February 13, 2011 Another Trip to San Pedro

Monday, February 14, 2011

We went to visit for only the second time our little branch in San Pedro.  San Pedro is the name of the biggest town on the Ambergris Caye (Key).  This caye is very long and is actually connected to lower Mexico.  You can locate the caye on the map below, east and north of Belize City.
The branch was able to move into a better building since our last visit.  There are less stairs (only 5 or 6 to get into the main room) and more classroom areas.  We attended seminary class taught by the missionaries on Saturday night.  Then took the elders to dinner.

The only drawback with the building is that it is located on the beach, and its only entrance is on the beach.  At the present time only active branch members no know where it is.  The branch's sacrament meeting attendance is usually much increased by the Mormon tourists that visit the Caye.  If the tourists can find it, they can't attend.  Since the building is not located on a street, even taxi drivers don't know where it is.  We are trying figure out a way to maybe get some signage out front on the street.

The branch now has a new relief society president, who quite remarkable.  Her name is Maria deLeon, and she has to travel  some distance, as she lives north of San Pedro.  But she has a gentle, humble way about that truly reflects the Spirit. 

Sister Maria (on the left) with other sisters at relief society.

The cost of living is 40 percent higher on Ambergris Caye than on the mainland of  Belize.  The tourists come here to go deep sea diving, parasailing, and other fun things.  But the people that live here are for the most part very poor.  Many of them live in neighborhoods like the one below.

 People must walk on the narrow bridges made of boards to get to and from their homes.  They are sometimes called "London Bridges", and are often nearly covered with water at high tide.

While in San Pedro we checked out a possible site for a Church humanitarian water project.  It was at the local Anglican School. Water on the caye isn't safe to drink.  Bottled water is expensive.  Most of the students that attend this school live in nearby neighborhoods. 

On Saturday, we arrived on a golf cart with Elders Camacho and Jackson on the back.

Anglican Primary School
We were given a tour of the premises by the Browns, a young couple living there presently.  All the buildings were built with donated supplies and labor from various charitable entities.  There was a good library and a state of the art computer room.  Books and computers were also donated. 

Clearly much work had been done here for the children that live in this area.  A condominium group is building on 3 sides of the school.  They don't really want the school to be there.  We couldn't help but wonder how long the school will be able to remain in its present location in San Mateo.  (Next to San Pedro.)
Also, the only remaining land owned by the school is under water and covered by mangroves, as seen above.   In order for the water system to be installed, the water would have to be drained off, an expensive process. 

We enjoyed the lovely weather and nice scenery while in San Pedro.   

Just out from our hotel veranda.

See you next week!

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