This past weekend the residents of San Pedro showed tremendous heart as a majority of the islanders and businesses made generous donations to our needy neighbors in Central America, namely Honduras.
As we all know, Hurricane Mitch totally devastated the country of Honduras, especially the islands of Guanaja and Roatan, and has killed over 10,000 people. The devastation did not stop there. Hurricane Mitch was classified as a super hurricane and managed to move its way inland from Honduras to Guatemala, through the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and reemerge over water into the Gulf of Mexico. Devastation was reported all over Central America, through Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and even the United States. Mitch emerged in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm and quickly moved its way through the state of Florida with winds of approximately 65 miles per hour. Mitch caused some flooding in Florida and high winds and waves also caused structural damage to homes and buildings in Key West.
Belize was spared from the enormous destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch and only suffered minor damages. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye quickly bounced back from all the damages sustained and life is back to normal. The San Pedro Town Board quickly sprung into action, cleaning up the beaches and parks, replanting downed trees and helping residents in whatever way possible. San Pedro High School could not conduct regular classes last week due to the fact that a majority of the student body could not make it back on the island. Instead, the staff and students who were present, engaged in all-day cleanup campaigns. They cleared all the sea grass and rubble (from piers) off the high school field, now known as Mitch Field. On Wednesday, they also helped the Town Board clear the beaches. Piers are already being constructed where they once stood and dive shops are being rebuilt - most already in business.
The San Pedro Lions Club spearheaded a drive to collect food, clothes and money on Sunday, November 8th, 1998 which was sent to our neighbors in Honduras. The members visited homes and businesses soliciting all the help possible. San Pedranos were more than happy to help and very generous for that matter. They collected over 500 boxes of clothes, food, medical supplies and approximately $6000. They divided themselves in three groups, collecting in town and north and south of town.
Caribbean Depot offered free transport of any containers with goods for the country of Honduras. They reported more than 3,300 drums/buckets with food preserves were delivered to them by the Essene Way Resort and other supplies from other people.
Also, country-wide, the Belize Telecommunications Limited organized a company-wide drive to gather supplies and render assistance to the victims of their families. The Human Resource department coordinated a hurricane relief drive to collect food, clothing and medical supplies. The employees have contributed over $5000 in supplies. The company also contributed over $10,000 in supplies, including supplies left from the company's hurricane Mitch emergency stock. These were presented to the Belize Red Cross on November 10th, 1998. BTL also announced that for the entire month of November the company has slashed prices for calls to the Central American Region so as to give friends and families of victims more opportunity to keep in touch to render assistance. All calls to Central America are now $1.50 per minute, which is a 25% discount for every minute.
The residents and business of San Pedro and Belize have shown great concern and kindness towards their fellow neighbors in Honduras. Contributions can still be made to the San Pedro Lions Club; you can deliver them to the Lions Den or to the San Pedro Town Board. A big "Thank You" goes out to all who have helped out.
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