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Success without a college degree- Palma’s Lumber and Supplies

Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2019. 8:26 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: You may have visited Palma’s Lumber and Supplies in Santa Elena,Cayo to purchase lumber or furniture.

Did you know that the owner of that successful business did not complete Primary School?

The business was established by Santa Elena resident Alberto Palma.

Today, Palma is a successful entrepreneur and community activist in Santa Elena but his inspiring journey from humble beginnings was not without its challenges. Palma recently shared his story with us.

Palma was born in a small community in the Mountain Pine Ridge area in Cayo with 7 siblings. As children they rode the tractor to school in Georgeville village daily.His lunch would be corn tortillas, beans and occasionally okro. However, Palma didn’t complete his primary school education.

Against all the odds, his ambition and thirst for success led him to his first long-term job at Belize Timber Limited.

There, Palma went from being a side-man to a supervisor quickly, with limited knowledge in mathematics. Palma remembers when his boss at the time, Gilbert Canton, would hold training sessions about grading lumber.

Palma told BBN that his love for the lumber industry grew profoundly, learning the different species of wood in Belize. He says learning the usage of each type amazed him and led him to a career in the industry.

Palma later moved to Santa Elena town and got married. Together, he and his wife, Celia Palma began saving from his minimum wage at Belize Timber.

By the time, Belize Timber was about to change management, Celia had saved enough for a small start-up business.

Palma began having only a small amount of lumber in his backyard and his business quickly grew.

In 2006, Palma opened Palma’s Lumber and Supplies which quickly became known for stocking different species of lumber and construction of cabinets in the Cayo District.

Today, Palma’s Lumber and Supplies continues expanding as a family owned and run business serving the residents in the Cayo District.

In addition, office visitors and customers get the opportunity to view the many certificates and recognition awarded to Palma’s Lumber and Supplies throughout the years for their continued contributions to education, community service and safety.

In 2018, Taiwan Ambassador to Belize visited Palma’s Lumber and Supplies. 

Apart from his business, Palma volunteers his time in the community and has served as Chairman of the Volunteer Special Constables program, in which they managed to obtain tools through fundraising for the SC’s.

While, Palma served as chairman, the group was able to secure two motorcycles for patrol through kind donations from the business community in the San Ignacio and Santa Elena towns, gaining the respect of the community working with different commanding officers working tirelessly in an effort to reduce crime.

Palma has also served the community as Chairman of the Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch committee (BMNW).

The BMNW was recognized as the most active neighborhood watch in the Cayo District for its constant peace walks, family days, sports days and community activism.

Palma has also worked with neighboring primary and high schools.

Palma and the family run establishment has been recognized for his efforts in crime reduction and in community development by the Cayo Special Constables, the Belize Police Department, Saint Ignatius High School and the Santa Elena Primary School.

BBN congratulates Palma for his successful business ventures and community activism.


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