RIP Chocolate – you will forever be in our hearts!!

On April 13, 2013 in Caye Caulker, News


Yesterday, after what started out to be one of the greatest days in Caye Caulker history, ended with the loss of our dear friend Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia!  He died peacefully in his house on the island with his wife Annie at 83 years old – his passing away leaving us all deeply saddened!!

For as long as I have known Chocolate has been Raggamuffin’s neighbor and friend, a mentor and a true support right from the beginning! His continued efforts towards protecting everything that inhabits our Belizean ocean were deservedly recognized with awards by all with any form of investment in her.  He will be most recognized for his work to protect the Belizean manatee and indeed Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary – his work creating a legacy for generations to come.

For us at Raggamuffin we will miss our neighbor and friend as we look out of our office – no longer will we see him scuttle past the office to go and purchase his afternoon’s sweet bun – he was part of our family and our daily lives and we are now forced to adjust to life without him – RIP dear friend, you will forever be in our hearts!!

  1. kim ausman Said,

    Sorry about the loss of your friend Chocolate.

  2. Glenn Berg Said,

    We have always enjoyed visiting with him as we walked the streets of Caye Caulker and having dinner at Syd’s with his family. We also gained a closer connection because of his wife Annie who is from Minnesota which we are also from. His efforts to preserve and to protect nature will always be recognized as a mission of love of the sea and land!! He will be greatly missed!! :-( . RIP to a great man.

  3. Mary Mejlholm Said,

    I am so very fortunate I was able to meet Chocolate for the first time last March (2012), and pass on my late mother’s fondest wishes that I find Chocolate and introduce myself, and tell him “Winnie’s Story”, her life since leaving Caye Caulker and Chocolate. He truly made my day and did some healing when I was telling who my mother was, and all of a sudden his face lit up and he remembered. He shared stories of her stay there, and his interaction with them from 23 years ago, and I was touched beyond measure.
    My wish would be for those two to find each other in the Great Beyond and have a chuckle and hug over days gone by on Caye Caulker. RIP, dear Chocolate. You will be remembered.

  4. KC Said,

    This is sad news, I did not know this man well having only met him 1X… but he was one of those kind of characters that even if you only met 1X – you remember. I pray his good works with the Manatees is carried on by the torch he had lit.
    One of his friends…..
    Maybe some of you folks on Caye Caulker get the idea to change the name of Swallow Caye Sanctuary to Chocolates Sanctuary.

  5. RIP “Chocolate”; a tale of passion | Photo Proventure Said,

    [...] information from Raggamuffin Tours and the San Pedro Sun (article 1, article 2). Special thanks to Emily from WWF Canada for passing [...]

  6. Lord Gerald Robinson Said,

    It was a pleasure meeting you Lionel 1i 1990. Met you again in 2013. Rest In peace Lionel from Lord Gerald Robinson. The last time we met we had an early morning beverage on the Island of Caye Caulker in 2012.

  7. Peter Jensen Said,

    - About 10 years ago we were staying on Caye Caulker and decided to go on a day snorkeling trip. I read about “Chocolate” several times in the International Living publication so I went by his gift shop to arrange the trip. His wife said he was not in but should be back in an hour or so. I left the shop and was walking on Front St. towards the Split. Coming towards me was a good looking local gentleman – when we met on the road we both stopped for some unexplained reason and started a conversation – after a minute or so I said to him – you’re “Chocolate” aren’t you? – he said how did you know? – I have never met you – I said to him – you’re “World Famous” – it is a pleasure to meet you – I’ve read several articles about your passion for conservation and your water taxi work – I know I embarrassed him but he still gave me the biggest smile – the snorkeling trip was arranged for the next morning – as usual it was excellent – it was my third trip to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley – always an unforgettable experience
    - “Chocolate” – it was pleasure meeting & talking to you that day – thanks for the wonderful memory – I know your Manatee conservation and other work will always be remembered by the Belizean people as well as the many tourists that you helped. Even though you are gone I know your presence will always be felt on the streets of Caye Caulker. My heartfelt condolences go out to your lovely wife. Rest in peace.

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