an Pedro has been
known to be the perfect place for a vacation. It is known as a tourist
haven; as La Isla Bonita; as an undiscovered treasure and much more.
People enjoy the crystal-clear waters, the barrier reef, the sandy
beaches and its unspoiled nature. But what really makes San Pedro unique
is its people. The locals are known to be humble, friendly, hardworking
and unselfish. These four qualities definitely are obvious in this week's
personality of Our Community - Mr. Jose "Joe" Alamilla.
Born in San Pedro on September
21st, 1951, to
Teresita Tzul (deceased) and Jose Alamilla Sr. (deceased), Joe grew up
among a family of one sister and two brothers. At a very young age he
started fishing with his father, as was customary in those days.
Eventually he ventured into the lobster fishing industry, a business that
was blossoming at the time. This would mean ten to twelve days at sea on
board a sailing boat. During this time they would visit various lobster
fishing banks like Turneffe Island, Half Moon Caye, Glover's Reef and
others. At the end of their fishing expedition, they would return to San
Pedro, with almost always, a favorable catch of lobster and some conch
that would be sold to Caribeņa Fishing Cooperative. Joe did this for a
period of eighteen years, until the age of thirty-six. All this time he
saved to purchase his own boat and engine. He also started building
numerous fishing traps and lobster "shades" (hiding places).
After a while he had enough built to do his own fishing.
Joe also started a small business on the side selling
fresh-squeezed orange juice. This explains how his nickname "Joosh"
originated. He began supplying to a few businesses at first but with the
growth of San Pedro's business community, grew demand for his product.
Today he supplies bars, restaurants and stores with freshly squeezed
orange juice by the cup, half-gallon, gallon or even bucket. He has even
hired an assistant to make sure his customers get their request in a
timely fashion. Joe personally delivers all orders. The orange juice
business, Joe says, is only a hobby but he hopes it continues for a long
Always being a community oriented fellow, he joined
the San Pedro Leos Club and was a member for three years. Through this
club, his strong desire to serve his community flourished. He enjoyed the
company of the members of the Lions Club and would hang around with them.
In 1989 he was invited to go along with the delegation to an
International Convention held in Miami, Florida, USA. It was at this
convention that he knew he was ready to take that further step to join
the Lions Club. He has been an active member for over eight years and has
served his club and community without limitations. He has held numerous
positions on the Board of Directors including the third, second and first
Vice President position of the club. He has been the chairman of the
fundraising committee for over eight years. Joe is 100% dedicated to the
club's main fundraiser, its weekend barbecue. He and his team make sure
that the chicken is seasoned a couple of days before the barbecue, they
prepare the grill and cook the chicken. It is because of his dedication
to this specific activity that the Lions barbecue is sought by many every
weekend. For his service and hard work to the club, Joe was awarded the
Lion of the Year Award in 1997-1998. He has also received numerous other
awards and recognition. When the Lions speak about trips, Joe is first in
line to go. He has never missed a National Convention and has attended
the Ismania Conventions (an annual convention for Central American Lion
members) in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Costa
Besides being an exemplary Lion, Joe is a businessman
in his own way. His main income he says is from fishing, the orange juice
business is a hobby, but he also has an apartment complex for rent. He
said, "I am happy with all this. I don't see myself leaving the Lions
Club. That is my main passion. I am used to being around my friends every
week. There is nothing better that being with them and helping the
Joe Alamilla has accentuated the true qualities that
have given the inhabitants of the island the recognition they deserve. He
stands tall with the many members who have merited a reputation for
quality of work and service in Our Community.