Ella Carr crowned Miss Garifuna San Pedro 2001-2002

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 46            November 22, 2001

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Miss Ella Carr receives crown from reigning Miss Garifuna Elsy Soriano

With tears of joy, contestant number four, Ella Carr was crowned Miss Garifuna San Pedro last Saturday at Central Park. This cultural extravaganza brought out many locals and visitors to witness the rich Garifuna heritage, which enlightened and entertained everyone present. From the gate workers, Mel Spain and Melanie Paz who dressed in traditional Garifuna attire, to the creatively adorned stage, the Garifuna Council did not spare any detail in making this a first-class event. As the sounds of the drums announced the commencement of the pageant, "showers of blessing" rained down but did not discourage the organizers or those attending. The Garifuna version of the Belize National Anthem was sung, followed by opening remarks from Mayor Alberto Nuñez. Acting as conductors for the pageant were Mr. Sebastian Cayetano and Miss Jackefah Castillo while Ms. Gladys Garcia translated in Spanish.

    The contestants, Berthalidia Melendez, Arainee Swaso, Eden Velasquez and Ella Carr, were judged in various categories. They were scored on their fluency in the Garifuna language; how well they danced to the beat of the drums during cultural dances, talent presentation, and a question and answer segment. The contestants' first appearance and introduction speech took place while dancing to the beat of Hungunhungu. In this portion of the pageant they were joined by the reigning Miss Garifuna San Pedro, Elsy Soriano. This was followed by the Chumba, the second creative Garifuna dance , and then by the Punta. The Mata Muerte and Wanaragua, or John Canoe Dance, were then performed by invited guests, giving the audience another sample of lively Garifuna dances. The contestants' last appearance was to the beat of the Paranda.

    When the moment of truth arrived, it was Ella Carr who was named Miss Garifuna San Pedro 2001-2002. Ella received two roundtrip tickets to Houston and a host of other prizes. Berthalidia Melendez was named first runner up and Eden Velasquez placed second. All the participants received marvelous consolation prizes and bouquets.

    The judges for this year's pageant were Ms. Sylvia Arana, Mrs. Isabel Cayetano, Mr. Charles Alvarez and Mr. Justin Arana. The San Pedro Garifuna Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the drummers Derrick Nasario, Duwayne Castillo and Ranny Alvarez; the singers from Belize City; the John Canoe Dancers from Dangriga; chief organizer Mrs. Julia Martinez; trainers Julia Martinez, Sally Maximo and Iris Velasquez; tabulators Hermojenes Acosta and Shawmella Kelly; bartenders, gate workers and sponsors Castillo's Hardware, Nancy's Store, San Pedro Town Council, Amigos del Mar and Black & White Reggae Bar.

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