If the beaches had not been reclaimed, that is, made wider and higher, the sight at the seaside would look deplorable. To get an idea of how wide our beaches used to be, I will take you for a walk at some well-known spots in town and you will see exactly what I mean when I say that our beaches have been eroding and still are.
Twenty five years ago, if you were by Fido's courtyard you would have seen Mr. Fido Nunez's house, which was a two-story building with his store downstairs. His house was right on line with Front Street and he had a big backyard, which was towards the beach. Now behind Mr. Fido's, there was another lot with a big house that used to belong to Mr. Seferino Paz (deceased). He too had a two-story house in his yard. Therefore there were two complete house lots where Fido' Courtyard is, and after the property there must have been some one hundred more feet of beach and then the sea.
If I take you to the police station, there has always been the station more or less in the same location. After the police station, there was a wide street, which had a big hill. We children used to roll and play in the sand there for recess or any time of the day. After that hill of sand, there was the huge building, which was the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. Moving towards the beach there were two big latrines, one for boys and one for girls. They were painted white and green. Now after the latrines there was some more space of schoolyard and after that another 150 feet of beach property. After that you get into the sea. At that spot I would say that the beach has been eroded at least some 100 feet, or about two feet per year, because I am talking about something that existed about 50 years ago.
The same is true of the Spindrift building location. Facing Barrier Reef Street, there was a one story, unpainted, low building that used to belong to Mr. Adolfo Ayuso Sr. Behind his house he had a huge yard or patio where we used to play all kinds of games with Adolfito Ayuso Jr. (deceased). Now after this yard, there was another huge yard with a lovely building belonging to Mr. Lucito Ayuso, a businessman of Belize City. We always thought this was the prettiest, cleanest and largest yard in San Pedro Village. After this second yard, there was a very wide beach where many fishermen used to pull up their boats to dry or repaint or repair. Even after a 25-foot boat had been hauled up the beach, there was still a lot of space for pedestrians before you got to the shoreline.
So what do you think? Do you feel that the beaches are being eaten away? Do you see the damage that the sea and the wind cause on the beach? Do you think there is a need to reclaim the beach from time to time? Would you like to live on the beach and have your property eaten away? Would you like to see your property end up in the sea? All of these questions come to mind when you think that twenty five years ago, there was a lot more land on the beach, but it is now in the sea.