Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places » Esperanza villager’s century old lesson
Oct 17, 2011

Esperanza villager’s century old lesson

He has lived a century; it is quite a feat for Edujives Velasquez, one of the oldest persons in Belize who lives in Esperanza in the west. In his lifetime he has withstood the test of time; the constant has been his wife of eighty-one years. News Five’s Andrea Polanco found Velasquez alert and active.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Edujives Velasquez is perhaps the most active Centenarian in Belize. This hundred year old man was born in August Pine Ridge and during his one hundreds year of life he has travelled across the country. On Saturday we sat at his home in Esperanza Village where he reminisced about the ‘good old days’. His memory still clicking with accurate information:

Edujives Velasquez, Centenarian

“After 1931 after hurricane, good while I went to the company, Belize Estate to work up north. What is the price they pay for the month? Eight dollars that is two dollars a week. Good heavenly father you listen to what I tell you is the truth, not lie. The owner of over there, Duck Run, Awe, I does used to work for him fuh fifty cents a day and I done got my wife. Would you think I could maintain my wife fifty cents a day? Things cheap, things cheap but wages cheap too. Yes, yes, yes! I does use to go out plenty. I does have good friends and I does use to go dah dance and dance. I does used to go with she goh dance too. I does used to come outta my home and when we go out I dress up Saturday and I go to Cayo and left my wife. Yuh nuh talk to me business, I fall in love with gial and woman. Sometimes I drift away. I go out Saturday, Sunday I nuh come till Monday morning.”

Edujives Velasquez

Velasquez, is a hundred years old today and to commemorate his ripe old age, friends and family gathered on Saturday to celebrate his life. For Velasquez he is only happy and humbled to reach this milestone, he gives the credit to God:

Edujives Velasquez

“I very glad that the good lord give me sufficient years to stand and meet everything, hard time, good time, everything. Well the first thing, you have to take care ah yuh self, everyday you have to care of yuh self. The good Lord said take care of yuh self and you leave the balance to me. You have to put him in front all the time; you have to put him in front.”

And sitting beside Edujives, is his ninety-eight year old wife Rebecca. They have been together for eighty one years. Rebecca says that helping each other keeps them together:

Rebecca Velasquez, Wife of Centenarian

Rebecca Velasquez

“I work with him, any little thing that he is doing I help him. I never, never say I am not going to help him do nothing. I always work hands in hands with him until we finish what we are doing. So I don’t have any complaints about him. He never did treat me rough, he always treat me nice.”

Edujives Velasquez

“I struggle for life until I come here and I make a settlement of my own and my family tek care of mi until when I could a mi help myself ah little.”

But Velasquez maintains an active life. Climbing stairs and walking the village are things he does with ease. He is responsible for this well-kept lawn. He also does small scale farming all on his own. He says that at a hundred years old he is simply working, which keeps him going:

Edujives Velasquez

“People say ‘work hate me’ but I nuh hate work. That’s my ambition; my ambition is to move on. When you sit down and when you think fuh get up, perhaps maybe it too late all yuh bones and all yuh body get cramp up. I exercise.”

Rebecca Velasquez

“Ih all time get up and chop in the morning, in the afternoon ih always tek the lawnmower and lawnmower the yard. Ih plant ih little bits ah fruits and thing, yes.”

Andrea Polanco

“So he keeps very busy?”

Rebecca Velasquez

“He keeps very busy, he nuh rest at all. Sometimes ih deh downstairs yah and ih di do something, ih nuh wah left it. I call ah fi come eat ih food ih nuh come in time, sometimes till two o’clock ih get upstairs to eat his food.”

Andrea Polanco

“And he has always been like this?”

Rebecca Velasquez

“Always been like this. And every morning five o’clock he’s up.”

Edujives Velasquez

“I neva got no education fuh sit down easy as how with wah pencil and wah piece ah paper pahn wah desk. My work was hard; I have to work with hoe, machete, axe, pick and all those things.”

Edujives and Rebecca will continue.  This centenarian also maintains the lawns for neighbors and small odd jobs for villagers of Esperanza. His grandchildren say he is a great story-teller, of which we have no doubt.

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Edujives and Rebecca had a family of six children. Two have died, but they remain surrounded by an extended family of grand children, great grand children and great, great grand children.

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.

Advertise Here

3 Responses for “Esperanza villager’s century old lesson”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    The rest of us should be SO LUCKY!!!

  2. cayobway says:

    I am so trilled to read this because i personally know these folks, I can remenber the times when we use to sit on his front varanda and listen to the stories and advice he use to give. also i can remember as if was yesterday when we use to walk or hitch hike to thier farm in spanish lookout. OH! the memories i had with(Pa Du, and Ma Bek. I truly wish them well for as long as they both live and that god will continue to bless them both.

  3. Belizean born says:

    they are truly lovely ppl. Wish them the best of luck!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login