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Belize

A tribute to Calbert “Cinco” Flowers

By Micah Goodin:On a sunny day like this, you can be sure to find Calbert “Cinco” Flowers in downtown Belize City.

This sexagenarian is probably parked in his wheelchair beside Brodies on Albert Street with a cup in hand smiling graciously for spare change.

Be kind to him.

For the Cinco I knew was a superhero I had come to admire and respect.

With his broom, rake, and wheelbarrow, he did herculean things every day.

He made Majestic Alley so clean you could have eaten off the pavement.

I recall seeing him early every morning in his bright yellow Sanitation Enterprise Limited (SEL) shirt as I was escorted by my mother to the Ethel Vargas Preschool.

He was a hard-worker.

I recall also seeing him in a green Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) shirt as I journeyed through Gabourel Lane and Queen Street to the bus stop at swing bridge to take a dollar van to Sadie Vernon Technical High School.

Although certainly older, he was still filled with youthful vigor and determination.

As I went off to college Cinco was nowhere to be found.

With the political upheaval between the Belize City Council and SEL and then BML I thought he had passed away.

However, I encountered him during one of my recent downtown strolls.

With only one leg and confined to his wheelchair, Cinco was still in good physical and mental health.

He was visibly drug-free and clean as he had always been.

I learned that it was the May 2017 amputation of one of his legs that compelled him to discontinue over two decades of work.

I told him I remembered him and he was one of my childhood heroes.

He smiled and shook my hand firmly and said, “Thank you, son.”

Cinco has done more for Belize City than many of us.

He has certainly done more for this city than I have even though I am an elected official.

Thank you for your commitment and hard work.

You are the epitome of service. You are a perfect example for us

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