Meet the Sniffins – new owners of The San Pedro Sun

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 34            October 7, 2004

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Greetings San Pedro! We are Ron and Tamara Sniffin, the new owners of The San Pedro Sun. We have worked hard for many years to get to this point in our lives and are very excited to become a part of this wonderful community. How is it that we are here in Ambergris? It all began with two people many of you already know – Tamara’s parents, Ron and Yvonne Temsik, from Colorado, USA. style="mso-spacerun: yes">

   Here is a little background: Wanting their children to learn about other cultures and life styles, Tamara’s parents decided that living in a different country was just the way to do that. In 1970, they joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in Valencia, Venezuela and another two years in San Jose, Costa Rica. During this time, the Temsik family traveled extensively throughout South and Central America. This was a life changing experience for their children and instilled a genuine love for travel and appreciation for cultural diversity.

   On their first visit to Ambergris Caye in 1976, the Temsiks fell in love with "La Isla Bonita," and its warm and friendly people. A couple of years later, they purchased a home "La Perla Escondida", which is now the blue house across from Banana Beach. They annually migrate from Colorado, staying several months at a time.

   Over the years, the Temsik’s have made many life-long friends on the island. Scores of people here fondly know Tamara’s mother as "Miss Ebone," the "gringa" who runs errands on her red bicycle and doesn’t hesitate to stop mid-street to visit with someone. Others may know her father as the friendly white-haired "gringo" who will strike up a conversation with anyone, and always ends the encounter with a joke and a friendly slap on the back. Ambergris has been a huge part of their life and most certainly their love for the island has been instilled in their daughters.

   amara’s first visit to Ambergris was in 1978, when Belize was still British Honduras. The island was very different then, and electricity and running water was limited to just a few blocks in town. After visiting the island so many times over the years, each vacation felt more and more like a homecoming.

   Tamara attended college at Rutgers University in New Jersey and began working in the music industry. In 1985, while managing a music store in Laramie, Wyoming, she met the love of her life, Ron Sniffin.

   Ron was born a twin (brother Don) and grew up in a family of11 children in a small town in northeastern Iowa. In 1978, his family moved to Lander, Wyoming where one of his older brothers owned and operated a local newspaper. While attending high school, Ron worked for his brother in the print shop, The Lander Journal. After Ron finished high school, he worked his way around the state of Wyoming, first as a sports editor for The Greybull Standard and Tribune. Later, he moved to Laramie, and in 1987, graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He then accepted a job with the CBS television station in nearby Cheyenne as a video cameraman and later as a TV news reporter.

   Ron and Tamara were married in 1988, and returned to Laramie in 1989, happy to be closer to the mountains and their friends. Tamara opened her own music store and Ron started a Laramie news bureau for the Cheyenne TV station. In 1991 their son, Jeremiah "Jem" was born.

    Over the years, the Sniffins worked hard and traveled often. In 1993, Ron accepted a position as the Public Relations and Communications Director for the Wyoming Education Association (WEA), a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). During the next 11 years, Ron developed his skills in the communication and media field. In 2003, he was recognized by his peers and was presented with the National Education Association "Editor of the Year" Award.

   In 1997, Tamara closed her store and accepted a job with the Wyoming Children’s Museum and Nature Center as their education coordinator. Two years later, she became the Executive Director and remained in that position for the following six years. Instrumental in its growth, she successfully obtained funding for the museum through grant writing and fund raising. Tamara also developed programs and designed interactive exhibits, but her most favorite part of the job was developing and teaching natural resource and conservation education to the children. During this time, she served on the Board of Directors for the Laramie Audubon Society and produced their newsletter.

   In 2003,Tamara resigned from the Wyoming Children’s Museum to spend more time with her family and began her own consulting business.

   While on vacation in Belize last March, the Sniffins learned that The San Pedro Sun was for sale and began negotiations with the owners, Dan and Eileen Jamison. After several months of planning, Ron and Tamara purchased Amanda Syme’s house in San Pablo and moved to the island in August.

   We have enjoyed working with Dan and Eileen while learning the "ropes" and feel very fortunate to have Kainie Manuel as our very helpful and knowledgeable employee. We have established an office for The San Pedro Sun at our new home, just a few houses away from where the paper was located 14 years ago.
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