There are things we take for granted today in the normal and routine life in San Pedro. Therefore I am going to take you back to the 1950’s and 60’s on a few things we all enjoy today but which we did not many years back in San Pedro.
No 24-hr Electricity: There “WAS” a power plant in San Pedro since the 1930’s but it served a wealthy family and a few selected friends or neighbors. Up until the 1950’s, children in San Pedro had to study by candlelight. Another gadget used was the kerosene lantern also called as “quinque”. After dusk the people lit their lanterns to complete the daily chores and women sat down to do some knitting and embroidery. The village looked very romantic with a slight glow of light diffusing through the humble curtains covering the windows of the thatch houses. Could the men do some work with the candlelight? Yes, they managed to knit their fishing nets.
So how did people manage in the dark streets of the village. Simple, most men carried a flashlight. And wasn’t this intense and prolonged darkness conducive to stealing? No, there were no thieves in San Pedro back then. Come to think of it, there was nothing to be stolen. Would they steal some clothes off the clothesline? Without electricity, you can imagine the long list of gadgets and appliances that we did not have as a consequence of this. No refrigerators, fans, air conditioners, blenders…..Stop! This list is extremely long.
Finally the Blake’s offered street lighting from 6 to 9 p.m., but still houses were not connected to this system. It was the area representative for Belize Rural South in the late 1960’s who was most instrumental in getting government to give us 24-hour electricity. By now you must be saying, “This was punishment!” Not really! I don’t know of anybody that complained. Ah, before I forget, moonlit nights were beautiful and very special too.
NO ICE ANYWHERE: Imagine nothing cold in San Pedro, only hot “atole” or hot corn coffee. So how was beer consumed? It was NOT! And how about the nice rum and cokes? Only rum because Cokes were also absent from our community. Tell me about a smoothie. What smoothie, duh! Half of the present day population would be dead by now or in a mental asylum, but let me go a bit more.
There must have been some way to chill the refreshments for a special occasion like a birthday. No Sir, soft drinks were served, well not hot, but at room temperature. Oh my, and how did people keep their vegetables fresh and crispy without refrigeration? Vege… what? What is a vegetable? “Vegetables” was a foreign word to San Pedro. Now for sure people had to find a way to preserve their fish because they could not consume all their catch in one day. Okay, you have a point there. Fish was preserved with salt and air drying in a process called “corning”. That was done in abundance and on a daily basis.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Richie’s Stationery -Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush
Contact the Author at: [email protected]