Costa Maya 2000 a Success

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 34            August 24, 2000

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Sian Ka'an Dancers proudly represented Mexico's dance culture

For the ninth time, the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival entertained the masses united from the five Mundo Maya countries. El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico brought thousands out to the festival that has become the biggest in San Pedro and perhaps the entire country of Belize.

    Opening night, also pageant night, attracted hundreds to witness the competition for Miss Costa Maya 2000 as well as the cultural and dance show by El Salvador. The night truly belonged to El Salvador as it was their beauty ambassador, Miss Sandra Glower Silis that was crowned Reina de la Costa Maya.

Costa Maya headliner Sergio Blass

    Wednesday night was set aside for the "The Land of Eternal Spring," Guatemala. First-time newcomers to the festival, Formula Ansestral represented their country's cultural heritage with dignity and style, as did the always-popular dances by Ballet Folklorico de INGUAT. The three member dance band, Grupo Apolo were responsible for providing the lively music for the evening.

    Without a doubt, Thursday night, Honduras night was one of the most anticipated evenings of this year's festival. Beside the wonderful representation of the diverse culture of this Central American country, presented by the Cuadro Nacional de Danzas Folkloricos of Honduras, the public was also on their toes to take a glimpse of the sexy group of young women from Las Chicas Roland. The group performed some of their best songs including Merengue, Punta, Salsa and Pop selections and even encouraged some brave souls on stage to show off their dance moves and learn new steps from "Las Chicas." A definite night to party, Honduras night was THE night to be at this year's Costa Maya Festival.

The Mexican Clowns were a favorite during the festival
The San Pedro Dance Company took us back to our Mayan roots
The best in Pan Music - The All Star Steel Band
Las Chicas Roland spice up Honduras night
Grupo Do Mayor entertained on El Salvador night

    Our neighbors from Mexico took the stage on Friday night to offer some of the best in Mexican music and folklore. The Sian Ka'an dancers certainly impressed all present with their versatile dances including the crowds favorite "El baile de la botella" and "El baile de las Charolas." This specific dance called for the group to dance with a beer bottle on their heads and eventually a full serving tray. The dancers also displayed colorful costumes native to certain states of their country during a fashion show. Mexico night would not be complete without the sounds of mariachis and ever the crowd pleaser, Mariachi Los Galleros from Chetumal, Quintana Roo made delightful music. Soloist Ms. Martina Jimenez also took the stage, entertaining with romantic ballads until the dance band Enigma's outstanding performance finished the evening.

    International night and night for the host country Belize, surpassed every- one's expectations as the stars shined in the skies and on stage. Welcoming the festival attendees was the Belize All Star Steel Band, paving the way for the great show ahead with soothing Caribbean music. Then it was the San Pedro Dance Company who performed a forty-minute, non-stop dance show depicting the history of Belize. Starting with the Maya civilization, the dances told the story of the Spanish Conquistadores, the slaves, the Creoles and ended with today's popular carnival. Barbara's Dance Group then entertained, in spectacular costumes, with several modern-day dances from their senior, junior and Little Barbie's groups. To showcase Belize's diverse dance music, it was Gilharry 7 that provided popular rhythmic beats. This band kept the crowd entertained until midnight when international pop singer, Sergio Blass took the stage. In front of a massive crowd of screaming fans, Sergio performed for approximately one hour. Several fans climbed on stage to steal a kiss from the star and although the crowd expected the singer's show to be longer, because of instructions from his manager who was concerned for his safety, Sergio left earlier than planned. Although his performance was cut short, many in the audience got that "personal touch" from the artist. The great sounds of Gilharry 7 then continued the show until the wee hours of the morning. The band also performed on Sunday evening to close the festival.

    The overall feeling from the attendees and the festival committee is that the festival went on smoothly with very few mishaps. The work of the ground's manager Jimbo Vasquez and his crew, working along with the San Pedro Youth Corp, was outstanding, keeping the grounds looking tip-top throughout the festival. Credit is also due Mr. Sanchez Riveroll and his team for the great lighting and stage system and to stage manager, Frank Romero and his group from the Belize Arts Council for their impeccable work.

    The festival manager wishes to inform all those who have outstanding bills for the festival to kindly remit them to Mr. Gach Guerrero at Amigo Travel, as soon as possible. The festival thanks all volunteers, sponsors and friends who helped make the Costa Maya Festival 2000 a resounding success. Although the preliminary reports appear to be positive, the committee will update you on the financial results of this year's festival in an upcoming issue of the San Pedro Sun.
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