Alma Marcela Pinelo received a scholarship through the Belize Defence Force in June 2009 and had the opportunity to study at a prestigious military institution, The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Almita graduated from the US Coast Guard where she studied Marine Environmental Sciences.
While at the US Coast Guard Academy, not only did Almita receive military training, she also studied Marine and Environmental Sciences for four years and will now become a part of the Belize Coast Guard for six years where she will be the Coast Guard Adjutant and work along with Command Master Chief Jones.
“It was definitely a life changing experience,” commented Almita to Ambergris Today. “I didn’t know what I had gotten into; it was quite shocking and very difficult. I can say it is not for those who have a weak mind. I got to know a lot of people and learned that we have to work together and help each other to accomplish our goals. The physical military training was tough but it changed me and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.”
Vice President Joe Biden handing Almita Pinelo her commission
Almita graduated from St. Catherine’s Academy in 2007 and in 2009 she received her Associates Degree in Natural Sciences at St. John’s College Junior College. She joined the Belize Defense Force in December 2008, as she believed that by joining the BDF, not only would she have a great opportunity to receive the best education, but because she was willing to serve and give back to her country when she completed her studies.
Ambergris Today takes this opportunity to congratulate Almita Pinelo, a true Sanpedrana, for her hard work and dedication in her studies. She commences work on June 24, 2013 at The Belize Coast Guard.
Almita is daughter of Jennie Staines and granddaughter of Elvia Staines, proprietor of San Pedro's world famous Elvi's Kitchen.