Our Community - Carmen Jimenez - "The 'Maestro Limpio' of San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 29            July 26, 2001

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Carmen Jimenez

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. 

    Carmen Liberato 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 years.

    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."

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