San Pedro will only remain "La Isla Bonita" if we all
do our part to take care of it and keep it clean. Our town strives to keep our
beautiful island looking attractive for both the residents and the thousands of
tourists that choose to visit. This week we are pleased to introduce a person
who plays an important role in the daily beautification of this destination -
Mr. Carmen Leberato Jimenez.
Jimenez was born in the humble village of Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District
on June 20th, 1945. Teresa de
los Angeles and Getrudis Jimenez (both deceased) were loving parents to Carmen
and his five brothers. After completing his elementary education in Bullet Tree
Falls, Carmen moved to Corozal where he cut sugar cane for a living. Carmen
obtained a driver's license as soon as he reached legal age in order to ascend
the ranks of the sugar cane business. Having learned the skills of the trade
throughout the years, he was then hired as a driver/loader. Although Carmen's
workload was now double what it had started as, the pay was better. A regular
day for him would commence at 5:00 a.m., loading the trucks with sugar cane and
then driving to the factory; waiting in line sometimes later than 7:00 p.m. His
salary was 20 cents per ton of sugar cane loaded and 25 cents per load for his
driver's pay. Carmen worked as a sugar cane loader and truck driver for fifteen
When Carmen was 19 years old, he married Flora
Jimenez of Corozal. Together they had nine children (five girls and four boys);
all grown and married now.
As a family man, Carmen
started looking for other avenues of work in order to support his growing
family. After a visit to San Pedro, his wife suggested they move here in search
of a better living. Carmen took his wife's advice and relocated to the island in
May of 1996.
Motivated and determined to start a new
life, Carmen was hired by the San Pedro Town Council to clean the streets.
Raised as a humble hardworking person, Carmen immediately embraced the job. His
philosophy was and still is, "Any job is a good job as long as it is honest."
Working for the town, Carmen would start his day at 5:00 a.m., first raking the
streets of the town core and then making sure that the three parks were well
kept. After four years of devoting his time to the daily clean-up of San Pedro,
he was promoted to Assistant Foreman. Although this new position called for him
to supervise the other workers, Carmen was required to continue his daily
maintenance work as well. No stranger to this type of labor, Carmen
performed to the best of his abilities for the next two years. His efforts were
duly recognized when he was promoted to Town Foreman on April 1st, 2000. With this promotion Mr. Jimenez
found himself supervising forty employees, who perform a variety of duties.
These include beach workers, street cleaners, gardeners, garbage collectors,
garbage site workers and the management and maintenance of the barracks and
trucks owned by the Town Council. As the Town's Foreman, Mr. Jimenez is also
responsible for preparing for the many town functions, which includes providing
chairs, tables, lights and enclosing an entertainment area if it is required.
Five days-a-week, this job demands a lot of energy and
time from Carmen, who enjoys his days off at home with his family. He hopes to
be able to purchase a piece of land on the island and build a home for his wife
and himself. "I enjoy my work very much. It keeps me busy and I get the
satisfaction that I am helping this community," stated Mr. Jimenez.
Although Carmen has twice been promoted, he has remained
"just one of the workers" and has gained the utmost respect of his companions.
Having adopted San Pedro as his new home, Carmen Jimenez makes it a point to
give his personal best and is considered "Maestro Limpio" when it comes to the
beautification of "Our Community."