Alberto is the son of Maria
and Gusto Arias. Alberto is the ninth child in a family that
includes twelve daughters and sons. The Arias clan arrived into
Belize when Alberto was ten years young from his home village
of Agularos in El Salvador located just outside the country
capital of San Salvador. Together they ran for their lives to
escape the horrors that engulfed the Latin American country
at the time.
That was now twenty-one years ago and as Alberto remembers,
"the saddest moment of my life was when I lived in El Salvador
and the soldiers came and burned our house and if they could
have found us that night, they would have killed us. The soldiers
were thinking my father was on the other side with the guerillas
which was not true so when we were able to escape my father
took all of us to Belize for safety. It was sad for all of us
and very frightening."
Alberto today has grown into a gentle and kind young man.
His mother Maria and father Gusto made their choices years back
for their family for all the right reasons and now they make
their home in the village aptly referred to as Valley of Peace.
Alberto is happy these days that he is fortunate enought to
have a full-time job at the a resort in the village of Placencia.
Alberto prides himself upon the groundskeeping duties required
of his position that define his work.
Alberto is proud to have a good job that has recently afforded
him the ability to buy a new motorcycle that in his free time
he spends it wisely scooting back and forth betwenn Placencia
and Valley of Peace. Alberto is first and foremost a caring
father and as he puts it, " my son is a major part of my
life and is what drives me.
As for Alberto Arias's position as the 'Head Gardener', he
is very happy to have been given the opportunity. For Alberto
it means that his good work has been acknowledged and as he
will tell you, "It makes me feel good inside. It is a job
where I can learn and teach others and that is nice for me."
When asked what insight could Alberto offer to other aspiring
Belizean men, the answer came with a bit of concentrated forethought
before he smiled and said, "I would like to see other young
men get more education - this is difficult in Belize but it
is becoming more and more necessary - jobs are very scarce and
everyone is fighting for the same job so you have to have something
special. I try to show my brothers and their friends they have
to continue to improve in their life skills. Today it is important
to not only be polite and happy but also to show you want to
learn more - working extra hours and offering to do extra jobs
so the boss sees that you are trying hard is something I try
For Alberto this happiest moment to date in his short life
of thirty-one years was, "when I came here in Belize, because
I love Belize. At the time I was young and the nightmare memories
of El Salvador were still fresh in my mind. Belize gave me and
my family a chance, Belize gave my family a chance at life again.
Even at ten years old when I was scared and the language was
new for me, I still knew iBelize was special and it would be
good for my family."
Where Alberto Arias would like to see himself in ten years,
"I would still like to be a head gardener either here in
Placencia or another fine place working nice people. I hope
in time to travel to Canada or even the United States. I hear
about these big gardens in those countries and I would like
to go see them for myself and learn about them in order to better
my life and the life of my son and family even more than it
is now. I have many blessings and I hope my family and even
my employers see my happiness and like to be around me because
I show I am a good and happy person."
Belize is indeed a melting pot of cultures, besides the indigenous
cultures from the Garifuna to the Kreole to the Maya, the fabric
of the small country adds up in the end. For it's families like
Alberto Arias and his siblings and their extended family of
eighteen nieces and nephews that define the places like the
Valley of Peace village that make Belize the country that it
is, a place where people from around the world travel to enjoy
the naturally pristine beauty as well as to call home. Together
they ensure that life in paradise stays just the way it is for
families like Alberto and the Arias'. Alberto Arias, a naturalized
Belizean Man ('a Belizean by nationality'), a good man among