Hardworking, Lovely Maria and her Fabulous Fruit Market on Ambergris Caye

I have known Maria since I first moved to the island 9 years ago.  And whether I was shopping there everyday, when I lived just across the street, or now, when I stop in once a week for coconut water or juice, she knows me by name, greets me with a smile and presents one of the best selections of fruit & veggies on Ambergris Caye.

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So…I thought I would introduce those of you who don’t know her to Miss Maria.  Much of her story was beautifully outlined in a 2004 article by the San Pedro Sun – growing up the oldest of 12 in El Salvador, moving to Guatemala with her older husband at age 17 and then, when civil war broke out, to Belize.  A country she loves.

She has been on Ambergris Caye for 25 years.

Here she is with one of her personal favorite fruits – mango.

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Maria has 6 children – 3 boys and 3 girls and hasn’t been back to El Salvador.  She said times were tough there and she has no desire to visit.  She loves Ambergris Caye.

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And her gorgeous cat Mama.

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Her shop is south of town across the street from the Island Yacht Club – and the best spot to buy fresh juices – naranja, sandia, pina, coco and more.  Here are some pictures of her spot where if you are friendly, you probably will get a free herb or piece of fruit thrown in your bag.

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If you don’t see it, ask.  She has a store house in the back…

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I asked Maria the question I’ve been dying to ask her.  What’s up with all the aprons?  I’ve seen her with two…three on all at once.  Her grown daughter told me that she has always known her mom to wear aprons rather than carry a bag or a purse.  She keeps her money, receipts…everything in them.

And people bring them for her from El Salvador…like this beautiful one.  They are her trademark.

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So…if you are looking for fruits and vegetables, all in one spot, this is a great place to visit.  Especially for the juices…

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And doubly especially for Mama and Maria.  Some people strike you as particularly hard working…Mama?  Not so much, Maria FOR SURE.

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  • Carol Saves

    This is where I always buy my produce when visiting Belize. It’s never a short visit, as I often end up talking to Maria & John for 1/2 hour or so. The cat doesn’t show me any love though. Torties are so fickle.

    • She is getting a whole lot sweeter that little Mama…i just love her. SO so pretty.

  • SPmQQse

    yes….I’ve known maria since she got to san pedro…..from day 1..a sweety-pie gal…..
    i am rather surprized that there was no mention of maria’s apothecary/jungle doctor skills .[she knows more than just fruits]

    • I’ve never known that side! But I need to explore…it does mention the skillz in the 2004 SPS article.

      • SPmQQse

        you would be very surprised at how many secretive jungle doctors there are , and who they are, living in san pedro town.
        [oh–the benefits that i have personally seen and experienced ….amazing]

  • FJL

    She is great… 2 things I recall… My 1st trip years ago I face planted after over indulging which included the ‘Green Fairy’ absinthe. Maria put a concoction of herbs in a baggie and fresh cut aloe leaves. It helped, although it didn’t make me any better looking. And I also bought some of her habanero salsa. She insisted on adding some extra pepper. I’m sweating now thinking about it.

    • Ha. Two…memorable experiences. I try to stay as far as I can from habaneros. GOOD GRIEF.

  • Ah, we loved Maria! Thank you for featuring her. The juices were heavy to carry and too large for us (they would ferment before we could drink ’em since they were so fresh and no preservatives), but we bought fruits and veggies there all the time. She is such a wonderful lady!

  • Linda Young

    Great blog, as usual! I love her table coverings and apron!

    • sanpedroscoop

      It’s all about the aprons…

  • lifeagain

    Nice post….very nice for bringing your day to day contacts to life. Thanks for sharing.

    • sanpedroscoop

      Thanks…I need to do it more often – there are so many great hardworking people in this town.