Posted: Friday, September 15, 2023. 2:19 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Tribute to Belizean Patriots ceremony was held on September 13, 2023, to honor distinguished patriots.
Maria Chang was honored with the Meritorious Award for contributions to Community Service and Business.
Chang was born in Canton, China. At 16, she had an arranged marriage to her husband, Arturo. Shortly after, he got an offer to migrate to Honduras for a better life. He worked hard and sent for his wife two years later. There, in Honduras, Maria had four sons.
In June 1970, the Changs moved to British Honduras for a better life. Like most typical Chinese families, Maria’s family embraced hard work and respect for elders. She also instilled in her children the value of working hard, staying together as a close family, and looking after each other as they embraced British Honduras as their new home.
Their first and only job was at Peking Restaurant, which was located at exactly where Darios Meat Pie on Hyde’s Lane.
Maria was the assistant cook to her husband. After three years of hard work, they managed to buy a little grocery store on Victoria Street.
Living frugally, they expanded their business, growing from a small retail grocery to wholesale and eventually to pasta manufacturing, hotel, and bakery.
During all those years, Chang always gave back to society through donations to worthy causes and sponsorship of sports teams.
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