mother is all love; and that was what she was to her children. Mrs. Guemez and her husband provided a good education for their children, and taught them moral values and respect.

    Mrs. Guemez was a great mother, in addition to her other hidden talents. At a very young age she developed a passion for arts and crafts, especially working with fabrics. She taught herself to crochet and to sew. While her children were in school she would test her skills doing small sewing jobs. She quickly evolved into designing original pieces of clothing for them. Her creations were both simple and professional. Although not a seamstress by trade, Mrs. Guemez has made dresses and costumes for hundreds of people in San Pedro. What is more admirable is that she does it because she enjoys it and therefore does not charge for her work. She has shared her creations with the Town Council for events such as the Miss San Pedro Pageant and Mother's Day celebration. The San Pedro Lions Club always counts on Mrs. Lina's creative talents when needed for their many functions. Probably her most visible work has been with the San Pedro Dance Company and ABC Pre-School. One of her proudest moments is when she designed and created her daughter-in-law's wedding dress.

    Now that her two children are grown up and married, she is blessed with six grandchildren, all girls. She continues to devote the same motherly love to them. Mrs. Guemez makes it a point to attend all their school functions, and because of her active participation, has been recognized twice by ABC Pre-School as an outstanding grandmother. Last year she was named Mother of the Year 1999-2000 by the town; a well-deserved title. 

    During her conversation with the San Pedro Sun she commented, "My advice to the children of San Pedro is to listen to their parents and obey them. I would like to tell the youth to listen to advice and to stay away from drugs; to set positive goals and work hard to achieve them so that they can be good citizens of San Pedro."

    As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, we honor Mrs. Lina Guemez for being an exemplary mother and a wonderful friend to her children and to San Pedro. The title of Mother of the Year is one that will remain with her for a lifetime. Congratulations and thank you Mrs. Lina Guemez for all the motherly love you have shared with "Our Community."

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