Melina Diaz to represent Belize in Reina de la Costa Maya Festival

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 21            May 31, 2001

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Belize representative Melina Diaz

Put to the task, the Costa Maya festival committee has made great strides in the past week. At their last meeting it was announced by pageant organizers that Miss Melina Diaz will represent Belize this year in the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Lovely Melina is 18 years old and measures five feet eleven inches. She is a graduate of St. Catherine's Academy, St. John's College/Junior College and has completed one semester at the University of Belize. Miss Diaz is presently working at Ramon's Village Gift Shop awaiting a response from a scholarship agency she applied to in order to further her education in International Relations. If this scholarship is not granted, Melina will enroll at the University of Canada where she hopes to pursue a career in International Business or Law. Miss Diaz shared her view of the Costa Maya Festival as being something very positive for the island and the entire country. She continued by saying that this festival stimulates both local and international tourism. Melina added it is the perfect educational tool to learn about the diverse cultures of our neighboring Central American countries. Belize's representative Melina Diaz told the San Pedro Sun this experience is totally new to her. Although it is the first time she is participating in an event of this type, she exclaimed, "There is no time like the present." She has attended several Costa Maya Festivals in the past and has been delighted by the professionalism and elegance of the pageant. Melina explained that she hopes to meet new people and be enriched by each participant's culture. This, she feels, will help her grow as a person and to find out more about herself. Miss Diaz ended her chat by saying, "I am privileged to have been asked to represent my country in this pageant. I will do my best to ensure that Belize makes a lasting impression."

    Melina is being coached for the pageant by Mr. Malcolm Hitchcock of Fido's Courtyard and began her training on Wednesday. Miss Diaz is the daughter of Ilda Guerrero Diaz of San Pedro Town and Ruperto Diaz.

    Queen contestants have also been confirmed from the countries of El Salvador and Honduras but the actual names of the participants have not been revealed as yet.

     Committee members have also generated much needed income in the past week. Bowen & Bowen and Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have both pledged $10,000 cash plus services for the gala event. BTB will provide Tourism Police for the festival and assume the expense for their food and accommodations. Belize Electricity Limited has tentatively pledged a combination of cash and prizes totaling $5000. This is to be confirmed at a later date.

    The committee met Wednesday evening to discuss the list of entertainers being considered at this time. These will be announced in next week's edition. Cultural entertainment from Guatemala and Mexico will be provided and the committee awaits contact from the remaining Mundo Maya countries.    

    Sponsorship is needed to make this festival a success. Cash sponsors are preferred, but anyone wishing to donate anything, financially, through services or product, may contact Melanie Paz at Amigos del Mar, 2706 or Gach Guerrero at Amigo Travel, 2180. Sponsorship categories and benefits are as follows: Grand Sponsor - $25,000 donation of cash or a combination of cash and services. Grand sponsors will have a street banner hung in a prominent downtown location one week prior to the Festival. Additionally, their company logo will appear on the sleeve of the official Costa Maya T-shirt, be printed on all tickets and will also be displayed at the festival grounds. The company will receive prominent media recognition before and after the festival, a booth to display product at the festival, and twelve festival passes. Diamond Sponsor - $10,000 donation of cash or a combination of cash and services. Diamond sponsors will have a street banner hung in a prominent downtown location one week prior to the festival, a company logo displayed on the backside of the official T-shirt, prominent media recognition before and during the festival, a booth to display product at the festival, and eight festival passes. Platinum Sponsor - $5,000 donation of cash or a combination of cash and services. Platinum sponsors will have a street banner, their logo displayed on the backside of the official T-shirt, mention on radio and in print media, and six festival passes. Gold Sponsor - $2,500 donation of cash and/or services. Gold sponsors will receive radio coverage and mention in the media, and four festival passes. Silver Sponsor - $1,000 donation of cash and/or services. Silver sponsors will be acknowledged in the print media and receive two passes. Bronze Sponsor - $500 donation of cash and/or services. Bronze sponsors will be acknowledged in the print media.



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