As the premier
tourist destination in Belize, Ambergris Caye has a wide selection of
activities for visitors to enjoy. However, after diving, jet skiing,
parasailing, visiting Maya ruins, cave tubing, etc., guests sometimes
need a vacation from their vacation. Fortunately, San Pedro Town is well
equipped with a variety of professionals who are adept at unwinding weary
tourists and island residents alike. This week, The San
Pedro Sun is proud to introduce an island pioneer of one
of the healthier methods of relaxation – massage therapist Rosario
Rosario was born on a hot, tropical day
in January to Roselia Moreno and Daniel Uejbe in Cartagena, Colombia. She
remembers a happy childhood in a family that included two sisters.
Rosario particularly enjoyed spending vacations on her grandfather’s
farm, riding horses and savoring the citrus fruits grown there. "I
enjoyed the freedom that the farm offered," she recalled.
When Rosario was eight years old, her family
moved to Sinselejo because her mother was offered a better position at
the insurance company where she worked. After graduating from El
Instituto Comercial y Cultura Femenina, Rosario went on to receive a
Degree in Liberal Arts from El Colegio Bife.
Fresh out of college, Rosario and a few of her friends
chose to receive training from Revlon. As a cosmetics technician, she
proudly performed makeovers for department store costumers, but seeing no
real future in that job, Rosario decided to look for another line of
At a friend’s suggestion, Rosario went to work for
La Voz de la Victoria radio station, as
a beauty consultant. For the next eighteen months, Rosario conducted a
show called El Mundo y Nosotras, which
offered beauty tips and information on women’s health.
In 1976, Rosario married a Colombian Navy
Captain – a union that produced three children: Alfonso (26), Fernando
(24), and Roselia (23). Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out and,
wanting to be closer to her mother, Rosario moved to Mexico City.
In Mexico, Rosario was first employed by Santa
Margarita Golf Club as a receptionist. "It was a breath of fresh air.
Welcoming guests to the club eased some of my heartache," she said.
Rosario quickly became friends with a woman named Joy, a massage
therapist at the club, who taught her the "tricks of the trade,"
including aestheticism and massage.
Rosario moved to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where she
had lived during her marriage. In Guatemala, she attended hairstyling and
floristry classes at Intecap Trade School. After graduating from her
courses, she opened her own hair salon and provided massage therapy, as
In 1992, Rosario visited Belize in the company of a
friend who bought and resold clothes and cosmetics to people living in
Punta Gorda. Soon, she began buying her own merchandise and extended her
sales market to include Placencia, Mango Creek, and eventually San Pedro.
Rosario fell instantly in love with Ambergris Caye and its serene island
atmosphere, so for the next two years, she traveled to San Pedro every
other month to sell her goods.
During one of these visits, Rosario applied for a job
as a masseuse at Journey’s End Resort. Accepted for the position, she
packed her belongings and relocated her children to "La Isla Bonita." In
just a few months, Rosario found that her services were much in demand on
the island, so she opened her own massage clinic and for the next two
years, provided therapy to both tourists and local residents.
Feeling that she needed more training, Rosario decided
to return to Puerto Barrios to perfect her skills and attended a few more
massage and healing therapy classes. Two and a half years later, Rosario
arrived back in San Pedro Town to provide massage therapy for the
community once again and started out the year 2002 with improved skills
and a new attitude.
By the end of January, having her career as a
financial backup, Rosario found the courage to open her own gift
shop, "Tzolkin," where she sells
jewelry, hammocks, paintings, bags, and crafts from Belize and South
America. Later that same year, Rosario ventured out and opened the doors
to Moncada’s Restaurant. "Moncada’s was quite an experience. Even though
it did not work out, I learned so much. There is a saying, ‘What does not
kill you, makes you stronger,’ and it did," she said.
In her free time, Rosario enjoys helping her community
by volunteering her time to helping people benefit from the Bible as a
faithful member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because she realizes the
importance of delivering God’s message, she has been spreading his word
since 1980. "I am so grateful to God for allowing me to meet all of the
people who, in some way, have helped me to get to where I am today. I
will be forever in their debt," she said.
An ambitious "go-getter," Rosario states she never
lets anything get in her way. "I am a single mother and I have gotten
through life on my own. My kids are educated and doing very well for
themselves. I could not be prouder," she ended.
A loving mother and now grandmother, Rosario is
fortunate to have found a way to make a living doing what she loves best,
making people feel good (inside and out). Content with her life in this
"Jewel of the Caribbean," Rosario Uejbe is proud to be a "master of
massage" in "Our Community."