Determination and will power are two
characteristics that have pushed many people to achieve their goals. Even though
financial resources were limited many years ago, realistic thinking and a strong
desire to succeed played a big role in the achievements of many businesspeople
in San Pedro. This was the case of this week's personality who managed to create
a business of his own - Mr. Romel Gomez Sr.
born in San Pedro Village on February 6th, 1943 to parents Modesta and Albino
Gomez. He grew up in this peaceful fishing paradise among two brothers and three
sisters. As was customary in those days, he attended elementary school until the
age of thirteen and then went to work as a fisherman which, at the time, was the
number one source of income. Romel gill-netted for fish in the shallow waters
around San Pedro for three years. As a young man, he was very ambitious and
searched for new ways of earning additional income to help his parents. When
lobster fishing started to blossom he joined other locals on these long fishing
expeditions. Having a good eye for business, Romel saved most of his earnings
and, after two years, saved enough to buy his own fishing boat, increasing his
profits by a large margin.
On June 30th, 1966 he married Ester Gomez and over
the years had three children, Nestor, Videlma and Ruby. Having a family prompted
him to work harder, which he did, making a good living in the lobster industry
for fifteen years. As San Pedro attracted more visitors Romel, having an
extensive knowledge of the Belizean waters, bought a skiff and started to work
as a tour guide. He was employed by El Pescador Resort where he worked for the
next eighteen years. During this time he also saw a great opportunity to invest
his savings in and went for it. Having acquired the prime piece of beachfront
property where he lived with his family, Romel erected four small rooms to rent
to the increasing number of tourists. The rooms with shared bathrooms, simple
and quaint, were rented for only $15 a night. This marked the birth of Ruby's
Hotel. Romel continued to work as a tour guide and in 1986 added five extra
rooms to his hotel. By 1991, Ruby's Hotel had expanded to seventeen rooms and a
third floor. Three years ago, four more rooms were completed on a concrete area
of the premises. In the meantime, Romel also built a dive shop from where he
offered fly and reef fishing, as well as snorkeling and other island tours,
using experienced guides.
Today, Ruby's Hotel, managed by
Mr. Gomez's daughter Vidy, consists of twenty-one rooms for those looking for a
comfortable yet economical stay. The comfort of the rooms range from "fan with
shared bathroom" to "air-conditioned with private bath." Because of its friendly
service and moderate rates, Ruby's Hotel receives a steady flow of visitors all
Just last year, Mr. Gomez purchased his
daughter's business, Ruby's CafÈ, situated on the premises of the hotel, which
serves not only their guests but visitors and residents of the island as well.
The dive shop is now leased to Searious Adventures, who handle all the tours
with the same courteous and professional skill. Although Romel limits his work
as a tour guide, he still welcomes a job when he is needed.
Mr. Gomez told the San Pedro Sun, "I have enjoyed my evolution and the progress I have made along with
the growth of San Pedro. Of course, there have been times when things did not go
as planned but, with the help of my family, I have managed to move ahead."
Romel Gomez is one of the many people of San Pedro that
have succeeded because of their great ambition. He stood firm in his beliefs and
has been rewarded for his decisions. We salute this self-made man for his
example and business contributions to "Our Community".