has flourished from a humble fishing village into the most visited vacation
destination in Belize. Much credit must be given to our forefathers who have
passed on their strong will and desire to succeed. The lifestyle of those days
gone by was peaceful but not an easy one. It took our predecessors a lot of
patience and determination to make San Pedro what it is today. This week the
San Pedro Sun honors one of the men who, along
with other hardworking San Pedranos of his time, managed to bring prosperity to
this island - Mr. Genaro Nuñez.
Born on September
19th, 1930 to Regina Guerrero
and Cruz Nuñez, Genaro was raised in the quaint village of San Pedro with eight
brothers and one sister. In those days, the village had no school so it was
customary for the children to go to work to help out their families. As a young
boy Genaro would go net fishing, sell firewood, collect and husk coconuts, and
even clear lots for the low price of 75¢ per lot, to earn money. When he was
nine years old, the first school opened and Genaro enrolled. When he turned
thirteen though, Genaro quit school and once again went to work, this time for
At that time, Genaro was the proud owner of five
lobster traps (nasas), which he placed at French Caye (Cayo Frances), an area
where lobster was abundant. "The lobster harvest in those days was overwhelming.
With my five traps I would manage to capture over 230 lobsters a day. Those were
the good old days," commented Mr. Nuñez. From the profits Genaro made selling
lobster, he was able to increase his number of traps, in a relatively short
time, to 300. Of course owning more traps increased production and in turn,
increased his profits. Mr. Nuñez clearly recalls the days when lobster buyers
would come to San Pedro to purchase these crustaceans for a meager 5¢ per pound.
As the demand for lobster increased, so did the benefits to local fishermen as
the selling price rose from 25¢ to 45¢, and then 75¢ and so forth.
In March of 1963, Caribeña Producers Cooperative was
formed in San Pedro, bringing unification to the local fisherman. Genaro joined
the fishing cooperative as an active member and soon after served as treasurer.
Fishing became Mr. Genaro's livelihood for the next 57 years until he was forced
to retire at the age of 70 due to medical reasons.
age of 19, Genaro married Alice Gomez (deceased) on December 3rd, 1949. Their union produced five
children: Emerita (Graniel), Ilva (Castillo), Alice (Ochaeta), Diana (Halliday)
and Chris Nuñez.
the savings from his fishing expeditions, Don Genaro managed to open a general
store below his home. He recalls the store was very small with ceilings so low
that the customers had to duck to get inside. He called his business "Alice
Store" in honor of his wife. At first, Alice Store would only carry the basic
home necessities like sugar and flour, and some treats such as chewing gum and
lemonade. Over time, Mr. Nuñez expanded the store to accommodate his customer's
needs. Additionally, Mr. Genaro invested his savings into two apartment
buildings which he says, "helps him today with his daily expenses."
In the early 90s, Mr. Genaro
Nuñez was named a Justice of the Peace for his good faith towards the community
and his fellow man. Commenting on the future of San Pedro Mr. Nuñez stated, "The
lobster and tourism industry have played a major role in San Pedro. We must be
very careful to protect both of these industries so that future generations may
also reap the benefits and enjoy the wonderful life that San Pedro has to
Mr. Genaro Nuñez has sacrificed and worked hard
to be where he is today. He knows the true meaning of the labor and dedication
needed to obtain success. Now a semi-retired resident, Mr. Genaro Nuñez is a
fine example of the people that have "thrown their nets" and were able to "fish
out" the opportunities that exist in "Our Community."