|(L-R) Minister Godfrey, Honorable Manuel Heredia, Mayor Elsa Paz, and Guest Speaker Ruben Gonzalez, cut the ribbon.
It has been in use for several months; people ride carts, bikes or walk over it like it has always been a part of the community. However, on September 18th, as part of its September Celebrations, Barrier Reef Drive was officially inaugurated and the ribbon was cut.
Present for the occasion were Mayor of San Pedro Town Elsa Paz, Area Representative for Belize Rural South Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism Godfrey Smith and Director of Product Development Anthony Mahler of the Belize Tourism Board.
After the singing of the National Anthem and an invocation, Mistress of Ceremonies, newly crowned Miss San Pedro Angela Alamilla invited Mayor Paz to the podium for the opening remarks. “Again we have proven ourselves […] Coconut Drive will be completed. […] We plan to go ahead with the harmonious balance between sustainability and the first class amenities needed for our tourism industry,” she stated.
Honorable Smith followed with his remarks commenting, “Inauguration of this phase makes the Prime Minister very pleased. It makes him pleased to have enabled the Government of Belize and the San Pedro Town Council in this project. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is critically important to the sustainable development of the caye. In fact, revenues collected at the Belize Tourism Board indicate that the biggest percentage of revenues comes from San Pedro Town.” Minister Smith went on to state that when the private business community invited them to San Pedro to experience the deplorable street conditions he stated, “I was positively shocked at the terrible conditions. The visitor’s experience is more important than anything else.” Smith went on to thank the good efforts of David Medina and the Medina’s Construction Limited. “Phase one is just the beginning and we will not stop. This project will continue to all areas of San Pedro. San Pedro is critical not only to Ambergris Caye but to Belize,” Smith concluded.
Guest Speaker for the night was Ruben Gonzalez who commented, “We all remember the long gone days when our sand streets were a big attraction for our visiting tourists, but with the fast progress our out town, these streets were becoming a nuisance for them because of the mud during the rainy season and the dust during the dry season. Today, we can be proud residents of San Pedro Town with these much needed cobblestone streets which signify minimum dust and must all year round, a great relief for all.”
Following the speeches was the cutting of the ribbon signifying Barrier Reef Drive as officially opened. The ribbon was cut by Mayor Elsa Paz, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister Smith and Guest Speaker Ruben Gonzalez.