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Nov 23, 2021

Dive Shop Owner and Promoter of Garifuna Culture Will Be Missed

Last night we told you about the Sunday morning traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway, just outside Belmopan, that claimed the life of Kimberly Griffith and Elmar Avila. Police have since arrested and charged Armando Pastrona with two counts of manslaughter by negligence, two counts of causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, driving under the influence, negligent wounding and harm, and failing to give way. Today we spoke via phone to Avila’s younger sister, who told us more about the man that was affectionately known as ‘Boo.’


On the Phone: Melanie Lopez, Sister of Elmar Avila

Melanie Lopez

“He decided to work at a resort here in Hopkins and once he got enough capital he started his business called Seemores Adventures and Dive Shop here in Hopkins. That is the only locally owned dives hop here in Hopkins. He was born here, grew up here, so this is a big deal for the entire community. He had so much faith in the youths of Hopkins and making sure that Hopkins goes global. He started the Hopkins youth dive certification program. That is where they certified eight of the teenagers to be certified open water divers. He is one of those people as well that was all about the Garifuna culture. He is a part of the Yurumein every single year. He is one of the few guys in Hopkins that owns a boat that is usually out there, including the year of 2020. Even though we couldn’t have any gatherings, he made sure he pulled his boat out on a trailer and drove it through the streets of Hopkins, with drums rolling, just to make sure his culture does not disappear. This just goes to everyone that is being irresponsible out there. Consuming alcohol can be fun and all, but as long as it is not controlled then this is what happens. There are six children without a father now.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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