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#400391 - 02/16/11 03:59 PM Carnaval 2011
Marty Online   happy
El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is a unique tradition to this island and one that has been passed down from generation to generation. Although, it seems that with time, some of these wonderful customs are slowly disappearing, many people are striving to keep our traditions alive. Let us travel back to a time when long-time residents of San Pedro, Felipe Paz Sr. (Tio Pil) and Lucio Guerrero (Don Lucito) celebrated this event. The following is what was learned as they reminisced and recalled their fondest memories of Carnaval.
In the early 1940s, El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro was one of the most anticipated events of the year. It was a time when Sosimo Rodriguez, Pepe Cardenez, Asita Lopez de Aguilar, "Chequete," Isabel Reyes, Luis Aguilar, and others were the "Kings" and "Queens" of carnaval. They were the most well-known "carnavalistas" (carnaval organizers) of the village, responsible for writing and composing comparsas, and getting everyone in a festive mood.

Carnaval is celebrated annually, on the three days before Ash Wednesday (miercoles de senisa) when Catholics begin the forty-day season of lent. In the early days of carnaval, the program for the grand event was officially announced on Saturday, known as "sabado de bando." In those days, there were very few means of entertainment. Carnaval organizers would paint their faces and/or wear colorful costumes and then stand on different corners of the village accompanied by musicians. They would announce the schedule of events to passers-by using cardboard megaphones, as no electronic amplifiers were available then. Carnaval was basically divided into two groups – comparsas (street dancing) and painting.

Comparsas, in those days, was a very special part of the celebration and it was taken quite seriously. The entire process of planning the comparsa was, in itself, a big deal. First the words of the song were written, next the music was composed and finally the costumes created. Then the practicing commenced and continued for the next two to three weeks prior to the beginning of carnaval. The comparsas usually depicted an ethnic group such as Negritos, Gringos, Chinitos, Cubanitos, Inditos and so on. But it would not be carnaval if one of the comparsa groups did not perform the always-entertaining "Torito" (bull fight dance) and La Estudiantina, a village favorite. La Estudiantina was a potpourri of songs and dances that included the Waltz, Dansa, Shotish, Zapateo, Danzon and Corrido. Providing the rhythm for the comparsas were many talented musicians who were always willing to perform lively music with their violins, trumpets or harmonicas. Those who did not own an instrument were satisfied to be part of the "band" by beating a steel pan or tin can. Since vehicles, in those days, were almost non-existent, the entertainers had the streets to themselves as they made their way around the village performing from house to house. To show support for those participating, the villagers would rise early during the three days of carnaval, do their household chores and patiently await the comparsas. The villagers would join and follow the first three to four comparsas who came out. Those who were a little more shy opted to stay home but supported the "carnavalistas" by using their hard-earned money to pay a whopping 25 to 50 cents as a tip for the entertainment provided by the comparsas. For three days the streets of San Pedro were filled with fun, wonderful music and colorful costumes.

Comparsas, though, was not the only means of celebrating carnaval. The other festive activity was enjoyed by the "painters." This way of celebrating carnaval in the 1940s was slightly different than it is today, or perhaps it is safer to say, it was done in a more orderly fashion. The first day of carnaval – Sunday, was when children and adults were allowed to paint anyone in the street with talcum powder or flour. In those days, if you were out on the street, you were playing or participating in carnival. This was done in a very gentle and mannerly way. Eggs were also a symbol of carnaval. Two small holes were poked into an egg to allow its content to be blown out. The shell would then be set aside to dry before being filled with water and perfume. A piece of cloth was then placed over the holes and sealed with candle wax. Eggs were gently cracked on the head of other "painters" leaving a sweet scent in the air. On the second day, other mild substances were used such as "almagre" (a red powder that was mixed with water to make something similar to water-based paint), "anil" (blue wash) and black soot mixed with coconut oil or lard. Many of the pots on the fire hearth were kept clean during carnaval as everyone wanted some "precious" soot for painting.

On Ash Wednesday, the locals performed the last carnaval tradition – the burning of Don Juan Carnaval. Don Juan Carnaval was a (loudly outspoken), life-sized stuffed doll, and knew everybody's secrets. Two to three "novias" (brides) of Don Juan Carnaval would accompany him at a special gathering usually held at La Esplanada (now Central Park). His brides were actually men, dressed as women, who wore fishing nets for veils. They wept over the death of their beloved Don Juan Carnaval and then his will was read. The will was the best fun and sometimes the most controversial part of this activity. Various people from the village would be targeted and jokes made about their love life, future plans, etc. The whole purpose of this was for everyone to have a good time, but many times the jokes backfired, sometimes causing Don Carnaval's "heirs" to become angry. Following the reading of the will, Don Juan Carnaval was burnt, thus ending another year of carnaval.

Throughout the years as the older "carnavalistas" departed from this earth, the next generation inherited their talent. Taking their place were extraordinary carnavalistas such as Fido Nuñez, Christino Muñoz, Obaldo Cardenez, Don Severito Guerrero and Doña Vilma Arceo (all deceased) who continued the tradition. Today, carnaval comparsas and painters are kept alive thanks to the dedication of Mr. Lucito Guerrero and his sons Ramon and Severo Guerrero, Señor Jose "Spanish" Pacifico, the San Pedro Lions Club and many others in "Our Community" who strive to make El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro a tradition that will live forever.

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#400392 - 02/16/11 04:00 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
Carnaval 2011 – Cantando y Bailando – Todos Celebrando!



El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro

It is that time of the year when Sanpedranos, young and old, look forward to - El Gran Carnaval. This year San Pedro will celebrate, Carnaval, its most unique traditional celebration on March 6, 7 & 8. The San Pedro Town Council will officially start the celebrations on Saturday, March 5, with a Grand Carnaval Fiesta that will be held at the Central Park.

This year’s theme for El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is “Cantando y Bailando – Todos Celebrando” – and celebrate we shall! There will be entertainment for the entire family, local dance presentations and surprises. Lots to eat and drink and of course the great music by no other than Rompe Raja!

One of the main highlights for the celebration is the Miss Carnaval Popularity Contest. Each contestant for Miss Carnaval will have a start up sponsor money and booth for them to raise funds as each cent they get will count for a vote. At the end of the night the young lady with the most votes will be crowned Miss Carnaval 2011 by the outgoing queen Miss Vicky Balam. (Young ladies interested in participating are asked to contact Felix Ayuso at 663-9922 or 226-2198)

Businesses, restaurants and bars are invited to participate in this year’s Grand Carnaval Fiesta, there are limited booths available so make necessary arrangements is a must! Contact the San Pedro Town Council for more information about the booths. There will be prizes for Best Themed Booth, Best Carnaval Inspired Dish and Best Carnaval Inspired Drink.

Schools and organizations are highly encouraged to participate in the “Comparsas” during the three-days of Carnaval. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place in both junior and senior divisions will be award on Tuesday, March 8.

El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is a distinct tradition to this island and one that has been passed down from generation to generation. Let us celebrate together and be a part of our lovely Isla Bonita’s richest tradition – El Gran Carnaval; Carnaval 2011– “Cantando y Bailando – Todos Celebrando!”

Ambergris Today

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#400972 - 02/24/11 03:30 PM Miss Carnaval 2011 Contestants
Marty Online   happy


El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is almost here and pretty soon singing, dancing and painting will fill the streets of our beautiful island. But to kick off all that celebration El Gran Carnaval Fiesta will take place on Saturday, March 5 and the Miss Carnaval Popularity Contest will be one of the main highlights of the evening.

This year’s contestants are 13-year-old, Keysha Martin, a Standard V student of St. Peter’s Primary School, 15-year-old Ileny Aguilar, 2nd Form Student of San Pedro High and 16-year-old Delmi Joana Caliz, 2nd Form Student of San Pedro High.

Each contestant of Miss Carnaval will have a start up sponsor money and booth for them to raise funds as each cent they get will count for a vote. At the end of the night the young lady with the most votes will be crowned Miss Carnaval 2011 by the outgoing queen Miss Vicky Balam.
This year’s theme for El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is “Cantando y Bailando – Todos Celebrando” – and celebrate we shall! There will be entertainment for the entire family, local dance presentations and surprises. Lots to eat and drink and of course the great music by no other than Rompe Raja!

Come on out and support your favorite candidate for this year’s Miss Carnaval Popularity Contest. Let us celebrate together and be a part of our lovely Isla Bonita’s richest tradition – El Gran Carnaval; Carnaval 2011– “Cantando y Bailando – Todos Celebrando!” March 5 – 8.

Click here for more pictures in the Ambergris Today

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#401050 - 02/25/11 03:43 PM Re: Miss Carnaval 2011 Contestants [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Introducing the Miss Carnaval 2011 Contestants

The Miss Carnaval competition is a popularity contest held yearly as part of the Carnaval festivities. The winner of the popularity contest will be granted to the participant that raises the most funds at the end of the evening of the competition. In the capacity of Miss Carnaval, the winner will represent the Town Council and San Pedro Town in various activities throughout the year.

The popularity contest is scheduled for March 5th 2011 and will run from 6:00pm – 11:00pm. All are invited to make it a date and come out and support our tradition as well as the young ladies.

Vying for the title of Miss Carnaval 2011 are three beautiful young ladies:
Kaysha Martin is a 13 year old student of St. Peter’s Elementary aspiring to become a Movie Star. Kaysha sees this as an opportunity to interact with the public and expand on her interpersonal skills, public presentation and is confident that she will do extremely well in the popularity contest.
Delmi Joana Caliz is a 16 year old student of San Pedro High School. She is excited about the 1st time experience and wanted to try something different, new and feels that this experience will help to prepare her for bigger things to come. A lover of animals, Delmi aspires to become a Veterinarian.
Ileny Aguilar is 15 years old and attending the San Pedro High School. She is looking forward to this fun activity and ready for the competition. Ileny hopes to become a Lawyer.

The current Miss Carnaval is Vicky Balam.
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#401971 - 03/08/11 03:15 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Carnaval Day 1: Chinese, Viagra, Short Skirts

Leo gives Viannie's makeup a touch up!

Day 1 - The San Pedro AIDS Commission danced around like Chinese immigrants who made San Pedro their home, cooking fried chicken, chow mein and selling boledo. Doña Flora's group danced from house to house as senior citizens begging for money for their Viagra. And Pablo's Girls entertained with their crazy antics and superb singing & dancing.

The streets were full of young and old painting revelrs who could not wait for Carnaval 2011 to come so they could hit the streets and start painting everybody. It's an age-old tradition that continues strong in San Pedro - all in great fun! Happy Carnaval everyone! Two more days to go.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today!


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#401972 - 03/08/11 03:16 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Carnaval Day 2: Negritos, Kriol Kulcha, Shorter Skirts...Painting

Painting on the streets of San Pedro

Day Two of Carnaval in San Pedro started off slow; maybe everybody was tired from Day One! But it was during the late afternoon that the crowds took to the streets from more painting and dancing. The street comparsas were in full swing with more energy and bigger groups. The San Pedro AIDS Commission had its members painted in black from head to toe as they danced liked the "Negritos", while Doña Flora's group showed some Kriol Kulcha dancing to a popular Creole song. And Pablo's Girls! Well they did their thing once again with even shorter skirts and busty blouses. Much Fun!

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today!


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#402041 - 03/09/11 03:55 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
San Pedro is once again being painted. Children, adults, visitors and residents alike take to the streets for this three day celebration. Commenced on Saturday March 5th with the annual Block Party and the picking of Miss Carnaval, the Central Park was the venue or the coronation of Miss Carnaval 2011 2012.

Civck here for more story and photos

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#402044 - 03/09/11 04:01 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Carnaval Day 3: A Princess, Kalimba, Danza Kuduro, Space Suits, Micro Skirts

Pablo's Girls, need we say more!

HILARIOUS! Sums up the final day of Carnaval 2011 in San Pedro, Belize, as Fat Tuesday proved to be one of the best days of painting, dancing and celebrating in the longest time. The comparsas (street dancing) were nothing short of spectacular as all the three groups brought their 'A' game to the table.

The San Pedro AIDS Commission celebrated the diverse cultures living in La Isla Bonita with a mixture of races coming together to celebrate the Carnaval Queen, while Doña Flora's group played paparazzi, cops and lawyers making fun of the recent headlines of Mexican singer Kalimba and Pablo's Girls saved their best performance for last. They introduced their version of Don Omar's Danza Kuduro and BOY was it a crowd pleaser. At the end of the day the San Pedro Town Council honored the AIDS Commission with the Best Comparsa Group of all three days. Coming in second was Doña Flora's group and Pablo's Girls got third place. Congratulations to all three groups for putting on a SUPER show on all three days of Carnaval.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today!


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#402194 - 03/11/11 03:34 PM Re: Carnaval 2011 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
San Pedro was once again colorfully painted as children, adults, visitors and residents alike took to the streets for this three day celebration. Commencing on Saturday March 5th with the annual Block Party and the picking of Miss Carnaval, the Central Park was the venue for the coronation of Miss Carnaval 2011- 2012.

Two lovely ladies, Ms. Ileny Aguilar and Ms. Kaysha Martin competed for the bragging rights of holding the title to this popularity contest. Throughout the night, the various booths were visited and judged as well as food and drink preparations. Best Carnaval dish was won by the San Pedro Lions Club with Mel's Meatball; Best Carnaval-themed booth was won by the Blue Hole Bar and Grill and Ms Julisa Nuñez; while the Best Carnaval inspired drink was won by Mr. Luis Caliz for his concoction of a "Le Pink" cocktail.

At the end of the night it was Ileny Aguilar who received the most votes, winning her the title of Miss Carnaval 2011 - 2012. Present for the coronation were out-going Miss Carnaval Vicky Balam and reigning Miss San Pedro, Natasha Stuart.

San Pedro Sun

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