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
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.