|(l-r) Bob Dhillon, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Mayor Elsa Paz, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., and David Mitchell. |
Bob Dhillon of Costa del Sol Development on July 11th, 2008 made a generous contribution to the community of San Pedro Town. This contribution came in the form of a check valued at $350,000 with the balance of $150,000 being delivered in a month’s time. On hand to receive the check were Prime Minister Honorable Dean Barrow, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of San Pedro Town Elsa Paz.
In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Dhillon explained that the monies donated are to be used for the improvement of the infrastructure on the island. The contribution will be used to purchase much needed equipment for the San Pedro Town Council such as a street sweeper, a compactor, bulldozer and a dump truck.
Dhillon first arrived in Belize 16 years ago and completely fell in love with San Pedro. Originally from Calgary, Canada, he is the Chief Executive Officer, Founder, President and shareholder of Mainstreet Equity which is the second largest apartment building company listed on Toronto’s stock exchange. Mainstreet Equity owns a large number of rental buildings with assets exceeding the billion dollar mark, according to The Power List. Dhillon has also been named one of the top 10 businessmen in Canada. In Canada, Dhillon is also Honorary Consulate of Belize which he operates and manages at no cost to the Belizean populace. Consulate offices and staff are all paid by Dhillon and he has done so for the past ten years.
The grand contribution to San Pedro Town, however, is not the first assistance that Dhillon has made to the country of Belize. “We are always looking at ways to help the country of Belize,” he explained. For the past three years, Dhillon has financially supported the food program at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Belize City and has also supported San Pedro’s local Semi-pro football team.
A contribution of $500,000 is huge and Dhillon says that despite negative belief, the donation is not only sincere but it comes in the form of a challenge. He explained, “We love San Pedro. We want San Pedro to be the jewel, not of Belize, but of the entire Caribbean. Infrastructure requires finances and unfortunately, government departments and officials may not have the monies required. As a businessman and as a developer it only seemed right to extend a helping hand. Developers need to sell San Pedro and Belize and if we make San Pedro sellable everyone benefits. I challenge other developments to do the same, to help the community in any of the many areas that may need assistance.” Dhillon hopes to start a new trend, a trend where investors in San Pedro and the country of Belize will give back, perhaps not in the amount that he made, but any little bit helps. “There is never a shortage of things that need assistance, beginning with education and/or helping the many subdivisions within the community. There is always a need for donations. So, other investors need to ‘step up’.”
Costa del Sol is a 3,000 acre development which will house a five star hotel. “I am a hardcore capitalist with a conscience,” he concludes.
According to Mayor Elsa Paz the donation came at a time of need and it is greatly appreciated by the San Pedro Town Council. “We want to provide the service that the residents of San Pedro deserve but with minimal finances it is hard to accommodate everything we need to. Garbage, streets, lighting, crime, we need to address it all and with the money from Costa del Sol, we at least can help tackle garbage and the streets,” she stated.
The presentation took place at the Inn at Robert’s Grove in Placencia. Handing over the check on behalf of Costa Del Sol Development were David Mitchell and Bob Dhillon.