Just found out through Facebook that Rogelio “Rojas” “Chi-chi” Cuellar, my friend and neighbor from many years ago, has passed away.
The Cuellar family was a staple for many years on Main St. in Orange Walk, where they resided directly in front of Hi-Lite Club. They had a boarding house and restaurant, referred to as “The Dungeon”, because the rooms were below street level, where many of Hi-Lite Club’s customers and employees of B.S.I. lodged.
Memorable customers in its heyday were Bobby Rosado, R.I.P., and his sibling Dave; Hipolito “Cuchy Flask” Novelo, R.I.P .; Michael Moore; Alejandro “Chino” Guillen, R.I.P., and many others who would come and go; can’t recall all of them, but these guys I mentioned were there for many years, and this place was home to them.
Ms. Anita Cuellar was in charge and would serve the customers food.
The Patriarch, we only knew him as Mr. Cuellar, passed away many years ago. I can still recall “Rojas” entering Hi-Lite to take a drink and letting loose his sorrow over his father’s passing. Death is always a sad affair.
The other brothers would also visit Hi-Lite, and Manuel, who was Gov’t Health Inspector at the time, was the most frequent. He resigned to take a dip in electoral politics, but don’t think he liked it, because he didn’t follow up. He moved with his family to Belize City.
Lucy was a bank manager or something of the sort.
Benicio, R.I.P., went to live with his family a little ahead on Avilez Lane, but still remained in the neighborhood.
Leonides “Nides” I remember well, but don’t know where he ventured to.
Carlos “Calin” drowned at an early age in the New River. I still recall when his body was transported to the hospital, which was right in front of the Courthouse, where the library is now situated.
“Rojas’” wife was the head nurse at the same hospital many years later. His son Pancho was too young to enter Hi-Lite, but was still well-known in our circles.
Juny, Ms. Anita’s son, also grew up there, as did Marie, who was Ms. Anita’s assistant along with Luisa, and one of Benicio’s daughters.
Luisa ended up as “Chino” Guillen’s partner before he passed on.
“Rojas” was predeceased by his wife.
R.I.P., Chi-chi.(Chi-chi means “Granny” in the Maya language).
If your surname is Cuellar, and you are of Belizean origin, then you are related to this family.