Our Community - Jose Pacifico - "Island Entertainer Extraordinaire"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 37            September 26, 2002

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Jose "Spanish" Pacifico

Anyone who watched the parade during the Battle of St. George's Caye Day and Belize's Independence Day, must have certainly noticed the participation of one individual because of the color and originality he added to these events. The creativity and ingenuity displayed during these parades made this year's celebration a dazzling event. The San Pedro Sun is happy to introduce a resident of San Pedro who has contributed a lot to this island from his imaginative ideas, not only for the September Celebrations, but during the whole year - Jose "Spanish" Pacifico.

    Jose was born on April 22nd, 1952 to Spanish parents aboard the Queen of the Pacific in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Jose Pacifico spent his childhood in Spain where he completed his elementary and high school studies.

    When he turned eighteen, Jose decided to follow in his father's adventurous footsteps and set off to explore the world. Jose left his studies behind and traveled by land, air and sea through Europe before wandering to North, South and finally, Central America. It was during this leg of his travels that Jose decided to stop in Belize for a short rest before returning home. What was originally planned as a temporary visit became a permanent stay as Jose fell in love with this island paradise. "It was January 1st, 1974 when I first arrived in Ambergris Caye," recalls Jose. "I was enchanted by the beauty of the island and more than that, I was very lucky to have met an older native man, Don Severo Guerrero, who became a father figure to me," explained Mr. Pacifico.

    In his newfound home, Jose Pacifico's adopted family and friends knew him as "Spanish". As a foster son to "Don Severito," Spanish went to work as a coconut picker and a harvester of papaya, watermelon, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in the San Telmo cocal (plantation). In time, he also learned to build thatch houses and do landscaping. But aside from his many skills, Spanish inherited one of Don Severito's best qualities - that of entertaining the villagers. He would join his foster father putting on skits and puppet shows for the people of the island. Art was his other passion and Spanish spent numerous hours sculpting old pieces of driftwood into wonderful pieces of art. He also recycled trash and turned it into colorful creations, most of which still adorn San Telmo. Spanish also played an important role in organizing the "comparsas" for carnaval.

    Every year for September Celebrations, the people of San Pedro would look forward to seeing Spanish's elaborate floats upon which the newly crowned Miss San Pedro would ride. Whatever the festivity would be, Spanish would certainly be there bringing bright smiles to the locals. "My main reason for participating was because I wanted to share a spot in the hearts of the people of San Pedro who were so much a part of my heart," Spanish told The San Pedro Sun. Jose explained that he is not finished entertaining San Pedro. His next idea is to open a mini attraction park. Spanish hopes to exhibit the many pieces of art he has created over the years in an area of San Telmo for the pleasure of visitors and tourists. Jose Pacifico commented, "Although San Pedro has developed a lot, to me San Pedro is still the same ėtreasure island' I came to know so many years ago." Although Spanish does not regret his life in San Pedro he says he hopes to one day return to his family in Spain.

    A creative genius in his own respect, Jose "Spanish" Pacifico, a man with the heart of a child, can rest assured that he has already gained a spot in the hearts of all the people in "Our Community."

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