Meet your San Pedro Town Council Candidates

Sunday, February 11th, 2024


With the municipal elections right around the corner, The San Pedro Sun invited the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s United Party (PUP) candidates to answer the following questions. There was no limit to word content, and edits made were for formatting only.

United Democratic Party Slate

1. Name: Wilfredo Alamilla
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I was born in San Pedro and have chosen to live all my life here because I have genuine love for our community. The many roles I’ve held in organizations such as the Leos Club, Costa Maya Festival, Justices Of Peace, and in the education system, along with the experience of owning and operating the largest pre-school on the island, have prepared me to challenge the mayoral position in our town council and makes me a good candidate. I have continuously served our Isla Bonita and plan to always work for the good of our home.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? The Mayor overlooks the management of all areas, ensuring the smooth running of the town. However, having invested 34 years in education, I do have a greater appreciation for the importance of equipping our youth to become productive citizens. It pains me to see children not attending school due to limited spaces or lack of finances and I do have a special interest in trying to alleviate that.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The council’s responsibility is the safety and smooth running of a vibrant and productive town. As a tourist destination, attention should be put in remaining competitive in the industry while finding a balance in the everyday affairs of our citizens. Cleanliness and striving to maintain the flow should have primary focus.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? I strongly believe that party politics should be put aside once the election is over. Those who were successful in gaining a seat in the council should then focus on the good for our island. A mixed town council can work effectively if there is good communication and transparency.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? Preparing our youth to be productive citizens, remains competitive in the tourism industry and negotiating ways to improve our traffic situation should be priority.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? This island is my forever home and I am a proud Sanpedrano; serving in all ways to keep it La Isla Bonita. If you have made San Pedro home, please come out on March 6th to vote. Make a decision to stand and have your voice heard. The only way any place will prosper is if all its citizens will strive for the good of the place where they have chosen to reside! You matter!!!

1. Name: Yakarelis Hernandez
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? As an aspiring candidate, I decided to run for office because I am deeply committed to serving the people of San Pedro. I believe that our community deserves strong leadership that prioritizes the needs and aspirations of its residents. My candidacy is driven by a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families across our constituency. Throughout my career, I have demonstrated a strong track record of leadership and service, whether it be through my involvement in community initiatives, my professional achievements, or my commitment to advocating for social justice and equality which I believe makes me a good candidate.
Moreover, I bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the table. I am not beholden to any special interests or political agendas, allowing me to focus solely on what is best for the people of San Pedro. I am a listener, a collaborator, and a problem-solver, ready to work tirelessly to address the issues facing our community and to build a brighter future for all.
In summary, I am running because I believe in the power of public service to effect positive change, and I am confident that my passion, experience, and vision make me the right choice to represent the interests of the people of San Pedro.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? As a candidate running for councilor in our town, I am passionate about several areas, including arts and culture, community beautification, and supporting vulnerable populations such as children, women, and the elderly. While I haven’t focused specifically on individual portfolios, I believe that my interests and priorities align closely with those related to community development and social welfare.
Given my background and interests, I would be interested in serving in a portfolio that allows me to contribute to the enrichment of our town’s cultural landscape, the beautification of our community spaces, and the support of programs and initiatives that benefit our most vulnerable residents. Therefore, I would be open to serving in portfolios such as Arts and Culture, Community Beautification and Upkeep, or Social Services and Welfare. These portfolios would allow me to leverage my passion and expertise to make a meaningful impact on the well-being and quality of life of our residents.
Ultimately, my goal is to serve the needs of our community to the best of my abilities, and I am eager to contribute in any capacity that allows me to do so effectively.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The town council has diverse responsibilities aimed at serving the community and ensuring effective governance. These include infrastructure maintenance, public services, urban planning, regulatory functions, and community engagement. As a councilor, my priority is addressing community needs, emphasized during our campaign, including listening to residents, making decisions benefiting the community, collaborating with stakeholders, and ensuring accountability and transparency. Ultimately, my role is to advocate for the community, working to improve quality of life and foster unity among residents.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them?
If the opposition party were to win the majority of seats on the town council, it would be essential for me, as a candidate, my approach to working with the opposition party would be characterized by openness, cooperation, and a shared commitment to serving the common good. By fostering constructive relationships and seeking common ground, I am confident that we can overcome differences and work together effectively to address the challenges and opportunities facing our community.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? If elected, my top three priorities for our community would be promoting arts and culture, supporting NGOs and community organizations, enhancing services for women, children, and the elderly. This could involve expanding access to healthcare, social services, and recreational programs tailored to the specific needs of these demographic groups, as well as implementing measures to ensure their safety, security, and inclusion in community life. While there are more portfolios to fill, by focusing on these priorities, I am committed to fostering a more vibrant, inclusive, and compassionate community where arts and culture thrive, NGOs and community organizations are supported, and the needs of women, children, and the elderly are prioritized and met.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? To the electorate, I’m honored to stand before you as a councilor candidate dedicated to serving our community. I’m committed to serving our community with integrity, passion, and dedication. Your concerns are my priority, and I’ll work tirelessly to address them.
Throughout this campaign, I have listened to your concerns, your hopes, and your aspirations for our town. I have heard your calls for better infrastructure, improved services, and greater opportunities for all members of our community. And I want you to know that I have taken these concerns to heart, and I am committed to being a voice for your needs and priorities in the halls of our municipality. I urge you to exercise your right to vote, to make your voices heard, and to join me in building a community that we can all be proud to call home. Together, we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead, and create a town that is prosperous, resilient, and inclusive for generations to come. Thank you for your trust, your support, and your belief in a better tomorrow.

1. Name: Gabriel Zetina
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I am running because I believe in the power of positive change and the potential to make a meaningful impact on our community. My dedication stems from a genuine desire to serve and improve the lives of my community. What makes me a strong candidate is a combination of my experience, passion, and a proven track record of getting things done. Over the years, I have actively engaged with the community, addressing concerns and implementing solutions. My commitment to transparency, collaboration, and inclusivity ensures that every voice is heard and considered. With a strategic vision for the future and a deep understanding of the needs of our constituents, I am confident in my ability to lead and bring about positive change for our community.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? The roles I aspire to fulfill encompass Economic Development, Public Utilities and Infrastructure, and Tourism. As a youthful candidate, I embrace the opportunity to prove my dedication to our community and earn the trust of those who have bestowed their votes upon me. Economic Development stands as a cornerstone of my vision, where job creation takes precedence. However, I advocate for sustainable development, recognizing the delicate balance between progress and preserving our natural resources and wildlife. Our island’s allure to tourists hinges on this equilibrium; it’s imperative we restore our position as a premier destination, ensuring economic growth without compromising our environment.
In Public Utilities, I champion universal access to essential services. It’s unacceptable that in this modern era, some areas lack basic utilities. I pledge to advocate tirelessly to rectify this disparity, alleviating burdens and expenses for our residents.
Infrastructure demands meticulous planning to avoid oversights like inadequate drainage. There is no excuse for such oversights. Regular maintenance of our streets should not be a fleeting concern dictated by election cycles; it must be a constant commitment.
Lastly, drawing from my six years of experience as a real estate agent, I bring valuable insights into marketing and promotion. I am determined to reclaim our position as the premier global destination. Tourism is the backbone of our economy, and there is ample room for improvement. I will tirelessly advocate for measures such as reduced flight costs and the eradication of corruption and extortion that hinder investment and tourism. With unwavering dedication and a strategic vision, I am poised to lead our community toward a future of prosperity, sustainability, and renewed prominence on the world stage.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The town council holds a significant responsibility in overseeing the well-being and development of our community. Its primary role encompasses various aspects, including but not limited to, maintaining essential infrastructure, managing public utilities, promoting economic growth, ensuring public safety, and preserving the environment. Essentially, the town council serves as the governing body entrusted with addressing the diverse needs and concerns of our residents while striving to enhance their quality of life.
As a councilor, I recognize that the most crucial task I will have is to represent the interests and voices of the people who have placed their trust in me. This means actively listening to the concerns of constituents, advocating for their needs, and implementing policies and initiatives that positively impact our community. Additionally, fostering transparency, accountability, and collaboration within the council and with other stakeholders is paramount to effectively fulfilling my role as a councilor. Ultimately, my goal is to work tirelessly to ensure that our town continues to thrive and flourish, guided by principles of integrity, inclusivity, and progress for all.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? Regardless of which party secures the majority of seats, my unwavering commitment lies with the island of San Pedro. If the people elect me, it signifies their trust in my ability to work in the best interest of the entire community. My dedication transcends political affiliations, and I am fully prepared to collaborate with any party to ensure the prosperity and well-being of the people of San Pedro. Together, we can forge a path of progress and unity for our beloved island.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? Restoring Isla Bonita’s beauty involves enhancing our beaches to attract tourists, preserving our mangroves to protect marine life, and revitalizing our cultural heritage to showcase the unique Garifuna culture.
Improving infrastructure: Installing proper drainage and sewer systems to address environmental concerns and ensure the health and safety of our residents.
Focusing on neglected communities: Specifically, prioritizing the development and welfare of San Mateo, ensuring that all residents have access to essential services and opportunities for growth and prosperity.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? I want to emphasize the importance of hitting the ground running from day one. Waiting until election time to act has proven ineffective in the past, leading to rushed decisions and mistakes. If elected, I am committed to start working immediately, prioritizing effective action over waiting for political cycles. Transparency and a focus on the people will be at the core of my approach. I believe in the power of love and community, and as a young candidate, I bring energy, fresh ideas, and a deep commitment to positive change. That is why I humbly request the support of the electorate for our team, the New Slate. We are deeply committed to serving our community with integrity and dedication. I urge you to cast your vote for the United Democratic Party 7 on March 6th, 2024, ensuring a brighter future for all. Let’s build a stronger, more united community where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.

1. Name: Byron Duarte
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I am deeply appreciative of the opportunities this island has provided me, which have allowed me to achieve personal and professional milestones. Over the years, my bond with this island has grown stronger, as it has not only given me a family, a thriving business, and a place to call home but has also instilled in me a profound sense of gratitude and responsibility towards our community. I firmly believe that I possess a wealth of ideas that can significantly enhance our community’s well-being. It is my conviction that our island is in need of leaders who prioritize the welfare of the people above personal gain. We require individuals who lead with compassion, integrity, and a genuine commitment to serving the collective interests of our community. I stand ready to dedicate myself to the betterment of our island, leveraging my experiences and ideas to ensure that our community flourishes and thrives.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? I am confident that I am well-equipped to tackle the challenges facing our community in the portfolios of traffic and transport, human development, and parks and playgrounds. In the realm of transport, I am acutely aware of the rampant corruption and extortion plaguing our people. With innovative ideas and a steadfast commitment to action, I am prepared to combat these issues head-on, alleviating the burden of traffic congestion and ensuring fair and efficient transportation for all.
My journey in business has been marked by numerous setbacks and trials, but through perseverance and determination, I have achieved success. This firsthand experience has instilled in me a deep understanding of the struggles entrepreneurs face. As a champion of human development, I am dedicated to empowering individuals to overcome obstacles and build thriving businesses, ultimately enriching our entire community.
As a parent myself, I am deeply concerned about the lack of safe and accessible parks and playgrounds for our children. Too many of our recreational spaces lie neglected and abandoned, depriving our youth of the opportunity to play and grow. With unwavering dedication and hard work, I am committed to revitalizing existing parks and establishing new ones in underserved areas. Every neighborhood deserves a vibrant park where children can safely explore, learn, and thrive.
I will bring fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and a genuine commitment to progress to these critical portfolios, ensuring a brighter future for our community.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The primary responsibility of the town council is to ensure our streets are well-maintained, our island remains clean, and our beaches retain their allure for tourists at ALL TIMES, not only when election season comes around. While these duties are fundamental, they should be considered standard expectations rather than extraordinary achievements. As a candidate for councilor, I am committed to exceeding these basic standards. My utmost priority will be to collaborate closely with our community to enhance the overall well-being of our residents. It’s imperative that we address the diverse needs of our youth, children, and elders comprehensively. By fostering inclusive dialogue and proactive initiatives, I aim to ensure that every member of our community feels supported and valued.
6. If the opposition party should win the most seats, how do you plan to work with them? I firmly believe that once elected, I am beholden not to any political party but to the people who have placed their trust in me. Regardless of which party holds the majority of seats, my allegiance remains steadfastly with the community I serve. My commitment transcends partisan lines, and I am fully dedicated to working collaboratively with whomever the electorate chooses. My priority will always be to represent the interests and concerns of the people, ensuring that their voices are heard and their needs are addressed. Together, we will forge a path forward that reflects the collective will and aspirations of our community, irrespective of political affiliations.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? As your counselor, I am committed to prioritizing three key areas that directly impact the quality of life for our community: tackling traffic congestion head-on with effective solutions, revitalizing our parks by creating new spaces and restoring neglected ones, and guiding our electorate in fostering a supportive environment for new business ventures to thrive. With a focus on proactive problem-solving, strategic planning, and collaborative efforts, I will work tirelessly to address these pressing issues and ensure our community continues to grow and prosper.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? In closing, I urge the electorate to make a thoughtful decision on March 6, 2024. My commitment to service extends far beyond election cycles; I am dedicated to working tirelessly for our community once elected. San Pedro deserves nothing less than the utmost dedication and effective leadership. With our team in place, we are poised to deliver tangible results and address the pressing concerns of our constituents. Together, let’s build a brighter future for San Pedro—one that truly reflects the aspirations and needs of our people.

1. Name: Ana Lilia Rodriguez
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? As a citizen of Belize and most importantly, as a proud born and raised San Perdana, I feel the duty deep in me to serve our community and address issues affecting our Isla Bonita. I believe I have a passion and drive for serving and have been doing so for many years, through the Roman Catholic Church, the San Pedro Dance Academy and Ambergris Caye Elementary School. Being a counselor will allow me, not only to attack the ongoing issues but work to take our island to the next level, regionally and internationally, for the welfare of all our residents. I am determined to work arduously in our elected term to leave a clear legacy, alongside our slate.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? There are many portfolios that interest me, as I have worked in many areas in the past, but here are a few of the ones I would like to fulfill: Community Beautification and Upkeep; I would love to be a part of improving and beautifying my Isla Bonita, I’ve lived here all my life and have seen the many changes it has gone through with the passing of the years and it would be an honor for me to be a part of its future development. Sometimes I look around the island and say, “wow here is a great place for a recreational park or here a house for single mothers to seek assistance” and really that’s what inspires me to help, I have a vision and plan that I know will improve the lives of the people of San Pedro. Woman Affairs: I am a woman and a mother of 3 beautiful young ladies, as a woman I know the difficulties we face every day and I believe that it is of utmost importance to help and improve in man arears the quality of life of each woman. On the island today there is a lot of harassment in the streets towards women, that is sad because it takes away our security and I pledge to make sure that when we walk through the streets not one of us feel in danger or vulnerable. Human Development: my many years of service to the church have taught me a lot in this area, and I feel capable of handling it. Customer Service: why? Because it is basically nonexistent, and I think it is very important. In my professional life, I have received lots of customer service training and I know and understand that the way we treat those we serve is crucial.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? To serve the entire community by providing a safe, clean, and happy environment to live in and to facilitate opportunities for everyone. As Belizeans, we have rights, and those elected should make sure those right is being respected. The most important responsibility for me is the people. We are a community and we have heard many times during our campaign how politicians forget people, once they are in position and do not listen to their community’s needs. This is part of customer service, and we must have a system in place for people to be able to call or come in with their complaints and for us to be able to address them.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? My life is God Centered, what those that means? It means that God comes first, and God asks us to love one another as he has loved us, what I mean with this is that I work well with everyone as I believe we are all the same and we deserve the same treatment, as the golden rule states Do unto others as you would have other do unto you. I would love for it to be with my team but whoever wins has a huge responsibility and must meet it because that is the reason we are here. Those that have worked with me know that I get things done no matter the situation or environment.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? 1. To increase the tourism index. This is of the utmost importance since the tourism industry is the largest industry in the country, and throughout the years, we have had a significant decrease in it. Directly or indirectly, all San Pedranos depend on it. We will work on many factors to contribute to the growth of the tourism flow. 2. As a mother I have the instinct to protect and care for all the children, which is why I want to give priority to Children, by creating opportunities for education and extracurricular activities, to contribute to a better future for them. 3. Sanitation / Eco-Friendly Environment, I must say in all my life this is the dirties I have seen my island we must create awareness on how to properly dispose our trash, and work on scheduling our cleaning crew so that our beaches and town are always keep clean.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? Yes certainly, to you voters of San Pedro Town I say, I am here because of the love I have for my Island, I have dedicated my life to serving my community in any little way I can and now I feel more than ready to be able to do so in a higher level, it would be a privilege to serve you all and I ask you for your supports come march 6th for me and for the entire UDP 7 slate and we will prove to all of you with actions and not with promises that we are here to serve each and every member of this community.

1. Name: Gian Michael Rivero
2. Party: UDP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? Having been involved in many community activities and volunteer service, I have seen firsthand what many of the people of San Pedro are going through. I was also born and raised on the island of San Pedro and having seen the rapid development, my passion for both community, service, and the island fuels me to want to make a positive impact on Ambergris Caye.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? Being able to represent as an elected member of the council is more than an honor to me and I’d be happy to serve in any portfolio. I do have an appreciation for education, and sports and an affinity for tourism, health, and NGO but, really, either portfolio I’m given, I have a plan and I’d be giving my 110%!
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The San Pedro Town Council has many responsibilities that include infrastructure development, offering different services to the community, proper zoning regulations, budget allocation, and community engagement initiatives. However, as a counselor, I think one of the most important tasks is to implement policies that will positively affect our community’s well-being infrastructure and development, health, and safety. I plan to work collaboratively with fellow council members, engaging with stakeholders, and leveraging community input, I am committed to contributing to the positive growth and development of our town, making it a better place for everyone to live, work, and thrive.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? Regardless of the outcome, my commitment remains the same, serving the best interests of our community. I know the importance of fostering cooperation and collaboration across party lines, and I believe in constructive dialogue and finding common ground to address the challenges and opportunities that face our town. I am fully prepared and committed to working with all members, regardless of political affiliation, to advance the island and share goals and priorities. By focusing on our common purpose and the well-being of our constituents, I am confident that we can work together effectively to achieve positive outcomes for our town.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? There are plenty of things that need to be worked on, but my top three would be uplifting parks and recreation facilities, lobbying for a better Poly Clinic, and addressing the issue of garbage on the island. Parks play an important role for children and the quality of our community members. By having a safe, clean, and accessible park for families, it can bring our community closer and promote overall well-being. Our Poly Clinic has been decaying and is being overwhelmed. Access to healthcare has now become a luxury and I think that sentiment should change. The island needs a public healthcare system where residents can be confident in the quality of care given at the local Poly Clinic. La Isla Bonita is losing its name as garbage and trash has been an ongoing issue for the past couple of years. Our island is renowned for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant community spirit and we need to keep it clean for our residents and visitors to the island.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? I am honored and appreciative of the chance to serve as a representative for our community. We find ourselves at a crucial moment, where the decisions we make today will profoundly impact the future of La Isla Bonita for years to come.Today, I come before you with a sincere commitment to listening, learning, and leading with integrity. I firmly believe in the strength of collaboration, empathy, and unity within our community to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. Together, we can work towards a brighter and more prosperous future for our beloved island. My promise to you, the community, is to tirelessly advocate for your needs and aspirations. I will dedicate myself to addressing urgent matters such as proper garbage maintenance, uplifting recreational areas for children and families, and lobbying for an improved healthcare situation on the island. I aim to promote an inclusive and transparent leadership approach in every aspect. Above all, I want to assure you that I am fully devoted to serving the community to the best of my ability. I am deeply committed to the welfare of our community, and I will spare no effort to ensure that all concerns are heard and your priorities are given due attention.Let us join hands and embark on this journey towards a brighter tomorrow for La Isla Bonita. With your support and trust, I am confident that we can build a stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant community that we can all take pride in.Thank you for considering my candidacy, for your support, and most importantly, for your vote. Together, let us make a positive difference and shape a better future for La Isla Bonita.

1. Name: Abner Diaz also know as DJ Smallz
2. Party: United Democratic Party
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? Our island has evolved over the years and the challenges we have faced over the past successive administrations has gotten larger to a point that is evidently unmanageable. Traffic is a perfect example. The municipality have been totally unable to address this issue that frustrate us and our visitors. We need to think outside the box and find creative solutions that can fit within the dynamics of our town landscape and current layout. There must be a solution and I believe that I can bring a fresh mind that can help find solutions.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? If elected, I am prepared to serve in any capacity. However I believe that it is time that we look at our culture, music and find creative ways to infuse it into our over tourism product. I believe that my strength would be in any area that has the responsibility of culture, music/special events, tourism and the marketing of our island.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The main responsibilities of our municipality is upkeep of parks and playgrounds; collection and proper disposal of waste (garbage) – ensuring that our town is clean; upkeep of streets and the town drainage system ensuring that proper road works and maintenance are done regularly; the collection, regulation and administration of our town taxes (property, garbage, trade and liquor); and the administration and regulations of traffic. The top thing that must be address is traffic. Traffic is one of the most important issue of concern in our municipality and the next council must take the right steps to address these issues once and for all!
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? We are the opposition. But if the incumbent party is to win the majority of seats and I as an opposition member is to win, I am 100% prepared to work with anyone, as long as it is for the betterment of my town. Elections are over on Election Day. When that day is over, you are no longer a candidate of a party but a member of the council that is elected to serve everyone regardless of political affiliations. If you genuinely want to work for the town, it is irrelevant which party the 7 member of the town council comes from. What is important is the ability to work with anyone and everyone, with malice towards none and only for the betterment of our town.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? Our first priority is to ensure that our financial stability is sound and that we are able to manage the day-to-day operations of our municipality. This would entail a comprehensive evaluation of our town’s financials. Our second order of the day is to bring the stakeholders together to find a workable and practical solution to our frustrating traffic problems. Thirdly, engage stakeholders and experts in efforts to evaluate the conditions of existing beaches and find URGENT interventions to restore our beaches. Our beaches is a critical component of our island’s esthetic and restoring our beaches must be a top priority for any administration.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? The electorates of San Pedro Town knows the issues that are affecting them locally as well as those that are caused by our central government. Reinventing the wheels is not sound for any new municipal government. We have to built on what has been built before us, and there is no two way around that. But we must be strong and very hard on the actual party in government. National issues such as high cost of living has a local impact. In fact it impacts us more on the island. Going to and from work is $15.00 cab ride, rent has gone up, the cost of food and living has gone up, even more so for us in San Pedro. Our local leaders say nothing and pretend that all is good. Our current municipal leaders are saying that people are not concerned with the high cost of living but I tend to differ. Nothing is being done to address these issues locally. On March 6th, it is not only about electing municipal leaders, but sending a strong and decisive message to the PUP central government. We the people of San Pedro has have enough! We must send the Briceño administration a very strong message and reject their leadership in every towns and cities. And so I encourage my islanders, don’t be misguided and bamboozle by the PUP. I invite you to join us, and vote UDP 7!

People’s United Party Slate

1. Name: Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez
2. Party: PUP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? As the Mayor of San Pedro Town, I am honored to have the opportunity to run for re-election. During my first term, I worked closely with the community to identify critical areas for improvement and implement innovative solutions to address these challenges. My commitment to serving the people of this beautiful island remains strong, and my experience and leadership qualities make me a strong candidate for this vital position. I am passionate about improving infrastructure, to provide people with better access to their communities and boost the island’s local economy. I am confident that, with the community’s support, we can achieve even greater success in management and continue to transform San Pedro Town.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why?
I currently serve as the Mayor of San Pedro and oversee various portfolios, including finance, revenue collection, economic development, sanitization, and infrastructure. My top priority is to fulfill all these portfolios for the next term.
In managing finance and revenue collection, I have worked towards simplifying the payment process for residents and businesses, making it easier for them to pay their taxes and fees. I have also been involved in economic development initiatives that have contributed to the growth and development of San Pedro. My primary focus has been improving our town’s infrastructure and sanitation. It includes building new roads and maintaining existing ones to connect the communities across the island and ensure cleanliness and safety for our residents.
Apart from these areas, I have also been committed to supporting the local economy by providing opportunities for island vendors to earn a living. To this end, my administration has created a calendar of events, which has helped to boost the local economy by attracting tourists and locals alike.
These events have also fostered a sense of community and pride among the residents of San Pedro, who come together to celebrate our town’s unique culture and traditions.
I am proud of my administration’s support of the local economy and providing opportunities for our residents. I remain fully committed to fulfilling all my portfolios, which are essential to San Pedro Town’s continued success and growth.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility?
Town councils and mayors have a significant role and responsibility in developing and managing their respective municipalities. In Belize, this means providing essential services, maintaining public infrastructure, and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens. Under my administration, we have elevated these responsibilities to new heights.
We have improved services and accessibility and erected infrastructure where there was none. The work has been tremendous. Our focus now is on managing the town’s funds transparently so that the island’s people are confident that public funds are being used for the benefit of the island’s people.
Transparency is crucial when it comes to managing public funds. Therefore, we will continue working hard to ensure our accounting practices are open, honest, and transparent. We aim to build a prosperous, safe, and equitable San Pedro for all its residents.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? As the mayor of San Pedro Town and a member of the People’s United Party, I must ensure that the newly elected officials who come from the opposition party serve the people transparently. I insist they prioritize the community’s needs and work with us toward our collective goals. However, I must remind residents that having the full slate from the People’s United Party form the next town council is essential to ensure continuity. Our party has a proven track record of serving the people of San Pedro Town, and we are committed to serving their needs to the best of our abilities.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? As the Mayor of San Pedro Town, I assure you that the hard-working people will always be my priority. In March 2024, my top three priorities for our community will be: Streets building and beach restoration: We will continue to work towards building roads with adequate drainage and restoration of our beaches to keep our island’s charm at the forefront of our tourism product. Transparency and accountability: We will continue to maintain complete transparency and accountability in all our activities to ensure that the people of San Pedro are always informed. Cleaner San Pedro and expand garbage collection and utility services: We will work towards making San Pedro cleaner and hygienic by expanding our garbage collection and partnering with utility companies to continue expanding utility services.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? As we approach the upcoming elections, I want to reflect on our progress in San Pedro Town over the past few years. In 2021, we took a leap of faith and trusted the People’s United Party to deliver change and transform our beautiful island. And I am proud to say that we have done precisely that.
Under my administration, we have worked tirelessly to make San Pedro Town a better place to live, work, and visit. We have focused on building and maintaining infrastructure, improving the local economy, and ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents. As we move forward, I am confident that we can continue to build on our successes and make San Pedro Town an even better place for all its residents. I ask the electorate to once more vote for me, Mayor Wally Nunez, and my PUP team on March 6th, 2024, to continue building San Pedro Town together.
Let’s unite as a community to elect the People’s United Party and continue our journey towards a more prosperous San Pedro Town. I look forward to working with all of you; thank you.

1. My name: Ernesto Bardalez
2. Party: PUP
3. Why am I running, and what makes me a good candidate? I decided to put down my name again on the ballot, and seek re-election, to continue to deliver for our residents of San Pedro Town, during these three years in office, as the councilor for Tourism, Public Utilities and Public Relations, I have proven to be a councilor that works, take matters seriously, plan and execute! I feel very proud of what I have accomplished so far, but there is a lot more to do under my respective portfolios as well as at a much larger scale (other aspects not necessarily related to my portfolios). Our residents of San Pedro, deserve a much better quality of life, and I must say that we are on the right track to getting that goal accomplished. I remain committed to our residents that if elected once more, the work will not stop, it will continue and what we have accomplished in these three years (with limited to non-existent resources when we first took office) what will come in our next term, will be even better and beneficial for us all.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? As previously mentioned, I currently hold the portfolios of Tourism, Public Utilities and Public Relations, and if re-elected I would be more than happy to stick to the same Portfolios, I have had under my wing for the past three years, as there is a lot more to do in each of these. Public Utilities is the most challenging portfolio (currently) for me, since the need for basic services such as potable water and electricity is massive on the island, and a good percentage of the residents still don’t have one or the other or both. Myself, as the councilor for Public Utilities along with the San Pedro Town Council, become the intermediary between the utility companies and the residents in need of these very important services. We assist for example BWS with the opening of streets to access a certain area of town, or clear the path of some very vegetated area for them to have better access and do the works, but it is a very lengthy and costly process. I must say that although challenging, I am learning a lot as we go along and look forward to keep doing so in the next three years and hopefully get many more residents connected to these essential services.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The Town Council has a lot responsibilities not just one or two, but we need to prioritize these responsibilities and tackle them accordingly. Infrastructure, Proper Garbage Disposal and Beach Restoration, would be in my personal opinion three of the top responsibilities that a Town Council should look after, invest and work on! As a Councilor, ensure and push for these works to be carried on and be treated as what they are: Town Priorities!
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? That would be the will of the people, and I would have to adapt and respect that, and work along with them for the betterment of our community as I have been doing all along, I would have no problem. However, nothing better than having my amazing team (the 7 of us) re-elected and continue the work that we have begun. We are really the team that make things happen!
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? Definitely, the continuation of the street paving project, garbage collection (our sanitation team has been doing an incredible job with this, but there is certainly room for improvement and that is what we would focus on), and working even closer with the utility companies to try to get residents without water or light to be able to get these essential services in their area (extremely important).
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? I would like to first of all thank the electorate for all the support and trust that they vested in us three years ago, we have definitely proven ourselves that when there is good management, transparency and the willingess to work, wonderful things can happen (our work speaks for itself). I humbly ask each and every one of you to please give myself and my entire team the PUP 7 the opportunity and honor to serve you once again, with another term in office and continue the work that we have been doing, there is definitely much more plans for our beautiful hometown! Thank you and please remember that on March 6th, the only option is to vote for the PUP 7 for continued progress! Thank you very much!

1. My name: Johnnia Duarte
2. Party: PUP
3. Why am I running, and what makes me a good candidate. I’m running to be able to keep on serving my community, I feel like I bring a balance to my team with my love for the environment, animals and my passion for helping others.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? The portfolio I would like to fulfill is environment and climate change. I believe there is much more we can do in our community to bring awareness about our environment and how we can all do part in protecting and teaching others to do so as well.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? As a town council we are mandated with the task of running the town by making decisions and carrying them out in arrears that allow our community to be able to grow in a safe environment, a clean community, roads that are accessible,well kept and safe also creating activities and sports for the entire community to be able to enjoy. The most important task would be to help create and carry out these activities and implement them.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? I would do my best and carry out my responsibilities to the best of my ability as I elected to do.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? In winning my 3 top priorities would have to be creating more green spaces and parks, planting more trees and creating educational campaigns to help our residents to keep our island cleaner.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? As our first time in office comes to its end, we realize there are many things we had to put on the side or couldn’t do as much as we could have done if we hadn’t encountered the town council with so many problems, in my case I would love to create and assist the humane society in creating a program to teach people on heathy pet population. To our community thank you for your trust in me these past three years and in seeking reelection I humbly ask for your trust and support for the upcoming term.
9. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? I would like to thank the San Pedro Sun for allowing the opportunity to reach out to the community through there newspaper.

1. Name: Dianeli “Danni” Aranda
2. Party: PUP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I am running because I am deeply committed to giving back to my community through dedicated service. My passion for making a positive impact drive everything I do, I believe in leading with sincerity, integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and strong work ethic. As I embark on my second term, I am eager and prepared to continue serving my beloved Isla Bonita with the same dedication as before. Together, let’s continue building a brighter future for our community.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? In my first term in office, I was assigned the portfolios of women, youths, and children. Making a difference under these portfolios drives me forward each day, and I am deeply proud of the progress we’ve achieved in my first term. However, I also recognize the pressing concerns surrounding traffic, particularly as it impacts the safety and well-being of women and children. As such, I am equally drawn to the portfolio of traffic, understanding that addressing this issue directly addresses the top concerns of our community’s most vulnerable members. By focusing on traffic management, we not only improve the daily lives of our residents but also contribute to creating a safer environment where women and children can thrive. Ultimately, my goal remains unwavering: to serve and continue to uplift our community.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? As a councilor, I understand that the town council has a significant responsibility of managing its resources and services efficiently to improve the community. This includes a wide range of tasks such as managing garbage disposal, maintaining roads, regulating traffic, and managing liquor licenses. Each department within the council has dedicated board members or councilors serving as representatives. In my role as a councillor, I see myself as a bridge between the people and the council. It is my duty to actively listen to the concerns and aspirations of our residents, taking their feedback to the town council where we can collectively work towards solutions and implement them effectively. Building this vital connection ensures that the voices of our community are heard and that decisions made reflect their needs and priorities. However, beyond the operational responsibilities, I believe the most important task I face as a councillor is fostering unity among our people. While the council plays a pivotal role in governance, it is the collective strength and unity of our community that drives meaningful progress. I am committed to bring our residents together, by standing united, we can overcome challenges, celebrate successes, and ensure a brighter future for generations to come.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? I want to assure you that my commitment to serving our community remains unwavering. Regardless of political affiliations, my topmost goal is to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me by the electorate and work tirelessly for the betterment of our community. I believe strongly in the importance of mutual respect, professionalism, and collaboration in governance.
7. However, I cannot deny the significant strides and goals that have been accomplished under this present PUP administration. Therefore, I strongly urge the electorate to cast their vote for the PUP 7 to ensure that the progress and continuity of the island’s development are not interrupted. We are ready to engage in constructive dialogue, seek common ground, and work in partnership with members of all parties to address the needs and concerns of our constituents. Ultimately, our common objective is to serve the best interests of the people we represent, and I am fully dedicated to that mission.
8. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? Should I have the honor of winning, my top three priorities for our community would revolve around fostering holistic well-being, empowering individuals with valuable skills, and ensuring that every member of our community feels included and valued. First and foremost, I am deeply committed to addressing the pressing issue of mental health among our youth and children. It is imperative that we provide them with the necessary support and resources to navigate the challenges they face, and I will work tirelessly to implement comprehensive mental health programs that cater specifically to their needs. By prioritizing mental wellness from a young age, we can build a foundation for resilient and thriving individuals within our community. Secondly, I recognize the importance of equipping our residents with practical skills that can enhance their livelihoods and empower them to pursue meaningful careers. Therefore, I will prioritize the establishment of a trade program that offers training in various vocations such as haircutting, nail technology, massages, mechanics, plumbing, and more. By providing access to skill-building opportunities, we can create pathways to economic stability and personal fulfillment for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Lastly, I am dedicated to ensuring that our elderly population remains actively engaged and included in our vibrant community life. Through the implementation of an elderly outreach program, we will provide opportunities for our seniors to participate in various activities and events throughout the year. By fostering connections and fostering a sense of belonging among our elderly residents, we can enrich their lives and celebrate the invaluable wisdom and experience they bring to our community.
9. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? Certainly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the electorate for considering me as their representative. As we approach March 6th, I urge each and every one of you to stand by us, to stand by the People’s United Party, and to stand by the vision we have for our community. Your support is not just a vote; it is an endorsement of the progress and positive change we strive to bring. Together, let’s continue the vital work our community needs – addressing crucial issues, fostering inclusivity, and creating opportunities for all. Your participation is crucial, so I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. Let your voice be heard, let your choice shape our collective future. March 6th, vote PUP7.

1. Name: Jose Castellanos
2. Party: PUP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I would like to be re-elected as I want to continue working for my community. As part of the team with the responsibility of moving our town forward, I am confident with our continued hard work, we will bring more success and progress to our town and our community.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? Presently, I hold the portfolio of Protection & Safety, Recreation, Planning & Zoning, Nemo and have put much effort in these initiatives. I believe that all portfolios are important to the overall benefit of our town.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? The town council’s responsibility is to serve and work towards the betterment of the people who entrust us with this responsibility. As a councilor I believe the most important task is to remember that we are there to serve and to help improve our community.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? My ultimate loyalty is to the people who entrusted me to be re-elected and I would work for the betterment of the community in general.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? I believe that Safety, Maintenance & Infrastructure are priorities of a happy and progressive town.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? As we head into Election Day, I would like to thank all supporters and give assurance of my continued commitment and given the opportunity would apply even more of my dedication and efforts to continue serving our people.

1. Name: Adaly Ayuso
2. Party: PUP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? I am tremendously proud of the work that my team and I have accomplished during my tenure as a Councilor. I am confident that I am the most suitable candidate for the job. As the present Councilor in charge of town events and sports, I have revolutionized both portfolios and established a robust team of young leaders to assist me in realizing my vision. We have organized and executed several successful events that have reinvigorated the town and brought together communities from throughout the island. My leadership approach and vision have been key in providing superior town and sporting events that have brought enthusiasm and excitement to the community. My team and I have established a platform for young athletes and performers to exhibit their talents and have worked diligently to foster unity and elevate our town through sports and events. I comprehend the town’s unique needs and challenges profoundly. I am dedicated to continuing this work and advancing our progress. I will continue to serve the community with enthusiasm, commitment, and self-assurance. My track record and commitment to the community make me the best candidate for the San Pedro Town Council municipal elections.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? I have been highly successful in managing both the events and sports portfolios. I would like to continue managing both portfolios in the interest of continuity and progress. With the help of my events team and Mayor Wally, we have transformed events on the island. Our sports team is also constantly improving, and we are regularly adding new sporting events for children on the island. I am grateful to Mayor Wally for trusting me with these portfolios and for his unwavering support. I have worked closely with various sports stakeholders and established national and international relationships with relevant sporting and event organizations. This has been instrumental in ensuring that San Pedro Town remains at the forefront of sports and events in Belize. I am proud to have contributed to the growth and development of the town’s sports and events scene. I am grateful for the opportunity to keep serving the people of San Pedro Town by managing these portfolios and overseeing their progress.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor? As a San Pedro Town Council councilor, I understand my role in serving the people of my community. It’s my responsibility to work towards the betterment of the town by considering the needs of the people and the interests of the island. The council’s responsibility is to provide essential services such as maintaining roads, managing waste disposal, and overseeing public health and safety. One of the most important tasks I have as a councilor is to ensure that the people I serve have access to the resources they need to live a comfortable life. I collaborate with other council members and local stakeholders to identify the community’s needs and develop strategies to address those needs. I maintain open communication with the people I serve and actively listen to their concerns and suggestions. I am proud to be a part of the council responsible for making a positive difference in the lives of others. Serving the people of San Pedro is a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously. I am committed to working towards a better future for the community I serve, and I believe that the key to success in my role is to maintain a people-centered approach in everything I do.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? Ultimately, every person who runs for elections should have one goal and that is to serve the best interests of our people, regardless of political affiliation. I remain committed to the people whom I represent and the community that believes in me, however, I urge the electorate to reflect on the grand strides.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? As I look towards my potential second term in office, I plan to prioritize three critical initiatives that will help San Pedro Town reach its full potential and become a top tourist destination in Belize. First, let’s talk about sports. Sports bring people together and provide opportunities for growth and development. In my first term, we established the Island Football Academy, by establishing more sports academies and expanding their services to offer year-round programs focused on various sports, we can train athletes who can represent Belize both nationally and internationally. Imagine the pride we will feel as a community when our athletes take the podium to receive their medals. With your help, we can make this a reality. Secondly, I’d like to enhance the Dia de San Pedro festival. This festival has the potential to put San Pedro on the map and generate much-needed revenue for our community. By promoting it as an international festival to attract both local and international tourists, we can turn this annual celebration into a world-renowned event. Imagine the joy and excitement that will fill our streets as we welcome visitors from around the globe. With your support, we can make this a reality. Finally, let’s revitalize the downtown area of San Pedro and make it the heart of the island’s charm and life on the weekends. By providing vendors with an opportunity to showcase local cuisine and culture on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, we can create a vibrant and thriving community that celebrates our unique heritage. Together, and with your support for the PUP 7 we can achieve great things.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate? Dear fellow residents of San Pedro Town, I am filled with immense gratitude for the trust and support that you have bestowed upon me during my tenure as your councilor. It has been an honor to serve as the councilor in charge of events and sports, and I am proud of the tremendous progress that we have made together in these portfolios. During my time in office, we have revolutionized events and sports on the island, bringing together families from all over the community to celebrate our rich culture and heritage. Through our sports initiatives, we have provided a platform for young athletes and performers to exhibit their talents and have worked diligently to foster unity and elevate our town through sports and events. We have established a robust team of young leaders who have worked tirelessly with me to execute several successful events that have reinvigorated the town and brought together communities throughout the island. I am tremendously proud of the work that we have accomplished together, but there is still so much more that we can do to make San Pedro Town a better place for all of us. As I seek re-election, I ask for your continued support for the PUP 7 and trust in our ability to lead and unite our community. Together, with the PUP7 we can build a better San Pedro Town.

1. Name: Marina Graniel Kay
2. Party: PUP
3. Why are you running, and what makes you a good candidate? First and foremost, I have a great Love for my Isla Bonita and it’s people, culture and traditions. I have always been involved in community activities from a very young age through my dad who is a charter member of the San Pedro Lions Club. I am principal and teacher of a preschool for the past 27 years, through which I have met so many people and heard the many concerns and needs in the island, so when I was invited to be part of the PUP slate and I saw it as the way to do a little more in my community and help in every way I can.
4. Which Portfolio would you like to fulfill and why? I am open to the collective decision of our council in deciding which portfolio would be best to take up. I have lots of experience working on community initiatives so I can apply myself to several of the existing portfolios. The most important part is that I will dedicate myself to fulfilling it to the best of my ability.
5. What do you understand to be the town council’s responsibility? What is the most important task you will have to do as the mayor/a councilor?
The responsibility of the town council is administering the town’s streets, maintenance and sanitation. My main task will be to fulfill my portfolio and support my fellow councilors with theirs in whichever way I can.
6. If the opposition party should win most seats, how do you plan to work with them? I know all the individuals in the opposition slate and I am friends with them. I respect them and once they have the heart for this community I commit my self to work with anyone who is elected.
7. Should you win, what would be your top three priorities for our community? It would be Education, Health and Traffic.
8. Do you have any final comments for the electorate?
I am kindly seeking the support of all voters for Mayor Wally Nunez and the 6 councilors. We have proven with actions that we are here to serve. Together with our Area Representative, Hon Andre Perez, from day one, we have worked wholeheartedly and lifted this island in all aspects. There is so much more to do and we are ready to continue moving forward. So stay pan track and on March 6th, vote PUP 7 down the line.


 

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