Our Belize Community – Ricardo Diaz

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 18, No. 8            February 21, 2008

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Mr. Ricardo Diaz of Diaz workshop produces beautiful works, and he takes great pride in improving every day.

Despite the problems that Belize may encounter, compared to other countries, other lifestyles, our Land of the Free has definitely much to offer. What it offers is freedom and opportunity and it can be seen by the amount of Central American citizens it welcomes with open arms. Our neighboring friends arrive and fall in love with Belize and settle in the part of the country that best suits what they are looking for. San Pedro becomes a favorite because of its sandy shores and the opportunity for work. Looking for work came Ricardo Diaz and after eight years on La Isla Bonita, not only has he made a name for himself but he has found a way to support his family doing something he enjoys.

    Ricardo was born in La Libertad, El Salvador to parents Berta Herrera and Isabel Diaz. Growing up in Salvador, his fondest memory is of him playing soccer along with his friends in the neighboring dirt road. “We would play until we were sweaty and fighting,” he says, “those days of my life I would not mind reliving.”

    Ricardo attended elementary school at La Libertad and after successfully completing his education there decided to travel to the capital, San Salvador, which was a half hour drive from his home, to further his education. There he attended the equivalent of sixth form in Belize where he went into Physics and Mathematics as his majors. “I guess I just had the hopes and dreams of becoming a civil engineer or an architect.”

    Ricardo decided to go for his Bachelor’s but instead of studying for his dreams, he opted to go for the Accounting field as well as for Computer Programming. Unfortunately he was unable to continue since half way through the course in his Anglican University, he encountered personal problems that made it impossible for him to continue. As such, Ricardo had to look for a job and found a position as an accountant. Because of his dedication to his job, Ricardo soon found himself receiving positions as business administrator.

    “In El Salvador the lifestyle is fast and it is home to millions of people. If you have a job, losing it means that you will be without for a long time. And that is what happened. I lost my job and it was difficult to get a new one,” Ricardo explains. Because of the difficulty, he decided to accept the offer some friends had previously extended to him. “They told me that Belize was like the small United States. That jobs were abundant and that one could make a comfortable living. I had not found a job so what could I lose? I came over.”

    Ricardo arrived in Orange Walk Town where he spent some time looking for work. “I was so depressed and disappointed. I finally got a job as a carpenter, which I could manage since my father had taught me a bit. I worked from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and made $125 a week. What a disappointment,” he explained. His friends told him that if it were to happen that he needed to move to San Pedro Town. Fifteen days since first arriving in the country, Ricardo moved to our sunny island. He immediately found a job with Armando Graniel Sr. who hired him in his Cabinet/Carpentry shop.

    From what he had previously learned from his father, Ricardo became a fast learner and began producing beautiful pieces of woodwork. He learned the tricks of the trade and after three years, he received a better offer – to manage a Wood Shop. He managed the shop for two full years and decided that maybe it was time for him to branch out on his own. He did so and after quite a bit of snags he discovered that he had to return to the work field. After eight months of working for Eddie Ancona he decided that maybe, just maybe this time he could make it on his own.

    This time around, Ricardo has made it happen. Diaz Workshop was born and through it he has garnered quite a name for himself and has repeat clientele that not only give him work but highly recommend the quality of work he does. “I love doing what I do. I provide jobs for many. And all I want is to improve the quality of work that we do. This way we will be able to compete with the top quality wood work companies on the island,” explained Ricardo.

    In his free time, spending time with his wife and son is what Ricardo does best. Ricardo met the love of his life and vowed to dedicate his all to Hilda, whom he met at church, on November 22nd, 2004. Their son, Jordi, was born a year later and Ricardo could not be more pleased. A happy ending to his journey was found in San Pedro Town.

    Ricardo strives for the best in all the work he produces. “Quality of work is important to me. Dedication needs to be a part of the job and finding a balance is essential. With a good head on your shoulders you can make it happen,” Ricardo ended. With his great, fabulous pieces of work, the love of his wife and son, Ricardo Diaz has certainly “glued, hammered and built” his way in “Our Belize Community.”

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