Our Community - Kim Gonzalez - "Making the 'cut' in San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 36            September 13, 2001

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Kim Gonzalez

Many people from different parts of the world have chosen San Pedro as their new home. These people sometimes contribute to San Pedro through new and innovative ideas or their own unique talents. That is the case of this week's personality who has been serving the people and visitors of the island through the art of hairdressing - Kimberly "Kim" Gonzalez.    

    On July 11th, 1956, a baby girl named Kimberly Ann was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Waunita Hamilton and Keith Dooley. Kim, as her family and friends call her, grew up as a very active child among two brothers and a sister. She attended Lebanon High School where she decided she wanted to design greeting cards as a profession. Soon after she pursued this goal, Kim found she lacked the amount of talent needed to pursue a career in this field. Nevertheless, she was committed to do some type of artistic work and as luck would have it, her school offered a cosmetology program. Kim enrolled in a two-year course at the White's Town Beauty Academy where she completed 1500 required hours of study. In 1974, she was granted her license to practice cosmetology having mastered various techniques in hairstyling, perms and hair coloring. Kim's good grades and ambition gained her the honor of being featured in the prestigious "Who's Who" among American high school students. This particular book featured top students of vocational schools throughout America who had excelled in their studies.

    Kim worked in several beauty salons throughout Indianapolis for some time before starting her own business. After building a fairly large clientele, she was confident she could make it on her own and opened Aquarius Salon. For five years Kim provided services to many satisfied customers. After saving enough money, Kim was ready for a well-deserved vacation and decided to travel outside the US to enjoy the benefits of her hard work. Belize was suggested as a good scuba diving destination, so she booked a trip not knowing what to expect. Just a few days before her scheduled departure to Belize, Kim started having second thoughts. She tried to cancel her trip but was unsuccessful. She then decided to make the best of it. In 1983, she arrived in Ambergris Caye and, seeing the beauty and serenity of this island paradise, immediately changed her mind about Belize. She fell in love with San Pedro and wanted to stay longer, if not forever.

    Back in the United States, Kim could not stop thinking about San Pedro and the wonderful time she had experienced there. The island had stolen a piece of her heart and she knew she could earn a living there since there were no hairdressers at the time. Two years later, Kim relocated permanently to San Pedro. Once established in her new home, Kim would gather the "tools" needed for work in a backpack and walk around the island offering her services. After a short period of doing this, Kim was called to various houses to work her "magic." In time she rented a small space at Fido's Courtyard before moving to a larger location at the Mahogany House. She then joined forces with another cosmetologist on the island for four years. Once again having established her clientele, she reopened her original business - Aquarius Salon. For five years now, Kim has been working from her own place located on Pescador Drive. She continues to rejuvenate and provide new looks for her loyal customers.

    In addition to her new life, Kim also found love in paradise and married Tony Gonzalez on May 22nd, 1985. Together they have a son, Karim Gonzalez, who is now 14 years old.

    Kim Gonzalez told the San Pedro Sun, "I have no regrets about moving to San Pedro. I have made my family, my business and my home here. I am very happy. Cutting hair in San Pedro is an interesting job because I not only get to work with the locals; I also get to meet tourists from around the word. Life and my business are much better here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my loyal clientele who have supported me throughout this time."

    Although a very busy person, Kim always donates her services to the various town functions as a gesture of her commitment. Because of her humble interactions with the people of Belize, and her great skill with the scissors, Kim Gonzalez has become another one of the "local artists" who form part of "Our Community."

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