By Angel Nuñez
Last week in our Flashback section we featured a page of a family’s diary which showed the prices of many commodities in San Pedro during the 1940’s and 50’s. This week we now feature in this column a page of the same book only that this time it shows the income of the head of the family. Here is a breakdown of the page in history.
June 11, 1951
2 days Home $2.50
1 day Esmeralda $1.25
31/2 days Basil Jones $4.38
6 tasks on coconuts $9.00
1 day coconuts $1.25
1 day Basis Jones $2.82
1 day fire to dry coconuts $1.25
1 ½ days Esmeralda $1.82
5 days Santa Rita Cocal $6.25
1 task coconuts $1.50
4 tasks Esmeralda $6.00
1 day Basil Jones $1.25
1 ½ days coconuts Reid $2.25
1 day work commissary $1.25
Got the idea, right? One day’s labor averaged at $1.25 to $1.50. When the home is referred to, it was working at Mr. Blake’s home doing maintenance or cleaning. Tasks on coconuts meant either collecting coconuts, or peeling them. For one task one was required to gather and peel 1,000 coconuts. Basil Jones and Esmeralda were coconut plantations called “cocal”. The coconut farmer reached there by dory and some “cocals” were five to ten miles up north. Finally the commissary referred here was not a military store, but a store owned by Mr. Blake, the owner of Ambergris Caye.
Some coconut farmers were said to be able to do one or even two tasks per day. Now we understand that this was almost necessary if he was to earn enough for a living and a small saving. SAVING! Believe it or not, there was a branch of the Holy Redeemer Credit Union in San Pedro back then. This was the time when a weekly savings of a dollar or two was a common practice, but that is another story for “Twenty Five Years Ago” in San Pedro.
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
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