CARNAVAL FIESTA! A TRIBUTE TO JOSÉ FELIX AYUSO
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On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the San Pedro Town Council hosted its annual Carnaval Fiesta! which is the opening night for the Carnaval celebrations in San Pedro. This year, the Carnaval Fiesta was dedicated to long time Carnavalista, José Felix Ayuso Jr., who for many years has shared with the community and visitors of San Pedro Town, his love and passion for the unique San Pedro tradition.
Under the theme, “Orgullo, Alegría y Pasión! - Carnaval es mi tradición!” which translates to “Pride, Joy and Passion - Carnaval is my tradition!” is how San Pedro welcomes its 2017 Carnaval celebrations!
The homage to José Felix Ayuso began with a special invocation by Pastor Clive Welsh of the Lighthouse Christian Radio, where he offered words of comfort to the family and friends of the late Felix Ayuso Jr. Following the invocation was the welcome address by Councilor Flora Ancona, who herself is a Carnavalista herself and shared her sentiments of the great loss Felix’s departure is to the community of San Pedro. She remained positive by welcoming everybody to the event and asking everyone to support the comparsas and to play a safe Carnaval this year.
Mayor of San Pedro Town, His Lordship, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, offered the keynote address, where he mentioned that “[Felix] His Legacy, his energy and his carnival spirit will forever live as long as we continue to play and dance in our Carnaval celebrations.” He continued by saying that the community of San Pedro will continue to be grateful to Felix’s contribution in the development of our island for being a true advocate in our community through his work of the San Pedro AIDS Commission.
Present was also the vice president of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Mr. David Jenkins, where he spoke about Felix’s dedication as part of the San Pedro AIDS Commission and how fully committed he was into helping HIV/AIDS victims and spreading awareness of the disease. He also shared with the audience how Felix managed to convince him into participating in the Carnaval events, especially dancing in the SP AIDS Commission Compares for Carnaval, which wasn’t an easy task for him but Felix somehow, managed to convince him with his passion and drive for life and for the tradition.
Following David’s remarks, a video was played paying tribute to José Felix Ayuso by his family and friends. Family and friends took time to share their memories they hold dear to them of Felix with everyone through this video, along with video clips and pictures of Felix’s participation in the comparsas throughout the years.
After the video presentation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, and Mayor Daniel Guerrero, presented a plaque of recognition to José Felix Ayuso’s son, JoVan Ayuso, for his contribution to Carnaval and his work through the San Pedro AIDS Commission.
Closing the event, was Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla, where he thanked everyone for assisting the event, especially to the Ayuso family for taking their time in assisting the event which was to celebrate Felix’s legacy. He also took the time to thank the organizers of the event and those that made it a success. In between the speeches, the San Pedro Dance Academy entertained the crowd with their energetic and colorful dances. Entertainment also included a compares by students of Ambergris Caye Elementary School and a skit by Mrs. Carnaval 2017, Mary Magaña.