Pedro is not only a wonderful vacation spot, it is a rather pleasant place to
live; because of the variety of cultures and the many honest, friendly and
religious people who reside here. This week, The San Pedro
Sun, is pleased to introduce you to a devoted Charismatic
Catholic who moved to San Pedro for all the reasons mentioned above, Mrs. Irma
Irma was born in Colonia Guadalupe, Metapan, El Salvador on May
8th, 1958, the sixth child of
Catalina Ramirez Gutierrez and Transito Gutierrez. Raised in a large family, she
grew up amidst four sisters and five brothers.
After finishing school, Irma
learned her first of many crafts - making piñatas, and in 1977, completed a
course in cosmetology. Months later, she met the love of her life Daniel
Banegas, a man with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life.
continued her studies, graduating as a seamstress from the "Escuela de
Capacitacion Laboral de Metapan" in El Salvador, on November 20th, 1978. To help support her family, Irma
decided to work out of her home and began sewing a variety of clothes for local
people. Apart from this, she also put her cosmetology skills into practice by
cutting hair, and giving manicures and pedicures.
Two years later, Irma and
Daniel opened a small restaurant inside a tourist center situated in La Toma,
Quezaltepeque, El Salvador where the couple enjoyed making a living for the next
Irma first heard of Ambergris Caye from one of her sisters, who
had lived in San Pedro for seven years. This sister told her of the need for
seamstresses in San Pedro and on July 22nd, 1988, Irma and her family arrived on
the island to start a new life. For the first five years, Irma was employed by
the Ramon Nuñez family. During this time, she and her husband were able to save
some money and used it to build a house in the San Juan Area.
1993, Irma ventured out on her own and started sewing for clients. Over the
years, she has sewn uniforms for hotels, businesses and schools, dance costumes
for the San Pedro Dance Company, as well as bridesmaid dresses and wedding
On March 30th,
1997 Irma finally married the man with whom she shared so many years. Together,
the couple has raised two daughters and one son: Sandra (23) who resides in
Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Jimmy (21) who presently lives at home, and Laura (20)
who recently moved to Chetumal, Mexico.
Irma spends the majority of her days
sewing. In her spare time, she likes to cook and read the Bible. She also
attends Sunday mass and Wednesday prayer meetings at the San Pedro Roman
Catholic Church. Irma commented, "I encourage people, especially youths, to
attend church and avoid getting into trouble; to do something good with their
lives and not just waste it, because life is precious."
Over the past fifteen
years that Irma has lived in San Pedro, she has made many friends. She takes
things one day at a time, enjoying and living life to the fullest, thereby
"entwining" her life into the lives of many others in "Our Community".