Eluterio became the
proud brother of Jose del Carmen. The two brothers were raised by their father,
enjoying the wonders of this peaceful and serene village. As was customary in
those days, the Cocom brothers joined their father on fishing trips when they
were very young children.
When Eluterio and Carmen were
only teenagers (15 and 14 years old respectively) their father passed away and
they were left alone to fend for themselves. The brothers continued fishing to
sustain themselves and to make payments on a parcel of land that their father
had left them. In search of additional income, the Cocom brothers moved to
Xcalac, Mexico where they worked gathering coconuts and clearing land. After
working there for ten years they were able to pay off their debt and returned to
San Pedro to stay. At that time, the lobster industry was flourishing and both
Carmen and Eluterio spent the next four years of their lives trapping lobster.
When Carmen was thirty-one years old he decided to start
a family of his own and married Eulalia Kumul. Together, they had three
children: Martha Rosa, Mayra and Manuel de Atocha, who are all grown and married
now. Eluterio remained a bachelor but stayed very close to Carmen and his
After the lobster industry began to decline,
Carmen first went to work as a watchman for Caribeña Fishing Cooperative for ten
years. He was then hired by the San Pedro Town Council to clean the beach and
still performs this work today. Aside from his employment at the San Pedro Town
Council, this very active seventy-three year-old man does not seem to stand
still. On his days off, he works clearing lots for extra cash.
On the other hand, Eluterio was hired as a sanitary
engineer, working at the San Pedro refuse site. Eluterio did this for thirteen
years but was forced to retire because of health reasons. Determined to support
himself, Eluterio earns his living today by weaving and mending fishing nets, a
skill only a few locals still possess.
Both Eluterio and
Carmen told The San Pedro Sun that life on the
island has changed drastically from what they remember. Both agreed that the
progress has had its good and bad sides but feel that it was necessary to keep
up with the rest of the world. They also agreed that the development has also
provided more opportunities for the youth of San Pedro.
Although the Cocom brothers have
experienced the evolution of San Pedro, they choose to enjoy a simple way of
life. When they are not working, they stroll around town, rid their yard of
weeds and sit on their veranda watching the tourists that go by. Even though
their surroundings have changed they continue living as though time has not
passed. "Living a simple life and not making things complicated has helped us
enjoy every day to the fullest," commented one of the brothers.
Eluterio and Jose del Carmen Cocom are two local
brothers who through their good family values and individuality continue to
enjoy the best things in life in "Our Community."