While Victoria House Resort & Spa is temporarily closed to outside guests, a number of our team members are still at the resort keeping busy. We know that many of our guests have formed personal connections with our staff members, and we wanted to find a way to keep you connected. We asked a few of our staff to share more about their lives and what they do at Victoria House Resort & Spa. First up is Luis Vasquez. If you’ve visited our dive shop and activities center, you’ve probably already met Luis at least once.
I was born in the 1980s to a Central American immigrant couple in the mainland. Belize opened its arms to many families displaced by civil war in neighboring countries; as it still does with open arms to those now seeking its lush jungles and turquoise Caribbean waters. I made my way to the island at the age of 17 following a dream job in tourism along with many other recent graduates. I worked at a front desk job, but I was fascinated by the sea. So, after my shift, I would go over to the dive shop and tagged along with the guides and boat captains as much as possible.
In 2007, I was given the opportunity to work at the dive shop and activity center at Victoria House. With the arrival of my firstborn in mind, Victoria House represented stability, a standard in the hotel industry—a feather on my hat to say I am part of the Victoria House Team!
I have been working at the shop ever since. And, I must say I have lost count of the times I have been told, “you have the best job and the best office with the best view!” What’s not to like? We have some of the best guides on the island — from fly fishing icons like George Bradley, to a master chef and lobster whisperer Alberto Bradley, and the ever-popular dive Master and Instructors Rene and “Jacinto” Bradley. One of the perks of running the shop is the quality control part of the job. A chef gets to test the dishes in his kitchen; I get to fish, dive, snorkel, tube, and hike through Mayan ceremonial caves on my days off! No, I am sorry you cannot have my job! ?
COVID-19 and its struggles have definitely shifted our lives and jobs upside down. I am a cancer survivor, and have had my share of hospitals; so I was quite happy when offered the opportunity to social distance my family and me by staying at the resort for the duration of this. Presently, my job is the upkeep and landscaping of our gardens which have been the background of many a wedding or party photoshoot. Home gardens were part of our lives growing up, and a love for the plants and soil do come back quickly when surrounded by such beautiful flowers in our gardens here.
With the full lockdown of the island, many of us have found ways of staying occupied, and fishing [prior to the State of Emergency] has provided not only that but many a meal for our in-house resident staff. Deep-fried whole snappers sure do bring back memories from our childhood! After weeks of social distancing, our in-house staff can now enjoy the resort’s facilities and a laugh or two with a positive outlook of the near future. Our staff and families look forward to once more seeing happy, excited new faces on the grounds.
Are you ready for a vacation to Belize when international flights to Belize resume? We look forward to reopening and welcoming back guests at the resort. In the meantime, we are still accepting reservations for future stays. You can view all our accommodation options on our website and book directly online. And, stay curious — Belize awaits! See you soon!