Elder Alvarez - " San Pedro's Energizer Buddy"e;

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 9, No. 45            November 25, 1999

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Elder Alvarez

A great amount of willingness is needed to provide a service to a tourism community that is always on the go. Necessities like communication, electricity and water are vital for our growing island. This means that sometimes a person working in any of the establishments responsible for the above has to go that extra mile to provide a service. Without a doubt, most of us, if not all, will definitely agree that in Our Community there is a person that does all this to make sure we are "illuminated"- Mr. Elder Alvarez of the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).

    Elder was born in beautiful Peten, Guatemala, twenty eight years ago on October 14th. At the young age of six, his parents, Mrs. Petrona Gonzalez and Mr. Victor Alvarez, moved to the northern district of Belize, Orange Walk. Young Elder attended the Methodist-Protestant Elementary School, moved onto Belize Junior School of Agriculture and then Mopan Technical High School, where he was a student until third form, leaving because of financial reasons.

    Elder knew that he had to help with the financial needs of his family and sought different ways to do this. On a visit to his family in San Pedro, he saw an opportunity for work and decided to give it a try. He was employed at the Sunbreeze Hotel as a maintenance worker and bartender. He worked tirelessly for four years. After working all this time in the maintenance department, he developed an interest in working with a utility vital to the community. An advertisement for a BEL apprentice linesman immediately caught his attention and he applied for the job and was hired. Elder didn't have much knowledge in this field, but had great determination to learn. At his new job, he was offered a three week electricity course in Belize City and the rest of his experience came naturally. Elder's instincts about this job were definitely right. He has been working with BEL for nine years.

    San Pedro's electricity company totals five employees; three are linesmen,  including Elder, who supervises the other two. Some of his daily work includes installations, street lighting, maintenance, disconnections and reconnections. Like many other workers, he works an eight hour day but is on call the other sixteen hours. In San Pedro, Elder is seen working diligently, rain or shine, to make sure Our Community is well-lit. Elder is very satisfied with his job but hopes to keep educating himself to grow with the business' growth.

    Elder has now lived in San Pedro for thirteen years and does not regret one single day. The first things that attracted him to the island life were the friendly people and especially the sea, which was something new to him. His job has introduced him to almost all the residents of San Pedro, who he now knows by name. Elder met his love match here and on October 12th, 1996, married Corina Guerrero. When this already hardworking man gets time off from BEL, he continues to work as a private electrician for many residents of the community. When asked what he does for fun, he smiles and says, "I am a die-hard Turquoise and Dolphins fan. I don't miss a single football match here. I also enjoy the company of my friends."

    A typical day for Elder is waking up early, reporting to work and then the fun begins. He said, "When we get complaints, we immediately get to work on it. I like to make our customers happy. We try to give the best service possible. This keeps our customers contented and in return, we feel good. I always give it my best." In conclusion Elder stated, "I get along fine with the management in San Pedro, especially my Supervisor Chris Nuñez and co-worker Mike Hancock; they're great people to work with."

    Naturally this determined and hardworking young man's work does not go unnoticed. San Pedro admires his work and gives him GREAT credit for his many hours of labor in Our Community.

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