Carlos Roberto Moreno has just been confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Belize by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in what the owners of the of the Lodge at Chaa Creek call welcome news with positive benefits for Belize.
“Ever since receiving news of President Obama’s nomination of Mr Moreno last July we have been following the news closely and waiting for confirmation,” Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said, “So it’s certainly good news to hear that his nomination has been confirmed.
“He sounds ideal for the position,” Ms Fleming added.
President Obama tapped Carlos Roberto Moreno, a former federal district judge who also served on California’s state Supreme Court, for the Belize ambassadorship last July.
In the same announcement, Obama nominated Mark Childress as U.S. envoy to Tanzania, and had this to say about both men;
“These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Ms Fleming said that It speaks highly about the importance President Obama places on Belize that he chose a man of Mr Moreno’s talents and stature to represent the United States here.
“You can’t help but be impressed by Mr Moreno’s professional career, and from what I’ve read of his personal life, I can’t think of a better man to represent Belize to the US,” Ms Fleming said.
Prior to serving on California’s highest court, Mr Moreno had been appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by then President Bill Clinton. He has also served in California on the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the Compton Municipal Court.
In addition to his impressive legal credentials, Mr Moreno has an interesting personal history. Ms Fleming said that according to Wikipedia, he is the son of a Mexican immigrant mother who arrived in the US “with few skills and no resources after the death of his father” and grew up in a home where Spanish was the first language and where no family member had an education beyond high school.
Mr Moreno not only made it through high school, he went on to graduate from Yale University in 1970. He said that after realising how much his education allowed him to help people close to him, he decided to study law so that he could extend his expertise to help others.
He graduated from the prestigious Stanford law school in 1975 and went on to become Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles.
In a speech at the UC Davis School of Law, Mr Moreno told the students, "I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could become one of seven judges on the highest court in the state. I want to emphasize to you the idea that no matter what your dreams may be, you can follow them."
Ms Fleming said such sentiments resonated with Belizeans.
“We feel that this is exactly the sort of person who can understand what is to be Belizean, of living in a developing new democracy where dreams are followed and realised and every day. Ms Fleming said.
“And the fact that he speaks Spanish is of course another asset,” she said. English is the official language of Belize, but the country is for the most part also bilingual in Spanish with Maya and Garifuna spoken as well.
And while Mr Moreno hasn’t been a member of the diplomatic corps, he said that his previous experience has prepared him for his role as ambassador.
“As a judge and a lawyer I’ve had to listen carefully, consider soberly and decide fairly, and to speak in measured tones,” he said. “I think all of those attributes apply to being a representative of the United States abroad.”
Mr Moreno said he had visited Belize some years ago with the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association and is looking forward to indulging his interest in Maya Archaeology. He also said that he understands that Belize is “a great area for diving and any kind of sea-related activities.”
“I don’t think we could ask for better in an ambassador”, Ms Fleming said. “As an intelligent, self-made man who understands different cultures and knows what it’s like to aspire and succeed in one’s chosen field, who is bilingual and has an interest in Maya history and perhaps in experiencing firsthand the natural beauty of Belize, Justice Moreno seems to tick of all the boxes.
“We hope to see him and his family and friends as our guests here at Chaa Creek in the near future, and look forward to having some interesting conversations and perhaps showing him our many Maya archeological sites we have on our private nature reserve.” Ms Fleming, who was born in the United States but has resided in Belize since the 1970s said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is an award winning eco resort set within a 365 acre private nature reserve in Belize.