|Pedro Salazar Sr.
of its people, land and attractions is a description you read quite often in
books, magazines and brochures on Belize. What is unique to this island though,
is the spirit of the leaders who are responsible for making it the number one
tourism destination. Much hard work and creativity are needed to survive the
changing times in any community and this is certainly the case of one
entrepreneur in San Pedro - Mr. Pedro Salazar Sr.
Pedro was born just a short distance away in the
Mexican fishing village of Xcalac on June 2nd, 1945 to Dalinda Guerrero Salazar,
originally from San Pedro and Marciano Salazar (deceased) whose parents were
originally from Caye Caulker. When "Pete" was only four years old his family
moved to San Pedro where he was raised among three brothers and a sister. After
completing primary school at San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Pedro moved to
Belize City to further his education because there was no high school on the
island at the time. Aware of the great sacrifice his family was making to send
him to school, Pedro gave his best effort to his schoolwork and graduated from
St. John's College in 1964. He then attended Teacher's Intermediate School in
Belize City and dedicated the following one and a half years of his life to
teaching at San Pedro Roman Catholic School. Pete then completed two courses in
accounting from the International Correspondence School.
The Caribeña Fishing Cooperative was established in
1963, and in 1966 Pedro was offered a job as office clerk, a position he gladly
accepted. His diligence and dedication earned him promotions such as pay master
and accountant and he served the last seven of his fifteen years of service to
Caribeña Co-op as general manager. On March 25th, 1967 Pedro married Isabel Nuñez. Their
marriage was graced with two children and they now enjoy the company of three
Thinking he had a good eye for
business, Pedro then took a leap which many considered a huge risk. Big
investments were very rare among the locals, but nevertheless, Mr. Salazar went
forward with his strong instincts. In 1975, he invested his savings into a movie
theatre, establishing himself as the proud owner of Teatro Arenas which became a
major source of entertainment for San Pedro.
Throughout this time, Mr. Salazar also acted as a private accountant for three
growing hotels on the island: Victoria House, Aqua Lodge and Ambergris Lodge.
The movie business continued to prosper as there was no television yet in the
small fishing village. As San Pedro started to develop, and TVs started to pop
up in the homes of the residents, Mr. Salazar realized the future of the movie
theatre was bleak. Although the closure of this particular business was
eventually necessary, it sprouted the seeds of a new business venture for Mr.
Salazar, Coral Cable Vision. With the aid of a technician from Spain, and the
recruitment of his older son, the cable business proved to be a very successful
move which continues to prosper to this day.
Acknowledging that his investment skills were working to his advantage, Pedro
Salazar Sr. took another chance and started Pete's Enterprises - a wholesale
distribution center supplying local stores with a variety of merchandise. Soon
after, Mr. Salazar branched out again with the lease/rental of the fuel station
at Caribeña Fishing Cooperative. Eventually he accepted an offer to buy the
business and then expanded it to include another fuel station at the front of
the island, creating Caribeña Enterprises.
Mr. Salazar's most recent project has been Jaguar's Temple Night Club. Although
this specific type of business is different from what he is accustomed to, he
has managed to create another wonderful entertainment spot for the young and the
young at heart.
Business is but one side of
this ambitious individual. Pedro Salazar Sr. is highly appreciated in this
community for his leadership skills and his commitment. A member of the San
Pedro Village Council since 1979, he was instrumental in lobbying for San
Pedro's town status. He fondly remembers his time as a village councilor when
the island depended on its residents' help during "fajinas" (work-a-thons) since
there was no budget for the village. Mr. Salazar told the San
Pedro Sun, "There was a great sense of pride and cooperation
then but I strongly felt that we needed financial support from government and
that is why I advocated for town status." After San Pedro was finally declared a
town in 1984, he served three years as mayor, six years as deputy mayor and
three years as a town councilor.
dedicating twelve years of his heart and soul to the community, Mr. Salazar
decided he was neglecting his business and chose to retire from the political
scene in order to tend to his growing enterprises. Nevertheless, before he
departed he worked for three years with a group of local and foreign consultants
to create the Ambergris Caye Master Plan. "I enjoy being a civic-minded person.
I feel that I served with dignity and with pride for the betterment of my town.
Unfortunately, between my business and health I had to limit my tasks. I
certainly hope to once again become very active in public service. Nevertheless,
I assure you, that my heart and sentiments are always for the good of San
Pedro," stated Mr. Salazar. In speaking of the things he would like to see
happen on our island Mr. Salazar commented, "It would give me great joy to see
the people of San Pedro, especially the younger generation, become more involved
in cultural and sporting activities. The older generation needs to realize that
they are instrumental in instilling good moral values and passing
on their individual cultures to their children. They need to spend the necessary
time with them to ensure that this generation grows up to be exemplary citizens
in our community. There is a lot that needs to be done in this
Another of Mr. Salazar's
contributions to his community is through his affiliation with the San Pedro
Lions Club. His "Lion Spirit" has always been and continues to be strong.
In 1974, Pedro Salazar Sr. joined the Belize City Lions Club along with two
other residents of San Pedro. One year later on October 25th, 1975 they were able to give birth to
the San Pedro Lions Club. Twenty-six years later, Lion Pedro Salazar continues
to follow the Lion Code of Ethics. Throughout this time he has held the most
distinguished positions in the club, including being the first president of the
San Pedro Lions Club. He has also served as governor for Belize Lions District
59 and worked tirelessly for the growth of the club through his assistance on
numerous committees and sub-committees. Most recently, he was awarded a
certificate from Belize Lions Zone 59 for being a Charter member who also
remains an active member.
From his very
beginnings, every business established by Mr. Pedro Salazar has succeeded due to
his fine administration and professional skills. Even more redeeming are his
noble heart and dedication to his community. The combination of his success as
an entrepreneur and his dedication as a community leader is what has made Pedro
Salazar Sr. a true example of the enterprising nature that makes "Our Community"