|Eloy & Jackie Gonzalez
Over the years, Ambergris Caye has come to be known as
a very unique tourist destination with friendly and beautiful people. The
island is also home to a large variety of businesses: dive shops,
boutiques, restaurants, hotels, etc., however, there is always room for
one more useful and beneficial product. This week, The
San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce a couple who make
their living from an idea that satisfies San Pedro residents and tourists
alike - Jacqueline and Eloy Gonzalez of Island Pure.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Halliday was born in San Ignacio
Town, in Belize's Cayo District, on December
13th, 1964 to Nora and
Findley Halliday. When Jackie was only four years old, she and her sister
as well as five brothers moved to her mother's birthplace, Ambergris
Caye, where her father was offered a job that he thought would greatly
benefit the family.
During her childhood and early teens, Jackie was very
active in sports. She later became involved in acting and fondly
remembers performing as a member of the San Pedro High School drama club.
Acting in the play "Dorothy's Triumph" was one of Jackie's most cherished
memories, a role which required both acting and singing. Singing? Yes!
Jackie enjoys singing very much, and happily reminisced about her "Abba"
performances; a band that had many hit songs in those days.
After Jackie graduated in 1983, she went to work as a
secretary. She was employed by Captain Locos for a short time and then at
The Hut for another few months. After about a year, Jackie changed her
occupation from secretary to teacher, but in 1986, after teaching at the
San Pedro Roman Catholic School for a year and a half, she resumed her
career as a secretary at The Paradise Hotel. For the next ten years, she
advanced from secretary to front desk manager, before being promoted to
assistant manager in 1991.
After four years at the hotel, Jackie felt that there
was something missing in her life. Realizing what could fulfill all her
dreams, on August
19th, 1989, Jackie
Halliday joined hands in marriage with her beloved, Eloy Gonzalez.
Jackie describes her husband as a very hardworking man
who dedicates equal time to career and family. Born on January
20th, 1966 to Soila
and Florentino Gonzalez, Eloy was raised in a family of four boys and
four girls. After graduating from San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Eloy
began fishing for a living. For almost six years, he would venture out on
fourteen-day trips to catch lobster and conch while riding the waves of
the deep blue sea.
Eloy also received his dive master certification, and
made a living as a diver for nearly eight years. Eventually, though, he
returned to his job as a fisherman, specializing in bone and reef
fishing. Eloy proudly purchased his first boat in 1987, and today boasts
a fleet of four water vessels, each employed for a different purpose. In
those days, like any other energetic youth, Eloy enjoyed the game of
football and played on the island's semi-professional team from 1985 to
In 1995, Eloy and Jackie started their first
family business in San Pedro Town. A friend who owned a purified water
company encouraged the couple to open this type of business, due to the
increasing number of tourists, residents, hotels and other businesses
requiring this product. The Gonzalez's named their venture Island Pure
and as the years passed, the company grew. In time, Jackie was spending
almost all of her days at Island Pure as the company's Business
Meanwhile, Eloy completed training in outboard engine
repair, learning another useful skill that he enjoys to this day.
The Gonzalez family is living life to its
fullest, proud that they are able to do their part by serving the
community. Eloy continues to fish, repair engines and still plays
football as a member of the San Pedro veteran's football team. As for
Jackie, she manages the family business and helps raise their sons: Eder
Eloy (12), Julius Brandon (7) and Henry Gerald (six months).
Despite their busy schedule, Jackie and Eloy always
seem to find the time to put their family first, frequently visiting
interesting parts of the island to picnic, swim, play and spend quality
time together. Through their business, Island Pure, the Gonzalez's
continue to offer good service to the island, quenching the thirst of the
people in "Our Community".