Back in the 1950’s, the Easter festivities were a big deal in San Pedro. Even though there were no hotels during those days, the entire village was turned into a hotel to accommodate the hundreds of friends/visitors from Belize City, Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal Town.
Here is how it went. San Pedro was “The Place To Be” beginning on Holy Thursday of Easter week, through Easter Monday. Every person or family that was well-off or of upper class society had to be in San Pedro. It was like a fad. So these persons and families made sure they made acquaintances in San Pedro in order to receive hospitality in their homes. They would bring sleeping bags, foam mattresses, and other paraphernalia to weather it out for five days of Easter Break. They also brought lots of canned goods and other materials to cook at the host’s house because there were no restaurants in San Pedro. I can recall the popular families that came yearly like Encalada, Escalante, Valdez, Vasquez, Phillips, Castillo, Bradley, Maestre, Marin, Chavannes, Roe, Usher, Majarez, Lopez, Nisbet, Gallathy, Sylvestre, Hunter,Villanueva, King, Meighn, among others.
At Easter time Sanpedranos received requests from their friends in the City for 5 days of hospitality. The hosts and hostess cleaned the yard and house properly and put their own children on the floor and offered their rooms to their city guests. San Pedro was the busiest ever- shoppers, swimmers, sports fishermen, ladies in swimsuit, the hustle and bustle of City life in the sleeping village of San Pedro.
As for the local Sanpedranos, the teenagers mingled with their city friends, took them out swimming or fishing and prepared their best outfits for the grand dances on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Marino’s Club and Daddy’s Club brought the best musical bands from Chetumal or Belize City for the biggest dances of the year.
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist