Our Community - Douglas Caballeros - "Enjoying a successful 'cycle' of life in San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 22            June 13, 2002

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Douglas Caballeros

Ambergris Caye is blessed with rich vegetation and is considered a bird-watching paradise. One of the best ways to site-see in "La Isla Bonita," from north to south, is by biking. Not only is this mode of transportation environmentally friendly it is also a good way to exercise. Many residents go back and forth to work and also "pedal" their goods this way. Because of our climate and sandy roads, bikes often need repair and servicing. This week The San Pedro Sun is pleased to feature a young man who earns a living providing this service on the island - Douglas "El Guapo" Caballeros.

    Douglas was born in the quiet village of Xaibe, Corozal on February 4th, 1977 to Maria Elvira Castillo and Sergio Agusto Caballeros, originally from Guatemala. When he was only a year old, his family, consisting of six brothers and five sisters, moved to Belize City in search of a better life. The Caballeros spent only five years in the city before moving to Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. For the next two years the Caballeros enjoyed the southern part of the country before they moved once again - this time to the peaceful island of Caye Caulker where Douglas attended the local government school. Douglas' parents then returned to Stann Creek, leaving him and his siblings in the care of their eldest brother on Caye Caulker. At the age of 12, Douglas moved yet again to Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District where he worked as a laborer. Although he was making ends meet, the young man decided to join his brother in Orange Walk. It was there that Douglas learned a new trade, assisting his brother who owned a bicycle repair shop.

    In 1991, Douglas made up his mind to move to San Pedro after hearing that jobs with better salaries were available. On Ambergris Caye he hooked up with a friend and worked as a tour guide assistant. Douglas then tried his skills as a bartender, first at Tackle Box Bar (now Shark's) and then at Caribe Island Resort. Two and a half years ago, Douglas married Silvia Mercedes Solis. This union has produced two lovely children Kristi (one year, eight months) and Michelle (seven months).

    As a married man, Douglas' plan was to start his own business; one  that was capable of supporting a family. Because there was a scarcity of bicycle repair service on the island, he felt confident that this would be his best option. Douglas adopted his brother's business name "El Guapo" and began selling bicycle parts and performing maintenance and repairs. Douglas' goal is to give his clientele quality work at a moderate price within a limited time frame. To help out those who have a low budget but are in need of transportation, Douglas offers second-hand bicycles, which he builds from used parts. "Sometimes it is very difficult for some people to buy a new bike so I offer used bikes for affordable prices," Douglas told The San Pedro Sun.

    "El Guapo" takes Sundays off to enjoy family activities; attend church services and go biking. Having lived in almost every part of the country, Douglas finally feels settled in San Pedro and calls the island home. A hardworking individual he brings a much-needed service to those who are environmentally conscious and favor a healthy transportation option. Through his bicycle repair shop, Douglas "El Guapo" Caballeros has helped many to enjoy a better "cycle" of life in "Our Community."

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