Ambergris Caye Directory
San Pedro's Grassy Airstrip
It is landing time by Maya Airways back in 1972 when Jerry McDermott takes this shot as he is about to land at the grassy airstrip of San Pedro. Here is the story for the younger generation and all newcomers to San Pedro.
Back in the 1960’s Celi Nuñez and her husband John Greif II convinced government that it was time to open up an airstrip in San Pedro if they wanted tourism to grow. At the time there were two hotels on the island- Holiday and Paradise Hotels.
The late Jim Blake facilitated the land to government and all bushes and coconut trees were chopped and grass allowed to spread all over the strip. It was only about 1,200 feet long but John said he only needed a football field to land his three-seater. John Greif was the first to land on this strip and not too long afterwards Maya Airways commenced its commercial flights between San Pedro and Belize City. It was something to be proud of because there were no airstrips at Caye Caulker, Corozal, Orange Walk, Belmopan, Dangriga or Punta Gorda. San Ignacio in Cayo still does not have one.
Note that the beginning of the airstrip was the end of the village. At the time there was nothing from there all the way down south- No San Pedrito, Elliott Subdivision, San Marcos, San Pablo, DFC- absolutely nothing except bush. So John Greif was right. An airstrip would bring development to San Pedro. Today this grassy airstrip is the John Greif II Airstrip.
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