On Saturday, January, 24th, 1998, the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honorable Manuel Esquivel visited San Pedro Town along with the Honorable Ministers Henry Young, Dean Barrow, Elodio Aragon, Ruben Campos, and United Democractic Party Standard Bearer Louis Sylvestre.
Prime Minister Esquivel and his delegation were welcomed at the airstrip and at 4:00 p.m. a public meeting was held at Central Park. Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Kenworth Tillett, Secretary General of the United Democratic Party. Several of the ministers addressed the group of spectators and school children. Prime Minister Esquivel gave the closing speech.
"People in Belize City have the tendency to think that Belize ends at the cemetery on the Western Highway," Prime Minster Esquivel said, "and at the airport on the Northern Highway. The same way some people in San Pedro tend to believe that Belize ends at the reef and at the back of your Island." He continued to speak of patriotism, of appreciating and loving the entire country and of the many different people that make up Belize. "Belize is made up of different people who all came here for one purpose ...to find peace. I encourage all of you to love your country." The Prime Minister also compared Belize to other countries and spoke of how peaceful our country is compared to others. "Because we have a peaceful country we should love our country even more. Learn to love our country and remember that love starts with the children," he said, "and if we love our country we benefit." Prime Minster Esquivel concluded his address with, "People of San Pedro, embrace the future."
After his speech the Prime Minister presented certificates of recognition to the following schools in San Pedro: San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School, Island Academy, Lidia's Fine Institute of Education, Maestro Reyes' School of Knowledge, St. Peter's College and Elementary School, San Pedro High School and St. Matthew Medical School. A representative was present from every school to accept their certificates of recognition except San Pedro High.
Later that day, at 7:30 p.m., a dinner was held at the Holiday Hotel where members of the community had an opportunity to speak with the Prime Minister and his ministers. Dinner was served and speeches followed. Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Tillett introduced the first speaker of the evening Manuel Heredia Jr., Standard Bearer of Belize Rural South. Mr. Heredia's speech was short and declared that he was proud to be representing his constituency. Honorable Dean Barrow was next to address the gathering and expressed that he was relieved to finally be able to talk politics. "I was constrained to talk politics earlier. The school children were a captive audience and I didn't think it is was fair to talk politics. What a relief it is to talk to you now," said Minister Barrow. He spoke well of Manuel Heredia Jr. and said, "If there is anything like a perfect politician it would be Manuel Heredia." He mentioned how everyone in San Pedro had much good to say about Minister Henry Young and Prime Minister Esquivel. He concluded by encouraging the community to make the right decision when choosing their new government. Prime Minister Esquivel was the final speaker of the evening. He gave a brief history of the Belizean economy and "see-sawing" election of the past governments by the Belizean public. "Since 84 no party has served two terms.....Once again people will decided if the see-saw movement will continue....See-saw is great for a children's game but not in running a country. This country cannot afford to be on a see-saw coming down. The only people who can ensure the country's strength is the people themselves." Prime Minister Esquivel concluded with, "Make sure that once we have secured the future, we can embrace it."
The Prime Minister's visit to San Pedro is a part of his nation wide tour. He has already visited the northern part of the country and is scheduled to visit Stann Creek and Toledo next weekend.
Copyright 1997, San Pedro Sun. Design by Casado Internet Group