Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ambergris Caye’s ‘Ground Zero’ zone in recovery


In late June of this year, a huge and devastating fire almost wiped out an entire block on Pescador Drive in downtown San Pedro. 11 buildings that served as homes and businesses to a total of 88 residents were destroyed. Four months later, the first building is being erected at the site dubbed ‘Ground Zero’ and it is expected that by December of 2016, most of the buildings will be reconstructed.rebuilding-pescador-drive-el-dorado-1
One of the first buildings under construction is the residence and business of Abel Dorado, who operated his grocery store ‘El Dorado’ at the site where the fire began. Dorado had to relocate after losing his home and business in the blaze, and is now happy to see his new building coming to life. He expects to relocate to his previous spot on Pescador Drive as early as November. “People would constantly ask me when I was going to start building back my store on Pescador Drive. That motivated me to start building my new store and make a loan from the bank in order to meet the total cost of the reconstruction,” said Dorado. He also mentioned that his new building will be similar to the previous one, however, it will all be concrete instead of wood.
Dorardo’s building was insured, but the items inside were not. “I had my store stocked before the fire. I took a great loss, but today I feel happy that things are slowly getting better, and to all my customers, we want them to know that we will soon be back on Middle Street,” said Dorado.rebuilding-pescador-drive-el-dorado-2
In order for any construction to start at ‘Ground Zero,’ proper approval must be obtained from the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority (ACLBA). ACLBA’s Fidel Ancona indicated that, three plans for construction have been submitted and all have been approved. These include the new buildings for El Dorado store, Efrain Guerrero and Relmer Arceo. “In order to approve, the authority considers the type of material used to rebuild and tries to get as much setback as possible considering what was there before, and the necessity of the building,” explained Ancona. He further commented that the new buildings to be constructed will be better than the ones before, and all the structures approved so far match with the parameters set for that particular area. In the upcoming weeks he is expecting more plans for the rest of the buildings, which will be carefully analysed before any approval is granted.
In the meantime, workers can be observed working hard in order to meet El Dorado’s deadline. They have moved pretty fast in the past three weeks since they began construction, and the aim is to try and get as much work done before the end of the year. “This is a busy street, very commercial, reconstruction is a must, if we are talking about business,” said one of the construction workers.
As for the other buildings approved, building materials are already arriving at the area, suggesting that more construction might soon begin. The ACLBA is also taking this opportunity to guide the future building plans in order to have a properly distributed and well- planned community.

Read more


Please help support Local Journalism in Belize

For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.

Local News