, 1953 to
Margaret and Matthew Spain (deceased). Coming from a family of 19 children (ten
girls and nine boys), Mel learned to share and cooperate with others from a very
young age. Her family was a very humble one, so Mel learned to adapt very well
and to make the best of difficult situations. These traits proved to be assets
for Mel and helped her to excel in the future.
attended Saint Barnabas Elementary School in Central Farm, Cayo District.
Because of financial restraints, Mel was unable to further her education and
instead went to work in the family's grocery store that her father built as a
means to sustain them. As a young girl, Mel was very athletic and was known for
her excellent shortstop and pitching skills on the local female softball team.
When softball season was over, Mel joined soccer, making her one of the few
females on the team.
In 1970, Mel moved to Belmopan where
she lived for two years with a "well-to-do" family who took her in as one of
their children. She was then given the opportunity to travel to the United
States of America where she lived for five years. While in the US, Mel worked in
a jewelry shop where she learned the ins and outs of this very "brilliant"
business. Upon her return to Belize, Mel went back to Cayo for a short time
before making a decision to move to San Pedro.
1985 when she relocated to "La Isla Bonita" in search of a different lifestyle.
Using her savings, Mel began a new life on the island. Determined to make this
decision work, Mel went to work for the Hideaway Hotel. She held a variety of
positions from waitress to bartender and eventually became manager. After four
years in this business, Ms. Spain felt it was time to move on and resigned from
Mel also found love in San Pedro when she met
Mike Estell. Today, their family consists of six children, one girl and five
boys. As a family woman, Mel devoted most of her time to her children and her
"better-half" but also as a hard working woman she felt she needed to do her
part to help with the family expenses. Mel used the knowledge of jewelry she had
gained in the US to invest in this business. She began selling jewelry
door-to-door, something she still does today and is well known for.
Being a very social person, Mel volunteered her time to
the various fundraisers and charity events held in San Pedro over the years.
This devotion caught the attention of the island's leaders who approached Mel
and asked her to run as a candidate in the next Town Council election. At first
Mel was skeptical because she felt she did not have enough schooling or
political background to support this position. She then changed her mind
explaining, "Even though I was not able to further my education I felt I had a
lot of common sense. I must have been doing something right since they chose me
for this position." Her many friends soon backed Mel in her decision and in
March 2000, she was elected a town councilor. As expected, Mel Spain took her
post seriously and immediately started to work for her community. Her first
portfolio was as Chairperson of the San Pedro Tourism Committee. Since then, Mel
has been instrumental in organizing the annual Mother's Day program for the past
two years, the Dia de San Pedro festivities and most recently, the Miss San
Pedro Pageant and September Celebrations. Mel Spain has also been selected and
honored as a Justice of the Peace.
In March of 2001, Mel's
efforts were compensated when she was elected Deputy Mayoress of San Pedro Town.
Carrying even more weight on her shoulders has not slowed Deputy Mayoress Spain
down. Being a very down-to-earth person with a pleasant disposition she has
gained a lot respect from the people of this town. "There are many things I
would still like to do for this community," commented Ms. Spain. "Some of my
priorities include more activities for the youth. Having had much fun while I
was a young girl, I would like to see a softball team formed in San Pedro. For
me personally, I hope to join the San Pedro Lions Club which I believe is a
wonderful organization in San Pedro, and one that I admire a lot," ended Deputy
It has now been sixteen years since Mel
Spain left the western part of the country and settled in San Pedro. Here, she
has built a home, made a lovely family and continues to serve her community. A
mother, businesswoman and an active citizen in this town, Mel Spain is without a
doubt a wonderful addition and a respected leader who stands out like a shining
diamond in "Our Community."