If you take a moment to look around, or listen to the TV, many times the names of great leaders are the lead stories in the news. Important men and woman throughout the world devote a great deal of their lives to serve their community or country. San Pedro has also been blessed with great leaders who have sacrificed numerous personal hours and put them towards the betterment of our community. A young familiar face in San Pedro is that of Mr. Eiden Salazar Jr. who without a doubt can be categorized as one of the island’s most outstanding leaders.
Eiden was born in San Pedro Town on October 17th, 1974 to Mrs. Neidy and Mr. Eiden Salazar Sr. He grew up with three sisters; Emely, Marisa and Jenny. His family, a hardworking one, instilled good morals and values to Eiden at a young age. He attended San Pedro Roman Catholic School and then graduated with honors from San Pedro High School in 1991.
Eiden was born a leader and this was clearly seen when he joined the San Pedro Leos Club and was immediately voted President, a position he held for two consecutive years. During his term as president he brought the Leos to its maximum amount of members and participated and loyally supported the San Pedro Lions Club functions. The group was very active, involved in many work-a-thons, camp fires, outings and participated in District Conventions. Eiden commented, “I clearly remember the fun times we had at the retreat in San Estevan. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have as a member of the Leo Club.” Eiden was also involved with the San Pedro Youth Movement and in 1997, his outgoing personality in this organization earned him the title of Chairperson of the National Belize Youth Movement.
In 1992, Eiden was offered a temporary job as a teacher at San Pedro Roman Catholic School which he accepted. Nevertheless the temporary position turned out to be permanent and he served with great enthusiasm as one of the most outgoing teachers for five years. “It was a great experience working with children. It was challenging but very rewarding at the same time. I would certainly go back to teaching,” commented Mr. Salazar. He also became one of the first teachers at St. Peter’s College.
Eiden left the teaching profession in 1998 when he was elected Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town. This position required most of his time and prompted him to resign. As Deputy Mayor, he focused on the young people of San Pedro designing youth forums, seminars, sporting and recreational activities to help motivate the youth. His position and vigorous personality qualified him to be the guest speaker at numerous youth rallies in San Pedro, Belize City, San Ignacio and as far as Hopkins. His hard work, dedication and love won him a second year since he was re-elected to serve as Deputy Mayor.
Mr. Salazar lives a busy life, but still finds time to participate in something he enjoys doing and does very well - being a Master of Ceremonies. Eiden has livened up many town functions as MC whether it is the Costa Maya Festival, Miss San Pedro Pageant, Christmas Pageants or political rallies. In addition has also been involved in diverse committees like the Product Development Committee, Chairman of the Costa Maya Festival, Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board and many others. Whatever committee, he serves with dignity and to the best of his ability.
As if this is not enough, Eiden came up with another bright idea to promote the island where he was born. He was looking for a way of advertising San Pedro on a national level, to encourage Belizeans to visit “La Isla Bonita” and be tourists in their own country. The solution – Radio Arecife - The Reef Radio. Mr. Salazar made history introducing the first radio station in San Pedro Town. He has made careful studies with regards to the operations of the station and applied for his license. San Pedro witnessed history when the bilingual station featuring music, entertainment, sports, social and educational programs was born. Reef Radio has skyrocketed since its inception and people from all over the world can listen live through their website now.
Eiden also returned to the love of teaching and now teaches at Isla Bonita Elementary in the subjects of Math and Social Studies. Eiden’s hard work and dedication has won him many awards and certificates of appreciation from San Pedro High School, the Ministry of Youth Development, St. Peter’s College, Belize Youth Movement, Pride Belize and the San Pedro Lions Club and is currently Chairman of the San Pedro Lots Committee and the San Pedro People’s United Party. He was also given the prestigious opportunity to address the graduating class of 1998 of San Pedro High School during their commencement exercises and the ground breaking ceremonies of the Auditorium/Civic Center for the San Pedro High School.
Eiden Salazar Jr. has proven himself in all that he had done. As a teacher he was an exemplary educator, a wonderful role model, a great leader and an overall outgoing person. Eiden Salazar has gained our admiration and respect and has paved the way for young Belizeans to follow in his footsteps within “Our Belize Community.”