Our Community - Nellie Gomez - "Taking care of business in San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 9, No. 48            December 16, 1999

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Ms. Nellie Gomez

In our growing community, one of the key words to success is ambition. If we turn back the clock a few years, this one word was epitomized by our ancestors who were humble and hardworking people. Generation after generation followed their advice and San Pedro blossomed into an island with residents determined to succeed. This is the case of a San Pedrana who was inclined to succeed and rightfully so, achieved it - Ms. Nellie Gomez.

    Nellie was born to Mrs. Tomasita and Mr. Ernesto Gomez Sr. on August 19th, 1951. She recalls her childhood to be a very pleasant one, growing up in Paradise with her two brothers, Ernesto Jr. and Einer. A memory still very vivid in her mind was playing with other children in the sand and canoeing to various parts of the island. She graduated from San Pedro R.C. School and then moved to Belize City to attend St. John's College Extension. Coming from a very close family and being used to the liberty and lifestyle of San Pedro, Nellie found herself commuting back to the island quite often, even if it meant long hours aboard the freighter. After graduating from high school she returned to San Pedro and immediately started working. Her first job was at Martha's Store where she helped do everything that was needed. After one year, she moved to Coral Beach Hotel where she felt she could practice what she had learned in high school. This was one of her first tastes of working in tourism. She worked for Mr. Allan Forman, proprietor of Coral Beach Hotel, for seven years as "Jack of all trades." Nellie said, "I learned a lot from Mr. Forman." After getting a taste of the tourism industry she ventured into other avenues to gain experience. She worked at Ramon's Village for one year and then tried her skills in the real estate business but found out it was not her fortÈ. In 1983 she was hired as the Office Manager of Paradise Resort Hotel and shortly after was promoted to General Manager. Managerial skills came natural to her thus making her an asset to any enterprise.

    Early in 1990, she was forced to leave Paradise Hotel due to a health condition and opted to open her own gift shop on Barrier Reef Drive - Shop 1001. This business brought her great satisfaction but her previous experiences had left her starving for more. A challenge soon confronted her when she was offered the Management of a twenty-four complex condominium unit, by Paradise Villas Homeowners Association. Ms. Gomez accepted the offer and has been managing it ever since. In 1992 Nellie entered into a partnership with another business after hearing an announcement of a franchise being offered for a dry cleaning business. Shortly after she joined this franchise, she bought out the company, thus the birth of Nellie's Laundromat in San Pedro. To date, Nellie's Laundromat has been giving service to San Pedro for seven years and keeps growing as time goes by. If all this sound like too much to you, it did not to Ms. Nellie. Only nine months ago she became involved in property management. Ms. Gomez has also been very active in town groups and activities. She has served on the Trade Licensing Board and is currently the Treasurer of the San Pedro Justice of the Peace Association, a group that has been very active, and accomplishing much for the community. But what does one do to relax when they have all the responsibilities Ms. Nellie does? Nellie's response to this was very simple; "I go to the beach." When asked by the San Pedro Sun about her overall view of San Pedro she commented, "I would love for San Pedro to be what it once was but if it wasn't for what it is today, I wouldn't be where I am or have what I have." She went on by saying, "I would definitely like to see less vehicles and more culture to be practiced. It seems we are slowly losing our culture. I would also like to see more entertainment for the children to minimize the exposure of drugs and alcohol to them."

    Having achieved all this in her life, Nellie still displays a humble character and friendliness towards her friends, businesses partners, workers and visitors. She has always kept her feet on the ground making her an outstanding citizen in Our Community.

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