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International Radio Stations were Entertainment for Island Villagers

By Angel Nuñez

The biggest name in radio today in Belize is Love F M. (98.1 FM) but did you know that back in the 1950’s there was a whole lot of international radio in San Pedro? And what’s more, a lot of villagers had their private antennas in their own yards.

First let me take you through the International radio stations. There was first and foremost Radio Harlengin Texas. Yes all the way from Texas we got to enjoy musical programs in the days when Country and Western was very popular. 

Then there was Radio Havana, bringing us salsa, merengue, and hot Latino music all the way from Cuba. Radio Havana also had fine comical programs. Added to this was radio La Ceiba from Honduras. In this radio station San Pedranos enjoyed several radio novelas of love and romance as well as good family comedy and adventure.

International Radio Stations were Entertainment for Island Villagers

I am going to take you now to Radio Caiman from the Cayman Island in the Caribbean. This radio station was extremely important for its accurate daily weather reports, especially during the hurricane season. In those days everyone listened to Cayman Radio Station and to Mr. Peter Hancock (a resident of San Pedro) but that is another story. 

Now how was this possible when technology was not as advanced back then as it is today? Well in those days the A.M. Frequency was popular and those radio signals were able to bounce off any celestial body including clouds. Incidentally on cloudy days the radio signals were stronger. Also at night the signals became stronger. The annoying thing was that at times the signal was strong and the volume loud. Then gradually the signal diminished and the volume was very faint.

International Radio Stations were Entertainment for Island Villagers of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,  Belize 

However here was the best trick for good international radio signals. The folks in San Pedro got the tallest bamboo pole they could locate and affixed a wire unto it and raised it 25 feet into the air. This wire was connected to the radio giving it excellent International reception. 

The radios were fairly big and equipped with two buttons- a volume button and a station finder button. The battery was also huge. With these two gadgets we enjoyed and learned with International radio 25 years ago in San Pedro.


25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today Online Newspaper -Jose Luis Zapata Photography Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush, A & R
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