Our Community - Jacqueline & Eloy Gonzalez - "Bottling success in San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 38            October 16, 2003

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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 1994.

     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 Administrator.

    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".

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