Belize Photography travel

Local Workers

Worker bringing in a load of sand at sunset.
Bringing in a second load for the day.

I have mentioned some of the local workers in previous posts, such as the fruit vendors and dive masters. But I thought it may be interesting to touch on some of the other locals we see and deal with on a daily basis.  As a whole we have found the people of San Pedro and area to be very friendly, helpful, and hard working. Bearing in mind the mainstay of the economy around here is tourism, obviously a large number are engaged in the numerous jobs surrounding that. From what I have observed the next biggest group would be in construction.

Quiet day at the Palapa Bar
Bartenders and servers rarely have a quiet shift. Even with few customers it is non-stop preparation for the inevitable rush.
The preferred method of transportation
This is the height of the afternoon rush hour as workers return south to San Pedro.

When Karen and I are out for our morning run we pass dozens of workers making their way to work on bicycles going up the beach. The beach drains quicker and is in far better condition than the road, so it sees a much higher volume of commuter traffic. The neat thing is that nearly every person that passes us takes the time to say hello or apologize for causing us to step out of their way. They include immaculately dressed people in the service industry to some very rough looking fellows with perfect manners. I find it wonderfully refreshing interacting with them.

Workplace safety is something that is a bit wanting here. Having a bit of a background in workplace safety I find it disconcerting and amazing the way some jobs get accomplished.

Safety First
Fall protection and personal protective equipment is not something you see much of here.
Safety First
They just do whatever is necessary to get the job done.

You see workers clinging to the sides of buildings wearing flip flops or a fellow cutting rebar with a saw (his eye protection consisted of closing his eyes and turning his head once the cut was started) and you wonder why you don’t see more obviously maimed people walking around.

I am not sure what code is here
Some electrical work being done on the grounds at Reef Village. Don’t mind the trenches full of water.

Despite my perception of their workplace safety practices, the people here do get the job done. One of our neighbours at Reef Village wanted to do some beautification around their condo which consisted of making a little beach area by the lagoon. This entailed a lot of rock, bags of earth, plastic and sand. When I watched these guys work and chatted with them I am left with a deep admiration for what is truly hard work.

Great group of guys
They fill these boats by standing in waist deep water and shovelling wet sand from under water up onto the boats. Then shovel it off after poling to the worksite.
Leaking boats
Had to come back the next day to raise the boats and take them home. They both sank in the heavy rain overnight.

Of course there are also the people with the gift of the gab that migrate to the touristy jobs. Whether it is convincing a tourist to blow on a chickens butt or explaining the finer points of reef fishing and making sure the customer gets their monies worth.

Chicken Drop at Spindrift Hotel
Emcee explaining the rules of the Chicken Drop. Which does include this man blowing on a chickens backside.
Collecting bait
Fishing guide catching live bait at the beginning of a days fishing.
Offering advice
Preping the bait, baiting the hooks and taking the catch off the hooks is all part of the job. These guys don’t stop going all day.

The people who make San Pedro tick are a fantastic group of hard working folks. Take the time to acknowledge and respect them and they return the favour tenfold. They are just another reason to come and enjoy this little slice of paradise.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

4 comments on “Local Workers

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