There couldn’t be a nickname more fitting than “Chief” for Roberto Sabido. He is a natural born leader, a dedicated family man, mentor, inspirational motivator and all around super man. After learning more of all the great stuff that he does in the community of Ambergris Caye, there was no doubt in our mind that he was 2017’s Person of the Year.
Originally from Orange Walk, Belize, Roberto Sabido moved to Ambergris Caye 40 years ago where he has been making a living for most of his life, he’s built his own house, married and is raising two boys. He has always been a hard-working man, respectable, dependable, caring and always carrying a big smile on his face.
In 2013 he joined the Hellfighters Ministry after meeting with Richard and Gina Hendrick, owners of Ramon’s Village, who have become great friends and mentors to him. Robert quickly became president of the group, taking leadership in all the activities of the ministry that operates in San Pedro but whose work incorporates the mainland of Belize.
The Hellfighters Foot Soldiers, as they are called, work in various ministries that include small group bible studies, worship events, jail and hospital visitations, evangelic campaigns, compassion ministry and weekly kids Sunday School.
It is during one of these Sunday schools that we learned about Roberto’s reach in our island community; about his love for children, compassion towards others and his willingness to love his neighbor.
Every Sunday Roberto drives to the impoverished neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan, San Pedrito and San Mateo where he picks up about 50 children to take them to Sunday school. It’s a task that he takes seriously, picking up and dropping them off at their homes, since most families in these neighborhoods do not have any transportation available. If it weren’t for him, they would not even make it to Sunday School.
Many of the children come from severely socio-economically challenged families that are also impacted by violence, drug and alcohol abuse. Roberto has a better vision for the future of these children. The weekly program is held to share the gospel and scripture with the children; song, dance and games ensure the kids have fun while learning. The Hellfighters even find a way to feed them.
Roberto is there every step of the way, hosting everyone at his home, taking up space in his back yard to put up tables, chairs and even a platform where they perform all of their activities. He gives of his time, money, energy and love, not asking anything in return.
Besides the donations and fundraisers that the ministry conducts, there is always more that the community needs and asks for and there is not enough to accomplish everything that Roberto strives for. He even gives of his own finances, time with his family and puts in many more hours of the day towards the ministry after leaving his workplace.
“Roberto is an excellent dad,” commented Astrid Ruiz, a teen member of Hellfighters. “I wish I had a dad like him, because I do not have a dad; I take him like a dad. He takes time to send all of us inspirational messages every morning to push us to do better; he makes the day better. He is a good example for all of us and I would like to be like him.”
“He is a very sympathetic man,” said Nashley Badillo, another young member of the ministry. “He is a very passionate man, if he puts himself to do something he will achieve it and always put his best for everything. Roberto is so kind, his personality, he had fun with the kids. It’s like he is one of them: he takes care of them a lot like if they were his own and he treats all the group members as family.”
Roberto has even bigger plans for 2018. Besides helping others with medical expenses and groceries along with Hellfighters, he is pushing for an evening feeding program that will host 150 children after school to make sure they get food for the evening and help them out with homework. It’s a giant task, but he is getting assistance from the community and abroad; people willing to help and with the same vision as Roberto. There are also more programs in the works that include spiritual enlightenment, education, free medical checkups for the children, scholarships, mentorship, discipleship and of course more activities for the children.
We know that it’s the people who makes this island community such an amazing place to live in. It’s them who make it more beautiful, make it shine brighter and makes you want to be a part of it. That is why Ambergris Today, on behalf of the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, is proud to honor Roberto Sabido with the Person of the Year 2017 awards.
Roberto shares the award with his wife and Hellfighters members
Roberto with Manager and Staff at Pineapples Restaurant, Ramon's Village
Roberto and his family
All for the Children
Roberto and the Hellfighters Footsoldiers