Blanca Manzanilla, the assistant
general manager of the recently opened luxury condominium project
Chabil Mar Villas in Placencia, Belize, represents a success
story not only for all women around the world, she also represents
an inspiration to the Meztizo peoples her native country of
Belize. Born to Mother Marisol and father Rual in the northern
Belizean town of Corozal, Ms. Manzanilla proves first and foremost
that hard world and dedication can indeed make dreams come true.
Blanca is the oldest of five children. Along with brothers
Raul Jr. and Angel and her two sisters, Julie and Gaby, Blanca
was born and raised in Corozal Town, Belize, Central America.
She attended Mary Hill Primary School in Corozal before she
attending high school on a government scholarship at the Corozal
Community College. Blanca went on to major in Biology, Mathematics
and Chemistry at Corozal Junior College.
After attending one year again on a Belizean government sponsored
scholarship at the University of Belize, Blanca received a prestigious
Fullbright Scholarship. She used the scholarship to attend the
University of Wisconsin located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA.
Blanca Manzanilla graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Biology
with a minor in Environmental Science three years later.
Today Blanca is a Belizean woman with direction and drive.
She is well travelled having visited nature centers in Mexico,
the United States, Guatemala and her homeland of Belize. She
soon hopes to visit simliar facilities in the country of Honduras.
Her interests include reading about magic and working on tarot
cards as well as solving mathematical puzzles and brain teasers.
The later were inspired by her junior college professor in Belize
who use to give extra points and a few dollars to whomever solved
the puzzles and teasers first. And whenever Blanca is faced
with sadness or fatigue after a long day, in order to relax,
Blanca either draws or goes for a long run.
When asked what she would like to see happen for other Belize
Meztizo Maya women, Blanca quickly responds, "Not only
Maya Women, women in General - those who have the talent to
show it, not just talk about it. Use that head that is on your
shoulder - think; look at things from different angles. If you
don't know something learn; show people you can do it. Treat
other people with respect and you will get respect in return.
Times are changing and women are starting to get noticed; give
scholarships; given opportunities; being heard and men are starting
to appreciate these women. I'd like to see these women grab
these opportunities and show that they are worth it; that we
do have attention to detail which is important. Who knows maybe
we will have a woman leader for our country soon - that is how
far I would go to say that anything is possible as long as we
have the will. "
Blanca started at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge in 1997 as a naturalist
tour guide and has since worked her way up to the position of
General Manager and a ownership position within the newly formed
Belize Expeditions. As the former General Manager of Lamanai
Outpost Lodge in the Orange Walk District and co-owner with
Mark Howells of the destination management company Belize Expeditions,
Blanca Manzanilla's new position for the company is assistant
general manager for Chabil Mar Villas in Placencia. She understands
that management of such a premier property as Chabil Mar Villas
is a lot of hard work and extremely challenging. Having now
been in the hospitality industry for over eight years, Blanca
rises to the occasion to insure that the guests and the villa
owners are happy with the level of service at Chabil Mar Villas.
Together with the support staff, Blanca maintains the level
of attention to detail required to guarantee great service,
great food and comfortable and well-appointed accommodations.
With Blanca Manzanilla in the lead, Chabil Mar Villas is well
on it's way to becoming one of the best escape destination properties
not only in Belize but throughout the Caribbean region.
In the end, Blanca Manzanilla is not quite sure where she will
be careerwize in ten years. But she is no doubt focused and
she suggests to other Meztizo Maya women and Belizean women
as a whole, "when an opportunity arises, take it and make
the best of it. And if there are people around you who think
you won't make it; use that as an inspiration to do even better
- show them. "
For Blanca Manzanilla life is summed up in her life's motto,
"do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there
is no path and leave a trail." Blanca Manzanilla, a 21st
century Belizean woman's story of success.