Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom
Mrs. Cergia sits at her stand selling peanuts and frozen Kool-Aid in Punta Gorda.

Smiling at the Future and Thinking about the Past

Mrs. Cergia sells peanuts and frozen Kool-Aid on the street of Punta Gorda. Every child in the community knows her.

Cergia González García was born on February 2, 1939 in Punta Gorda. She was the third of five children born to Ebencio González, a farmer, and Everista García. She was raised by her grandmother, Guillerma. “I remember plenty of things,” says Mrs. Cergia about her youth. “I remember waking up at 5 a.m. to pick up cohune [nuts].” She was five, and already working to help the family make ends meet. A boat from French Harbour comes to pick up the nuts every 15 days.

Helping the family came at a cost.

Helping the family came at a cost. As a child, Mrs. Cergia never had a chance to go to school. Only when Mrs. Cergia was in her thirties did she had a chance to go to school. She learned how to read and write in an educational program for adults that is given at a school in Punta Gorda. For 19 years, she worked as a domestic worker in Jonesville. She had three children, then married, and had another eight.

Since she turned 65, Mrs. Cergia began selling small food items from a small wooden table on the side of the street in Punta Gorda. Her son manages a bar right behind her stand.

She has a confident gaze, and an air of comfort about her. “I don’t regret nothing (sic!),” says Mrs. Cergia. She feels right at home in the middle of Punta Gorda’s street.