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December 21
11:01 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff - Dec. 21st.

Sanitation work is often times looked upon with scorn or as a demeaning chore and the people who do the job are regarded in no better fashion; but one remarkable woman who has taken to cleaning up Belize City’s streets has not only been praised for doing her job well but for earning the kind of respect from fellow citizens for her cheerful, mannerly personality, treating her job as much more than an unpleasant chore.

Janice Flores was just honoured by her supervisors at the Belize City Council’s Sanitation Department two months ago, and according to her, it drew contention and bad feelings from some of her co-workers because she is partially visually challenged. But she told the Reporter that she ignored the negative remarks and basked in the acknowledgement that she earned for her hard work.

The single mother of a 19 year-old son attending Excelsior High School lives all the way at Mahogany Heights, but distance has not hindered her from making her challenging job a career, making the sacrifices since 2001, and living each day appreciating life and its blessings. So it was no surprise then, that when many would have taken off their birthday and stayed away from work, when we met her last week Friday, on her 47th birthday, Janice was on the job, dressed to mark her special day, but hard at her work with a smile on her face.

She told us that she used to do housework, but found that her pay was not enough to make ends meet as a much younger woman. She said that for three consecutive weeks back in 2001, she applied for a job at the Council and finally landed one. Some 17 years later, after changing employment with Belize Maintenance Limited, Janice is still hard at it, toiling under an unforgiving sun many days, cleaning our city’s street-sides of the garbage that we wantonly discard.

“I nuh find it hard fi do, ma’am because every job is a job,” she told us. “My response to people who look down on this is; God made a job for all of us,” she said assuredly. Janice never had a father in her life but looked to her mother for guidance. She takes care of her son and mom out of the money she earns from the Council.

God has played a huge role in Janice’s life, she told us. “I give God all the glory for my blessings,” she said proudly. I am a church woman and I am always happy and I see the good in everything.”

This church woman has her hobbies just like any one of us. She shared that she enjoys going to karaoke and listening to people sing their favourite songs, but that she does not indulge in the drinking and smoking that often take place at these functions. “I live my life simple, ma’am, just praising God and appreciating my blessings and respecting people,” this humble woman shared, as she went about cleaning up Elston Kerr Street.

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