Ambergris Caye is an island that possesses a vast amount of people
of different ages, backgrounds, personalities, characters and hobbies.
Everyone has their own unique ways and this makes for a variety of
occupations and lifestyles. Some people do extraordinary things to make
their lives exciting, striving to become dancers, musicians or singers
while others prefer to just be calm and laid back. This week, The San
Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce a man who has chosen to spend his
life in San Pedro and has gone that extra mile to be an outstanding
individual in our community - Teacher Alex Noralez.
Alex Noralez was born on March 21st, 1978, in the Stann Creek
District of southern Belize, to Yolanda Noralez and Emilio Cruz
(deceased). He was raised with four brothers, which made for a very
active childhood, full of play. At the age of four years, his family
moved to San Pedro Town. Alex was immediately enrolled at San Pedro
Roman Catholic School, where he joined the Cub Scouts. He moved
steadily up the Scouting ranks, from Cub Scout to Boy Scout and then
from Venture Scout to Patrol Leader. Alex was also very active in
sports, especially football and recalls when his mother would whip him
for ignoring certain chores for which he was responsible, all because
of his love of the game. In 1992, Alex graduated from San Pedro Roman
Catholic School still possessing a love for football and much devotion
to the Scouts.
Entering San Pedro High School, Alex continued his love affair with
football. However over the next two years, he started to lose interest
in the sport. Alex was also only a couple of merit badges away from
achieving the highest rank in scouting - Queen Scout - but decided to
leave the Scouts.
At last, he finally had time to focus on the only other thing that
inspired him, which was singing. Alex had always dreamed of following
in his brother's footsteps. A famous recording artist in Honduras,
Carlos Roberto Gutirres Noralez (now deceased), was known as "Carlos
Colera" from his first hit song "La Colera". Alex was determined to
become a musician and without delay, he approached his principal and
pleaded for the school to implement a music program as an
extracurricular activity for the students. During his third year of
high school, his wish came true. The music program became operational
and Alex was assigned the task of bandleader and vocalist. As the band
grew better and stronger, they performed more and more. Establishing a
type of high school band foreign exchange program with a high school in
the US, the band traveled to Virginia, performing at different schools
across the state.
On June 16th, 1996, Alex graduated with honors from San Pedro High
School, ranking third in his entire graduating classes. Although he was
accepted at five other private colleges, due to financial challenges,
Alex accepted an opportunity to attend Nelson County High School in
Virginia. At Nelson he could "re-do" his senior year and thereby
increase his chances of entering college on an athletic scholarship.
As fate would have it, around this same time, Alex received word
that his mother was very ill and had become bed ridden. Alex returned
home, only to see his father suddenly pass away. Following these
heartbreaking circumstances in his life, Alex resolved to remain in
Belize and began looking for a job to support himself and his family.
Alex landed his first job at the Belize Yacht Club, but soon
decided that it was not the type of job he really wanted. Contacting
his godfather Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. for advice, the man offered him a job
as a taxi driver, and Alex accepted without hesitation. He drove taxi
for two years (1997/98) before purchasing his first vehicle. All that
time though, Alex was still very much into his music and continued to
practice with his fellow band members. The following year, his common-
law-wife Silvia Cucul gave birth to a little baby girl named Vivian
Encouraged by his friend Collin Williams, Alex next made a decision
to continue his education, so in August of 2000, he enrolled at San
Pedro's newly formed junior college. Always at the top of his class,
Alex worked tirelessly, giving his all so he could someday make a
comfortable living and a nice life for his family. Two years later,
Alex graduated second in his class and was also named San Pedro Junior
College's first Salutatorian. Immediately after graduation, he was
offered a job teaching English Language and Literature at San Pedro
High School, and of course he was asked to be the Music Class
instructor as well.
Starting from scratch at the beginning of the semester, Alex had a
wonderful band going by the end of his first year of teaching. He told
The San Pedro Sun, "I really encourage all young people to open their
eyes and to follow their hearts. The door you choose to open that will
lead you to all life's opportunities will always be waiting for you. It
is up to you to find it and work hard for what you want in life. Only
if you work hard and appreciate what you have, will you see that door
of endless dreams; embrace your life with confidence."
Above all, Alex Noralez thanks God for his gifts in life. He also
gives special thanks to a number of other people such as: Trish Carter
(May she rest in peace), Collin Williams, Phil Rigby, Tim Budd and
David Aguilar (for everything they taught me about music). He also
credits his family for always being there when he needed them, and all
his past band members for giving him the courage to make a band and for
the happiness they have brought him. He expressed much appreciation for
Principal Angel NuŅez for believing in him.
Alex Noralez is indeed an example of a self-made young man who is
living a good life, educating and inspiring others through teaching and
singing; and who continues to make a difference in the lives of many
young people in "Our Community."