Our Community - Pablo Guerrero - "San Pedro's Picasso of Piñatas"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 21            May 25, 2000

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Pablo Guerrero

San Pedro has produced an infinite amount of hard working people who have made their living humbly and honestly. More impressive is when they put their spare time to good use, discovering their creativity can bring both financial rewards and happiness to others. We present to you this week a young man who used his talents to bring a lot of joy to both children and adults - the artist, Mr. Pablo Guerrero.

    Pablito, as he is known, was born in the village of San Pedro on May 26th, 1965 to Maria Reina and Pablo Guerrero. He attended San Pedro Roman Catholic School and then San Pedro High School, graduating as a Commercial student in 1983. Immediately after graduation, he went to work at Caribeña Fishing Cooperative which was at its peak. He was employed as a clerk in the fishing supplies shop. Pablito held this position for six years and as the Cooperative expanded its avenues, so did he. He worked in the meat shop that the co-op started and then at the processing plant. He became a receiver of products such as fish, conch and lobster. Pablito stood strongly behind the co-op in all its many phases, reaping its benefits and suffering through its lows. Pablito has been a loyal worker for 17 years now, and continues to serve Caribeña as the sales clerk and receiver in the seafood/produce section.

    Although he is known in San Pedro for his dedication to the fishing cooperative, he is also recognized as a great artist and craftsman. Mr. Guerrero discovered his artistic side when he was a young child in primary school. He recalls that when he was asked to do charts and projects for his class he would be eager to take a pencil or crayon and paint tirelessly. This earned him much praise. Eventually he developed a great passion for his craft. He started on his career path, using oil paint to put names on boats. His end products always gave him a great sense of pride and encouraged him to try new ideas. He continued by doing commercial signs and was soon sought after for his quality work. Some of his community projects include the painting of the pyramid fountain at Central Park, the San Pedro Statue at Friendship Park and the San Pedro Lions Clinic sign, among others. He has also immortalized some of San Pedro's wonderful scenes on canvas. 

    A different creative phase in his life started when he was about twenty years-old. He vividly recalls, as a child, attending birthday parties where the highlight would be the piñata. Unfortunately these were not readily available in San Pedro and only a few had the privilege of enjoying them at their parties. It struck him one day that he could do this himself and make it a business. Equipped with thin, flexible wire, glue, old newspapers and crepe paper he took on the challenge to manufacture one. Amazed at his own ability, after a matter of hours he had finished his first clown piñata. Because piñatas had to be imported from Mexico or bought in the city, Pablito received many requests for his work. The challenge became tougher as new children's characters became popular and were requested. "It came natural," Pablito commented, "I would look at the picture and after about four to five hours, it would be completed." Depending on the size and the extent of difficulty he would sell them for $20 to $40 each. Piñatas then became a "must have" at children's parties in San Pedro. He even carried his work a little further and designed and manufactured floats for various occasions in San Pedro.

    Today, Pablito still works at the cooperative, continues to paint and makes piñatas upon request. He gives his unswerving loyalty to the co-op and shares his creativity with all. He has brought much joy to the children of San Pedro through his piñatas and has beautified our town through his artistic work. Pablito Guerrero is a terrific example of the wealth of talent that paints "Our Community."

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