Belize’s Chaa Creek Picks Matea Cordova as Hostess of the Month
Meet Matea Cordova,
Who became Mata in Belize by the few that couldn’t pronounce her name, and eventually Martha by the Flemings, was born in Baha Vera Paz Guatemala. She moved to Peten in 1961 at age of 3 and grew up into a beautiful teenager who married at 15 and enjoyed being a youthful mother to three lovely children; Seyla Alene Escobar, Karmen Yohana Escobar, and Francisco Escobar. Life later took a turn that ended up in her divorce at the tender age 26.
Looking for a different future she arrived in Belize on March 7th 1987, and a whole new chapter of life unfolded. She first went to the little Catholic Church in the border town of Benque Viejo where she met Father John and proceeded to ask him if he knew of anyone who might want to hire her. For the first 3 days she stayed at Mrs Estella Quiroz’s home as she was the person in charge of kitchen for the church and she took pity on Mata.
The following day Mrs Collet Gross, the owner of a small B&B in Calla Creek, came over to collect her. Martha got the job of taking care of Collet and Marco’s kids and helping in the kitchen.
One weekend she met this beautiful girl Lucy and this tall guy who resembled Chuck Noris who brought over their two kids, Bryony and Piers Fleming, who would be coming over nearly every weekend after that to visit the family. Martha would then be taking care of four kids on these weekends but she always enjoyed being with them – taking them down to the Mopan River, playing hopscotch, jax and hide and seek. She especially loved this time with the children as she was missing her own kids who stayed back in Peten with their father.
This went on for 8 months until eventually she came across to the Macal River to start working at Chaa Creek.
For the next thirteen years,
Martha worked at Chaa Creek in the dining room and guest rooms, at that time there were 12 cottages in all. She couldn’t speak English then and she recalls that whenever she would got to the tables to clear plates, she would then quickly walk away too timid that the guest would talk to her and she wouldn’t know what they were saying. Living on property along with the rest of staff created great memories of wonderful adventures. One night they went fishing at around 12:30 and caught a huge catfish. In all the excitement of not wanting it to get away she got pricked by it and her hand was swollen for the next two weeks.
She would go to visit her kids, or they would come to visit her.
In 1996 Martha had a little emergency that ended up with an operation and she stayed home for a couple of years and returned to work in the year of 99 after returning from the US. Now her yearly routine has been working with Chaa Creek for the busy season and then living in the US for a couple of months to visit old friends.
She says that she has enjoyed every second of time working with Chaa Creek has even built her own home less than ten minutes away from work. She has a couple of grand children at home and is evermore grateful to the Fleming Family who have given her an opportunity to be part of such a wonderful piece of paradise and even more so the ever growing Chaa Creek Family.