Women in Business Shine at San Pedro’s First Business Expo Plus, Why Saca Chispas Is Called Saca Chispas

In many places, March is a time to put a more focused light on women.  March is Women’s Month – in Belize, we are the majority…at a whopping 50.7% of the population.  It’s a month to honor women and to shine a spotlight on the role of women in history, society, and culture.  

A time to embrace that we should all be feminists – yes, men too.  Feminism is the movement towards social, economic, and political equality for the sexes.  Simple.  Fair.  Let’s keep working on it!

When I saw that the new San Pedro Town Council was organizing a Women In Business Expo, I was all in.  They initially announced about 6 participants – female business owners, craftspeople, chefs, and merchants and the number quickly grew.  By the time I arrived – there were 22 booths set up to showcase Women in Business.  HOOORAY!


Saca Chispas aka “The Old Football Field” – the large space on Back Street in downtown San Pedro

Not-so-quick sidebar:  What does “Saca Chispas” mean? 

I love saying it.  “sock-a cheese-pahs”  It just flows…

And it literally translates to:

Time to ask some born and raised San Pedranos why it would be named “Takes – or makes Sparks”.

Here are the first answers I got – each from a different San Pedrano (aged 40-65)

  • Di owner from Juvinies (a bar/restaurant next to the area) – the old man use to talk on the radio and broadcast football and he use to like to say “saca chispas” and it stay like that
  • The land was donated to the town by Tuto and it filled with crab holes…so many crab holes at the time so it is called Saca Chispas

So…I went to my neighbor, Mr Alamilla, the son of Apolonio “Tuto” Alamilla and owner of Tuto, and found that everyone was right.  “It was donated to the town and was just called “La Plaza”, during soccer games the announcer Sr Buch (boosh) used the term saca chispa and it stuck.”

From Mito Paz of the San Pedro House of Culture “Booch was very imaginative as an announcer. He kept the games lively. He would use all sore of descriptive words during the soccer games.”

AND…what brings it all together!  From Billy Leslie:  … “when the players would slide tackle, it would take out sparks (it was really dust) – and the name stuck!”

Booch was the nickname of Mr Enrique Sabido.

I will reluctantly climb out of that rabbit hole, for now, and back to the actual topic at hand.   If anyone is still with me…To Saca Chispas!

Obviously, COVID protection measures are still in place – Belize has begun vaccinations but we are far from fully vaccinated.  Social distancing and masking are the law.

My friend DJ Debbie was announcing and playing music.

Lavish Habit – my favorite coffee shop.  (My write up on Lavish Habit)

Regina’s Paletas has become an almost-empire!  She does such an amazing job turning fresh fruit other delicious things like coconut and peanut butter into frozen treats.

You can read more about the business here.  Local Female Entrepreneur Rocks San Pedro, Belize with Her Delicious Paletas

She’s doing sugar-free and dairy-free paletas now – look how GORGEOUS they are!  With berries and coconut water…

I snuck up on our new Deputy Mayor Dianeli Aranda testing out on of the booths.

The staff working the event – such great t-shirts.

Ina’s Decorations looked FABULOUS.  The sequined tent and chandeliers made me want to plan a party.  Too much for a dog’s birthday?  Nah…

Pretty pretty Easter baskets.

These dog biscuits that our dogs’ – especially Mocha – FAVORITE.  Puppy Fuut.  Homemade – big bags of 10 for $5bzd.  Mocha will do anything for a pumpkin peanut butter cookies.  Order LOTS of keep them in the freezer.

Debbie Does Crafting had some VERY cute easter decorations.  Loved these guest albums she made for a resort.   Beautiful.

Belizean Melody’s crew…

Jean makes fabulous yogurt and granola.  My neighbor Gloria gifted me a bag (along with an overflowing quart of delicious greek yogurt) last week.  I still have yogurt left but Jeff ate all the granola!

I bought a new bag.

My one regret?  I wish I bought some Garifuna food from the ladies at Black and White.  Hudut is SOOO delicous.  A coconut creamy fish soup….

And they had candies and fever grass (for tea) and all sort of good stuff…

Fever grass is another name for lemon grass and it is good for all sorts of ailments.

I bought a beautiful BIG Crown of Thorns plant from Gianna’s Bowtique – bows and plants.  She has some great succulents too.

I had to pull alongside to pick it up.  These cacti are SO great here – throw a little water in once or twice a week and it seems to be always flowering.  Love them.

The SECOND plant I bought this week.  I bought this beauty on Back Street for $15bzd knowing very little about it…

It’s a very pretty ground covering called Joseph’s Coat – from this family of sun loving plants.

And this cute sign as I was heading out the gates…

What a pretty night and what a GREAT idea San Pedro town council!

And there is more going on today!  If you are in San Pedro, get over to Saca Chispas!  There is an even bigger market happening.  Let’s all support so this will be a very regular thing.

I just snagged this photo from the San Pedro Town Council Facebook page – the source of lots of good information and photos – and it’s on!

Market Day, March 27, 7am to 5pm.

Man…does the town council LOVE a custom tee shirt!



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