Our Community - Jose Bartolo Gomez - "Carpentry with class on the Caye"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 42            November 13, 2003

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Jose Bartolo Gomez

As the population of San Pedro continues to grow so does the demand for service in a variety of fields. The island possesses both small and large businesses from small restaurants to classy hotels where one can just sit back and relax. In the construction of every home or business, there is a need for an individual who can complete the job to the best of his abilities and experience, resulting in a well-defined, exquisite finish. This week, The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce a man who has been beautifying island establishments for many years - Jose Bartolo Gomez.

    Jose, better known as "Grunt," was born in San Pedro Town on December 18th, 1958 to Basilia and Bartolo Gomez (deceased). Raised with two sisters and two brothers (all deceased), Jose's childhood was like any other, full of play and adventure, especially during his years at San Pedro Roman Catholic School. Little did he know then, that his work life would kick off at an early age.     

    When Jose was 12 years old, he began working with his father clearing property and selling coconuts. He also gained a vast amount of home improvement and carpentry experience by helping his dad and a co-worker build cabinets, closets and lockers, as well as lay tile. As Jose grew older and stronger he labored hand-in-hand with his dad in the construction field for a few years. Jose enjoyed this type of work very much and was glad to do it, because it gave him the opportunity to spend quality time with his father. When Jose realized that he had too much time on his hands, he helped his uncle Roberto Bradley, who taught him how to fish and dive for conch, lobster and rockfish; skills which kept him busy for the next ten years of his life. Although Jose was quite satisfied with all of the knowledge and skills he acquired during these years with his family, his dream to have his own business remained.

    At the age of 25, Jose decided to focus all his efforts on opening a carpentry business. Starting off small, he employed his dad's carpentry techniques, gradually refining his skills and developing his own unique designs and ways of building. Jose's jobs comprised of making the finest cabinets, doors, lockers, and also laying tile. Satisfying the wants and the needs of the residents on the island, his business grew and he gained recognition for all his wonderful work.

    Jose is also well known for volunteering his services to charitable organizations, such as his participation at San Pedro Lions Club work-a-thons and building projects. Over the years, he made many new friends who eventually nicknamed him "Grunt." One of the people he met was a very special person, Elvira Lino, a young women from Libertad Village in the Corozal District. Jose fell in love with Elvira and the couple decided to live together and raise a family.

    Jose told The San Pedro Sun, "My favorite past times are traveling with my family to different destinations in Mexico and Guatemala, exposing my sons, Jose and Justin to the lifestyles and cultures of the people who live around us and generally helping them understand life. Most importantly, I want us to spend quality time together to keep our family ties strong. I also enjoy getting together with my cousins and friends on the weekends to make barbecue chicken, lobster and fish. Life is short, so I try to live it to the fullest."

    Today, Jose is recognized as a fine carpenter and now offers his services as a site manager, supervising the construction of private homes and businesses. The marvelous wooden structures he creates are the result of a combination of the skills and techniques he has mastered over the years. Through his talent and skill, Jose Gomez continues to transform the appearance of homes and businesses all over the island, adding his "special touch" to "Our Community."

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