Belize

Meet Sonia and her family ...
and discover more about their life in Belize!

“Hi, my name is Sonia Perez and I am 34 years old and we are a family of seven members. There is my husband Arnold, he is 37 years old, and our five kids: Somer Stefany (17), Sharon (14), Junior (13), Marvella (10) and Jane (8).

Arnold and I are originally from Guatemala and we have both been working on the Fyffes banana farm since we are in Belize.

Our Work

Arnold is in the Harvesting Team and helps cut down the bananas on the days just before the ship comes in. He hangs the fruit stems on a cableway so that they can be taken to the packing shed. That is where I work, so the bananas that Arnold have cut down come along the cable to me.

My job is to check the quality of the bananas before they are packed. The bananas must be handled very carefully and packed into the boxes so that they will not move around and get bruised. They will be on the ship for two weeks and sometimes the waves can be very big! Around the harvest days we are both very busy!

But at other times there is also lots to do. Arnold works in the field, cutting away damaged leaves and weeding between the plants. He also helps with the fertilizer and the irrigation. I work mostly in the packing shed, cleaning and tidying and getting everything ready for the next harvest time. And I love my job. Women should not be less than men, we can do the same as them. All my friends and sisters work, too."

Belizean Food: What do the Perez Kids Like Best?

Next to the people and the landscape it is the food that makes a foreign country so special. We asked Sonia and her kids, what they enjoy the most.

Jane, the youngest family member, answered: "For breakfast we have baleadas, flour tortillas with fried beans and cheese in the middle, I love it! And for lunch we usually have rice and chicken, but my favorite dish is barbecue chicken. Mom often prepares it at the weekends ...

Marvella, Somer and Sharon´s favorite dish is Chow Mein and we have it often for lunch. Chow Mein is Chinese noodles fried with vegetables, soy sauce and cabbage. Yummy.

And of course we love bananas. We eat them in shakes and when they are green we make tajadas, fried bananas – Dad loves them so much!"

Somer: "During the week it is often me preparing the food. I love cooking and then everything is ready when Mom comes home from work."

Family Life

During the week we all need to get up very early. The best time to work in the fields is when it is not too hot ...

While Sonia and Arnold are at work all of their kids go to school. Both daughters are in high school and the younger children go to San Juan Bosco R.C school. Junior is so proud: "Today I did the PSE (examination required to enter high school), I think I did very well," he smiles. All five kids use the school bus. It stops directly in their community and brings them to school safely.

Jane`s favorite subject is mathematics, Marvella likes language and art, Junior and Sharon like science, and Somer likes food preparation services. Junior shouts: "Yes, but she poisons us!" Somer throws a cushion at him...

Sonia: "In the evenings we like to watch TV, Junior often plays football outside till it´s late, but we all go to bed quite early as the days start early, too."

Oh, OK Sonia, we won’t delay you any further! Thanks very much for talking to us. Good night.