Costa Maya Festival set to begin - Beauties arrive!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 32            August 10, 2000

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Costa Maya Festival set to begin - Beauties arrive!

The contestants and the reigning queen of the Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant are now on the island. The girls from Mexico arrived on Monday, El Salvador and Honduras on Tuesday, and Guatemala on Wednesday. They were presented to the community of San Pedro at a formal Sashing Ceremony held Wednesday evening at Ramon's Village Resort. A more intimate introduction to the young ladies, a "Noche San Pedrana" cocktail party, will follow tonight at Victoria House hosted by the San Pedro Lions Club. During the following days the contestants will be hosted by different businesses in San Pedro and will visit our neighboring island, Caye Caulker. The participants will also hold daily pageant rehearsals and will meet with the judges prior to the pageant on Tuesday, August 15th at the Ninth International Costa Maya Festival.

    Created as the Sea & Air Festival in 1991, this festive event was created as a means of increasing revenue during the low tourist season. The idea was to attract international visitors by air or sea vessel to San Pedro, so consequently the Mundo Maya countries of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico were invited to celebrate their individual cultures. Each country was assigned a specific night to display their own unique music, cultural dances and crafts.

    To further encourage these types of activities, representatives from the five countries formed the Mundo Maya Organization in 1995, to promote and sustain the people of the Mundo Maya region through tourism projects that generate economic activity. In their Constitution, they recognize "the importance of preserving and maintaining our common cultural heritage and our natural resources-for the present and future generations."

    At the first Sea & Air Festivals, representatives from around the world participated in a Miss Sea & Air Pageant. Renamed "Reina de la Costa Maya," in 1996, the pageant now requires the contestant to be a previous title winner from their country. Miss Denisse Zarahid Guzman, of Colima, Mexico is the reigning queen who will hand down her title next Tuesday evening. Hosting this night of elegance will be Mexican Soap Opera Star Rodrigo Vidal. He will be accompanied on stage by co-host, Vilma Villanueva of Belize City. Get your tickets today to witness this one-of-a-kind pageant.
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