Our Community - Claudio Azueta - "Investing in a more spiritual San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 25            June 28, 2001

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Claudio Azueta

Imagine having the world in your hands and being able to make a difference. Many would probably purchase items that would make them and their loved ones happy. While it is true that material things are essential -to what extent? This week we are pleased to introduce a person in San Pedro that although he has climbed the ladder of success, has not lost his humble and genuine personality - Mr. Claudio Azueta.

    Claudio was born in San Pedro on December 7th, 1963 to Estela Pech and Manuel Feliciano Azueta. His family includes his brothers James, Juan and Emmanuel and brothers and sisters from his father's previous marriage Albina Paz, Zenaida Varela, Amalia Varela, Liborio Azueta and Lucilo Guerrero. Claudio was an ambitious boy and proof of this was shown by the grades he brought home from elementary school. With the support of his family Claudio graduated from San Pedro High School in 1979 and then St. John's College/Junior College with an Associates Degree in Science in 1981. Though his dream was to become a doctor, due to financial difficulties he had to discontinue his schooling. Claudio was a strong believer in education and felt that the knowledge he had gained could help others reach their goals so he decided to become a teacher. Working as the science teacher at San Pedro High School, he exercised his love for education with a great passion. This was reflected in the student's interest in learning and their love towards Teacher Azueta. After three years, he was promoted to Vice Principal but continued to teach as well for two more years before deciding to move on.

    Claudio married Maria Luz Heredia in 1983 and together they have four children: Jazelie, Cesar and twins Kirian and Kilian. Claudio stated that although teaching is a wonderful profession, it was difficult to make ends meet when he became a family man.

    In 1986, Claudio Azueta was hired as the office manager for Southwind Properties, an emerging real estate company in San Pedro. At the time, Claudio was the only person working at the company apart from the two owners. As time went by he learned to do appraisals, title transfers and other legal work. Today, fifteen years later, Claudio is the operations manager of Southwind Properties, which has become one of the largest real estate agencies in this country, handling multi-million dollar sales and investments. "Professionally speaking, I believe I have gone as far as I wanted to," stated Mr. Azueta. "My main mission now is to give my children a good education, as far as they choose to go," he ended.

    Although Claudio carries a lot of weight on his shoulders through his profession, he devotes much time to his family and to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. Since 1998, he has acted as a Lay Minister for the Catholic Church. Some of the tasks he willingly performs are: visiting the sick; taking the Holy Communion to the sick or elderly, assisting with communion services and also the decision-making process of the church. Claudio is also part of the Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group. Once a week, over twenty members get together to share fellowship, sing, pray and read the Bible. "I wish we would get more people involved in this meeting," commented Mr. Azueta. "It helps to strengthen us spiritually," he added.

    Because of his caring devotion to the community, Claudio Azueta was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1994. Over the years he has been involved in many community groups such as the Trade Licensing Board, acted as Chairman of the Ambergris Caye Planning Authority and Chairman of Lots Committee, and was a member of the Belize Rural District Board (a committee formed to channel the community's needs). Claudio was also nominated three times as a councilor for San Pedro Town Board but was not voted in. "That was a blessing," said Claudio smiling.

    Claudio Azueta feels fortunate and is grateful for what he has accomplished so far. Being a humble and giving person he said that he would like to see many things realized in San Pedro. One of his ambitions is to form a Diabetes Association for the island. He says that he has monitored his wife's diabetes for the past 18 years and there are many locally who suffer from this disease. He feels it is about time that an association was formed to assist these patients. "The formation of this group is one of my main goals," he stated. Another concern of Claudio's is the growing number of needy people on the island. He feels that there is a need for and would personally like to be a part of, the formation of a "mercy home" for the less fortunate of San Pedro. Mr. Azueta ended his comments by saying, "We should spend more time being conscious of the needy. There are many who are blessed on this island and should give back to the community. If we would all think like this and do our part, we would be living in a much better place."

    Claudio Azueta has spent much of his life thinking about the welfare of others. Whether it is through education, his profession or through his devotion to his faith, this kind-hearted individual works towards a more peaceful and harmonious existence. Because of his moral values and high-standards, Claudio Azueta is an example of the unselfish "investors" who are looking for a brighter future for "Our Community."

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