|Domingo Peres and family
It is true that the prosperity of this island is due to the
dedicated and hard working people who inhabit it. Whether a resident is
a born San Pedrano, or a "newcomer" from the mainland or another
country, it is the positive qualities of these people that ensure
that "La Isla Bonita" remains the number one tourist destination in
Belize. This week, The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce a person
who has added to the growth and development of the island - Mr. Domingo
Domingo Perez was born on December 20th, 1949 in the village of
Trinidad in the Orange Walk District. The son of Joaquin Perez and
Eluteria Castillo, he grew up running around the farm and enjoying many
adventures in the village among his 11 brothers and sisters.
Domingo completed his primary education at San Lazaro and Trinidad
Roman Catholic School. Seeing the potential he had, Domingo's teacher
advised his father to encourage him to continue his education. At that
time, there was no high school in his home village so, in order to give
his son a better education, Domingo's father sold everything they had
and moved the family to Orange Walk Town in 1961. There, Domingo
enrolled at Muffles College in 1962 where he studied General Studies
and graduated in 1966.
After graduation, Domingo went to work for The General Workers
Union, an organization that worked toward better benefits and salaries
for all workers. By 1975, he was the General Secretary of the largest
Workers Union in Belize at that time.
On July 27th, 1969, Domingo married the love of his life, Osi
Madera. Together, the couple had eight children (seven girls and one
boy): Andre, Mildred, Tania, Nadia, Zhenia, Xunan, Daryani and Sahsil.
They all completed secondary and tertiary levels of education. Domingo
is also the proud grandfather of 10 grandchildren, and says that all he
has is for them. He works hard in order to set a good example for them.
In the early 70s, Domingo traveled twice to Virginia, USA to
further his education at the American Institute of Labor Development.
In order to attend special labor development conferences, Domingo
traveled all over the world to places like Jamaica, Trinidad, Costa
Rica, West Germany, Moscow, Prada, Czechoslovakia and Cuba. He brought
back with him all of this knowledge and strived to make Belize a better
place for all workers of the country.
After dedicating 11 years to labor development, Domingo decided to
venture out on his own. In 1981, he bought a farm and livestock and
traveled to Taiwan to study Agriculture and Livestock, to better his
own enterprise. Domingo also opened a tortilla factory and store in
Orange Walk called "Independiente Food Center."
Later, his son Andre moved to San Pedro to "try his luck." He
bought the island's bakery and named it "La Popular Bakery." Andre told
his father about the opportunities and business potential in San Pedro.
Encouraged by this information, Domingo uprooted his family once more
and moved to Ambergris Caye.
The Perez family arrived in San Pedro at Easter time 1998. Domingo
also brought the family's business to the island, renaming it "La
Popular Tortilleria." After a few years of hard work he was able to
expand and opened "La Popular Store." Domingo proudly stated, "This
business is a family business and everybody 'pitches' in. Apart from
being a good wife and mother, Osi is also my 'right hand'."
In 2000, Domingo was given an opportunity to help his community.
Domingo was elected as part of the town council and his
responsibilities included Housing and Planning, and assisting the mayor
in daily activities. He performed his job with pride and did everything
he could to improve things for the residents of San Pedro.
In October of that same year, Hurricane Keith destroyed both La
Popular Tortilla Factory and the store. "It was like starting all over
again," Domingo recalls. "We had to buy all our machinery and grocery
inventory again. It was a big loss." However, little by little, the
Perez family got back on their feet. "It has been hard but we are very
happy with what we have accomplished so far." The family recently
ventured out again. "We just started producing natural fruit juices
here on the island. Our orange, lime, and grapefruit juices are now on
the shelves in San Pedro markets. We hope they are a success," Mr.
During his free time, Domingo loves to read. "I take time in the
afternoons to read my Newsweek magazine," he commented. He also enjoys
walking on the beach with his wife and spending time with his entire
family. Domingo attends many Lions functions and is very happy being a
part of this community. " I intend to not only stay here but become a
part of the island. I believe people need to ask, 'What can I do for my
community?' Only through them can San Pedro keep prospering."
Domingo Perez has made San Pedro his home and is an integral part
of this town, helping out when necessary and striving everyday to
improve the welfare of the island. Dedicating his time to both his
family and San Pedro is the reason why Domingo is such a "popular" guy
in "Our Community."