It started out as the Sea and Air Festival. That was 18 years ago, and it has evolved into Costa Maya, the biggest annual festival hosted by the Jewel. The activities are engineered to boost tourism on La Isla Bonita in the slow season, and indeed huge numbers converge on the island. The famous Reina de la Costa Maya pageant is among the list of entertainment options for the weekend of activities, and that alone pulls out a huge crowd. According to Coordinator Gregory Vernon, the annual festival attracts more visitors than the Easter holidays, and if you’ve maneuvered your way around San Pedro at Easter, you know that’s a lot of people. Vernon says the Costa Maya Festival is the largest international festival in the country and gave us an idea of what to expect on the island this weekend.
Gregory Vernon, Coordinator, Costa Maya Festival
“Thursday night is the Reina de la Costa Maya and we have delegates from all Central American countries and Mexico partaking in this festival. This year we have Opal Enriquez out of California who is coordinating and choreographing the pageant with us. So we feel Thursday will be an exciting night because we will be featuring the Belize Dance Company, Nu Generation Dance Company, Jackie Castillo, and so we’re very much excited about this night. Friday night is the opening Gala where the Ambassadors of most of the Central American countries attend. This night we will be having a mega concert and this will be featuring none other our very own Belizean artist Supa G and the Danger Zone.”
“What we’re doing Saturday is our international night and we’re looking at Cristian Castro [Grammy Award-nominated Mexican pop singer] from Mexico. Of course, if you know Latin Ballads you’ll know Cristian. And this is bringing a highlighted event because we’re getting calls from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, also Belize City. Sunday we’ll be looking at family night - a night for the family. The San Pedranos call this Noche San Pedrano. This is where we will be having Adrian Uribe, international comedian, actor, vocalist that will be coming to San Pedro to perform in this year’s Costa Maya Festival. The local MC and comedian for that night is our very own Dylan Jones out of Orange Walk. We are very happy to say that in this season for the Costa Maya Festival, we grossed something like $3.5 million out of this festival, and this is where NICH has to be involved, because we would like festivals such as this in each region throughout Belize.”
The Cristian Castro concert on Saturday will also feature local reggaeton artist, Abner Babil, the DC Creation dance group from El Salvador and Banda Cubana, yes from Cuba.