Costa Maya festival rocks San Pedro
Following the crowning of its
new queen on Thursday night,
San Pedro's annual Costa Maya
International Festival continued
over the weekend...and News 5
stayed around for the fun.


Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
The second night of the festival included cultural
performances from the five Mundo Maya countries:
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Belize.


However, it was Saturday night's show by international
guest artist Maribel Guardia that really had fair-goers
on their feet.
Despite the inclement weather, people took the
chance and went out to the showgrounds to see the
forty-two year old actress and singer in an electrifying
performance.


Maribel Guardia, Actress/Singer
"I am from Costa Rica, I was born in Costa Rica and
my mother sings in Costa Rica. In the Miss Universe
contest I represented Costa Rica, I'm Miss
Photogenic. And I have a contract in Mexico with
Televisa. It's a very important company in television.
They're very big in Latin America."


Guardia brings a lot of energy to the stage and she
kept the audience spellbound. Guardia says she
enjoyed her stay in the country and is even looking for
some property to build her dream home.


But despite an increase in attendance on Saturday
night, overall, the festival was less well attended than
in the past. On Friday night, The committee's
president, Milo Paz, expressed his disappointment and
says the organisers will meet to see what can be
done.


Milo Paz, President, Festival committee
"It's not what we had expected. But I don't know,
maybe we need to look at a different artist or I don't
know. It's something for the committee to sit down,
look over what happened and take it on from there."


Paz says they have not yet decided whether or not it
would be best for the committee to put the fair on a
hold. But admits that the event has been costing
them a lot of money. Sponsorship has also dropped
off. Paz says in 2001, they were able to receive just
over eighty thousand dollars from the business
community. One year later, that sponsorship had
fallen to thirty thousand dollars... just not enough
money to pay the bills.


Milo Paz
"Just on entertainment we need at least a hundred
thousand Belize dollars. we are non profit, so we only
can depend on the public to support us."


However, Paz says despite the challenges he would
still like to see the fair continue, and the committee
will work to improve things in 2003.