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Nov 27, 2002

Vendors are relocated to Memorial Park

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The other controversy at the Tourism Village today, almost lost in the confusion over buses, was the issue of vendors and hair braiders who have set up shop on Fort Street. Jacqueline Woods has more.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

A couple of vendors, despite Mayor Fonseca’s warning to relocate to the Memorial Park did return to Fort Street, but to nobody’s surprise were not allowed to conduct business.

Ivy Pelayo, Vendor

“I went ahead and set up my tents and everything. My sister-in-law sells at the end and I sell up this side, and we put up the tents. When we look, the police came, Mr. Henderson and some other people. Mr. Henderson spoke to her first, I don’t know what he told her, but he came to me and told me, you can’t set up yah. And I tell ah I have mi licence, I show ah my licence and everything to sell out here. He seh, City Council wah come move yuh things, you noh wah put up nothing more deh. And if I continue give trouble, he wah lock me down.”

Alicia Moguel, Vendor

“The thing is this, they seh we have to go in the park, we don’t make problems, and the traffic officer that is out here know that I am not a problem maker. But if we go in the park where the problem is, what will happen, we will have the same problem. And if the tourist go there they will see the same behaviour, so then what is the point mister mayor?”

Rene Trujillo, P.R. Manager, City Council

“In terms of transporting the problem from one place to the other, I really wouldn’t look at it that way because in the sense that we are not only moving them from that area that they were because of the behaviour, but also because of the congestion it causes with traffic and all of that. If you remember how they were lined up on the street sides.”

Landy Moguel, Vendor

“They want to just control everything inside and make all the money. They just talk about the smaller man making money, but they refuse to let us operate out here because they want to control everything inside. We are doing just like everybody else, trying to make an honest living.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Now the vendors were asked to move to this location today. But as we stand here in the park, we don’t see any tourist in here buying from them. Actually, all we see are the busses passing through.”

Rene Trujillo

“Well what happen is that the Belize Tourist Board is working closely with us, the City Council, to promote and publicise the fact that these vendors are out here. Now it’s the first day that they’re out here, actually some of them are just getting settled in, some of them haven’t even come out as yet to set up their stuff. So it’s the first day, so we didn’t really expect to see the same amount of tourist that we see out there buying from them or seeing their stuff to be out here today. But we are working on giving them publicity, as to directing the tourists this side to let them know that they are here.”

Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Trujillo says the move to Memorial Park is temporary and as soon as the renovation work is completed at the old market on North Front Street, the vendors will be moving to that permanent location.

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