First Female President of the Senate is Trailblazer of the Week Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

This week, Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you Belize’s First Female President of the Senate.

Born to Victoria Herera and Solomon Cayetano in 1943, Doris June Tomasa Garcia nee Cayetano grew up to attend Sacred Hearth Primary, Austin High and then completed agricultural training in Honduras. As a small farmer she was once a member of the Citrus Growers Association.

Doris June exited her realm of comfort and successfully ran for a seat on the Dangriga Town Council in 1983. She dared to be bold and decided to challenge the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) 1984 General Elections standard bearer for the Dangriga constituency. She lost this challenge.

Although she was unsuccessful, Garcia’s loss opened the door to a whole new possibility. The UDP Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel, offered a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to be the first woman to hold the position of President of the Senate in 1984. She accepted this invitation and successfully served from December 21, 1984 to July 31, 1989. Success in this eminent role was possible because of all support of the Clerk of Court and other mentors around her.

Doris June is a proud Dangrigan with a history of the past and a front seat to the present and future of her community. She continues to play an active role as unofficial historian in the Dangriga constituency of her UDP party.

Doris June spends her retirement days enjoying her two sons and three daughters. She acknowledges the significant contribution of her mother and grandmother in her life. Her mother was very instrumental in rearing her children and this allowed her to become a successful wife, mother, farmer and politician.