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Meet the 1st Female Vice President of Belize Energy Workers Union

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019. 10:59 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Natalie Novelo Palacio is the 1st female to have been elected as Vice President of the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU).

Palacio was born at the Old Belize City Hospital on Eve Street in Belize City on June 22, 1984.

She attended pre-school in the building where the Town Hall is in Benque Viejo Town and then moved to Belize City where she resided in Port Loyola for a couple of years and attended St. John Vianney School (Beginner 1).

Natalie also spent an ample amount of time with her “adoptive” family on Kraal Road, Belize City.  This was the home of the mother of her mom’s best friend.

Natalie referred to her as ‘Granny’ and she was instrumental in raising her and tons of her other grandchildren and family members, who would always go to her house for lunch or to generally visit and have tea.

In 1989 her family fully moved to Benque Viejo Town, where they  resided with her grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother.

In an exclusive interview with BBN, Natalie says “I come from a long line of single women – for various reasons, who were dedicated enough to make life successful on their own. After my great-great grandmother’s death in 1989, my great grandmother Roselia and my grandmother Concepcion, continued to raise me, since my mom commuted to her job in Belize City every day”.

Natalie attended Mount Carmel Primary School and was skipped from Std. 2 to Std 4 for being of the appropriate age and most of all very intelligent.  She delivered the Vote of Thanks for the commencement exercise at Mount Carmel Church in 1997. Natalie then went on to Sacred Heart College and after she enlisted at the University of Belize where she majored in English. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in English and graduated with a Cum Laude from UB.

“Freshly graduating with a Bachelors, I had difficulty securing a job.  I had worked for the summer at a gas station as gas pump attendant and then I was invited by a very good friend to join his team to carry out research about the Belize River Valley.  This research was very intense and I am grateful for the exposure it gave me.  It also allowed me to be on radio for the first time, getting on-air snippets to read the history of the river on Love FM, while following the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge race,” Natalie told BBN.

She says that after working at a vet clinic and then as a temporary teacher, she went back to Love FM and worked as the only female videographer. During that time, she met her husband who was working as a radio broadcaster at Love FM. Natalie now works as a Public Relations Officer at the Belize Electricity Limited.

“Having a daughter now, my passion to be able to provide to her a good education and shelter made me take one of the most difficult decisions of my life, to leave the media for a corporate position.  I’ve worked in Public Relations at BEL for almost 6 years where I have gained immeasurable knowledge of the electricity supply system, and where my love for marketing continued to grow.  I completed a certificate in Graphic Designing from Penn Foster, so I am a graphic designer as well.  Earlier this year, I emptied my piggy bank to pursue a course and received a certificate in Entrepreneurship Essentials from Harvard Business School Online. I’ve also undertaken other online trainings in sales and digital marketing,” Natalie shared.

In 2018, she joined the Belize Energy Workers Union where she quickly became interested in doing more to try to effect change not only internally in our Union, but with the company.

“ I am an outspoken individual and I believe that being honest is one of the most important things to a person’s character. I therefore threw in my hat for the Vice-Presidency and surprisingly won by a landslide margin.  Over the years I’ve become more confident and unafraid to be the voice, not only for myself, but for those that are in fear or don’t know how to express themselves.  Since I am a sufferer of anxiety and depression, I have a special interest in the mental wellbeing of employees in the workplace,” Natalie expresses.

Her love for marketing also drove her to start her own marketing blog on Facebook – Chatz with Natz.

Natalie shared these thoughts with BBN “I don’t think of myself as having so much accomplishments in life, in the manner that other people have awards, certificates, diplomas and all sorts of recognition.  I believe one of my biggest accomplishments in life is my adaptability: I am a wife, a mother of two girls, a gas pump attendant, researcher, veterinary assistant, teacher, sports director, videographer and video editor, journalist, news editor, writer, graphic designer, event organizer, salesperson, marketer, public relations officer, translator, vice president to a union; I am honest and unafraid and so much other things in between. I am a WOMAN. The woman who could and the woman who can.  In the future, professionally, I’d like to be an entrepreneur, where I can contribute to society by providing jobs, earn a Master’s degree, and complete my PhD by the time I’m 45 years old,”.

BBN salutes Natalie Novelo Palacio for being the 1st female to have been elected as Vice President of the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU).


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