On Friday, March 14, 2014, the San Pedro Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal was officially inaugurated as part of The Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) which comes to a close this month. The STP is a US$ 15 million tourism development program funded by the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The overall goal driving the project was to strengthen the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy through infrastructural investment, and planning and capacity building tools, to promote growth of Belize’s tourism industry in a sustainable manner.
The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal development was the largest infrastructure investment under component 1 of the Sustainable Tourism Program. The overall goal of the project was to create a new destination within San Pedro Town which will consolidate water travel to serve local and international traffic, provide new opportunities for leisure and commerce, build public-private partnerships for commercial and cultural growth, promote waterfront beautification and further the overall enhancement of Ambergris Caye as a tourist destination.
Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Belize Tourism Board, Mr. Einer Gomez delivered the opening remarks for the grandiose occasion followed by the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero. It was in his speech that Mayor Guerrero proudly announced the name of the newly renovated football field which will now be known as the “Hon. Louis ‘Cuz’ Sylvestre Sports Field”.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation delivered the keynote speech and Mrs. Anneke Jessen delivered some remarks on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank. Mrs. Celi McCorkle gave the closing thoughts “the way it was”; it was a special speech as she reminisced on how the island was before the Sunset Board Walk, how the football field was used, how the “embarcadero” looked like and what its purpose was. Delivering the vote of thanks was Mrs. Tracy Taegar-Panton, CEO Minitry of Tourism.
The unveiling of the plaque and ribbon cutting of the Sunset Board Walk Project and Rehabilitation of the Old Football Field was carried out by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Christy Mastry – Project Director of the STP and CEO Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Tracy Taegar-Panton.
Invited guests included Hon. Herman Longsworth – Minister of Sports, Ambassador of The Republic of China (Taiwan) Mr. David Wu, Capitan de Puerto de Chetumal – Mr. Alvaro Flores Parra and Chairman of Caye Caulker Mr. Wayne Miller and councilors to name a few.
The Projects Final Development Included:
*The Fisherman’s Promenade and Sunset Boardwalk
-750-800 feet of paved landscaped promenade and boardwalk, located along the 66 ft public reserve from Caribeña Street southwards to Buccaneer Street.
- 27 leasable replacement piers which replace the existing pier structures which maintain the identity of the area
-3 boat launch areas logically located for functionality- for embarkation and emergency hurricane dry-docking of vessels.
- 1 offloading pier structure to serve the community
- Upgraded and paved Nurse Shark Street roadway
- Replacement and standardization of sheds and shaded structures providing ambience and visual “order” to the shoreline, along with the provision of fish cleaning stands for the traditional users.
- Reclamation of lagoon front to shift the field to the west and re-organize vehicular flow
- Refurbish field as a practice field and also Special Events field for cultural and festive activities
- Development of new waterfront vending area, open air seating, taxi stands, and landscaping
- New public restrooms
- Secure field enclosed for entry control
- 4 permanent vending structures
*The Water Taxi Terminal and Platform
- International Water Taxi Terminal constructed over-the-water and connected with a bridge allowing for a single controlled point of entry.
- Provisions for customs and immigration inspection
- Public restrooms
- Shaded seating and lighting
- Kiosk area