Our Community - Ian Leiva

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 45            November 16, 2006

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Says Ian of his new home: “This is my home now. [I] Don’t plan on going anywhere.”

With XM Radio and web sites offering various radio stations online it is imperative that Belize get on the World Wide Web. Belizeans abroad can now tune in to their favorite radio station and keep in touch with the going ons from home. Just recently San Pedro got on the band wagon and San Pedro’s very first radio station can now be heard across the globe. This week we feature someone that has been very instrumental in the development of 92.3 FM (Reef Radio) on the airwaves – Ian Leiva. On March 6th, 1970, Felicia and Armando Leiva welcomed their first child Ian to this world. The oldest of three sisters and one brother, Ian recalls enjoying his summer vacations around the country visiting relatives in Belize City and all the way down to Punta Gorda. Ian attended La Immaculada Primary School graduating at the age of 12, after which he was enrolled at Muffles College. There he pursued his studies for the next two years and later got enrolled at Technical College. There he learned the basics in welding, electrical and woodwork. “I always believed that the money was into these fields and careers rather than the academics. I always figured that with these positions I could always open my own business and be my own boss,” he commented. Ian successfully completed his studies at Technical in 1985. For the following two years, Ian attended Belize Technical College where he extended his studies in the electronics field. With his extended knowledge, he went to work at Radio Belize in the engineering department. Radio Belize was later renamed the Broadcasting Corporation of Belize (BCB). Ian’s responsibilities included repair the radio equipment, and setting up the equipment for the various outside broadcasts that the corporation did. While at BBC, Ian had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, twice, for three month periods. He also traveled to England to study. “In England they were more advanced electronically speaking. Here in Belize at that time we were still splicing the cassettes while they were already working on compact discs. It was a new experience for me,” he explained. While at BBC, Ian met his future wife, Laura Manzanero, who was working at Brodie’s at the time. The couple was married in 1992 and had three beautiful girls, Crystal (13), Kristen (10) and Kiana (7). Ian later went on to work at Love FM, one of the biggest radio stations in the country. He remained there for four years, and moved on to his home town of Orange Walk when he received a better offer. Suga City Radio Station (SCRS) wanted Ian to set up the entire electronic department for them and stay on as manager of the station. It was an offer he could not refuse and he uprooted his family and moved to Orange Walk town. In 1999, the Reef Radio dream was getting ready to become a reality. However, Manager/Owner Eiden Salazar and colleague Sergio Gomez needed a radio technician. They heard that Ian was the best man for the job and he was contacted with yet another great offer. It was one he could not pass up. Sergio and Ian met for the first time at Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport on their way to Miami, Florida, USA to purchase the equipment which was needed. Four days later Ian stepped foot in San Pedro, the place he now calls home. Reef Radio hit the airwaves on August 17th of that year. Ian became the proud father of yet another gorgeous girl, Iannie, on January 22nd, 2002. Today Ian spends his time between work and his baby girl. “I wanted to experience the island life and I have to say that it is one that I have truly loved. The laid back feel and the freedom is far more than I expected.” The Reef Radio transmits daily from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, and have programs such as the popular Morning Show, the Top Ten Show, Logical Asylum, Weekend Pachanga among others. To listen, simply tune in to 92.3 FM or visit their website at www.thereefradio.com In his free time, Ian enjoys playing video games, Karaoke and watching his favorite television programs. “In the near future I plan to become a homeowner here on the island. This is my home now. Don’t plan on going anywhere.” Ian found his piece of paradise in Ambergris Caye and today has integrated himself in the families within “Our Community.”

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