Today, San Pedro is known to be a vibrant town, home to award winning resorts and restaurants. But just a couple decades back, this island was nothing more than a coastal fishing village. Before the golf carts, paved roads and all the other amenities we have come to love, the residents of San Pedro lived a much simpler life, a life supported by the bounties of the Caribbean Sea.
Like most of Belize, Ambergris Caye’s original inhabitants were the Maya. They left remarkable landmarks such as a man-made channel located at the northern most tip of the island separating Belize and Mexico as well as the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site. Ambergris Caye has also been the home of pirates, but it was refugees from neighbouring Mexico that truly shaped the island into what it is today.
In the late 1800s many refugees from the War of the Caste in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico found a safe haven on Ambergris Caye. Not only did this island offer protection from civil unrest, but the proximity of the Barrier Reef and lush environment guaranteed the people’s survival. The resilient settlers not only survived but flourished creating a little slice of paradise.
While much has changed over the years, the spirit to prosper has always been rooted in the community of San Pedro. The island culture and everyday life reflects our humble beginnings as fishermen and coconut farmers. And while development and new economic ventures continues to sprout, many continue carrying out the traditional profession that built La Isla Bonita.