Karen Russell crowned Miss Belize 2001- 2002

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 48            December 6, 2001

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Miss Belize 2001-2002
Karen Russell

Twenty three year-old Karen Russell was crowned Miss Belize 2001-2002 last Friday evening at the Belize City Center. Miss Russell, representing "The New Image for a New Millennium" will attend the Miss Universe Pageant sometime next year. In her biography data Karen attributes "the person" she is to the teachings instilled by her family, the lessons she learned in the classroom, and the experiences she has encountered in her life. She stated she has entered pageants before, and admits that, while the previous decisions were all self-motivated, the decision to enter the Miss Belize Pageant was a result of much encouragement from her friends, support from her family, as well as the desire to act as an ambassador for her country.

    Presently, Karen is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She also works part-time at the tourism booth at the International Airport as a tourist information operator.

    As the new Miss Belize 2001-2002, Karen will have a planned itinerary for her year of reign. Tiffara Nicole Reynolds was named first runner-up and Becky Bernard was voted the second runner-up.

    Miss Belize Pageant has come a long way. The following information about the history of  Pageants Belize/Miss Belize Pageant was contributed by Pageants Belize - Miss Belize Organization.

    The Pageant that is now Miss Belize began as Miss Belize Independence in 1966. At that time each of the six districts chose a contestant to be its representative in the Miss Belize Independence Pageant. Belize was on the road to independence and Miss Belize Independence symbolized that. In essence, this was just a beauty pageant and nothing more. Miss Independence would participate in the Tenth of September parade.

    As Miss Belize began to participate in international pageants, most notably Miss Universe, and Belize achieved its independence, the pageant became Miss Belize with the sole purpose of selecting a person to participate in the Battle of St. George's Caye Day and Independence Day parades and the Miss Universe Pageant.

    In 1987, under the directorship of Solie Arguelles of Pageants Belize, Miss Belize evolved with a new perspective and focus; one which was tied into the newly prioritized tourism industry. For the first time the pageant was promoted by the private sector in a professional manner with a clear vision. Miss Belize was to be a goodwill ambassador and standards and criteria were defined for prospective candidates. Miss Belize became more involved in national activities from which she gained knowledge of Belize, making her well-versed in all aspects of Belizean life and natural attractions and resources. This prepared her for the role of Belize's Ambassador both nationally and internationally. She also began to attend other international pageants such as Miss World, Miss Wonderland, Reina del Coco, Nuestra Belleza, Reina de la Costa, Miss Teen Latina, Belleza Mundial, Miss Caribbean and Miss Meso America.

    As Miss Belize enters the new millennium, it is obvious that there are existing realities and new challenges, which confront both Belize as a developing country and the rest of the world. These are diverse and many, and range from global warming and ozone layer depletion, to crushing cycles of poverty and child abuse, to globalization and the market economy and the new plague which kills - AIDS.

    Miss Belize must fit into these new realities with a purpose of making a difference while pursuing her own dream. She can no longer be just a pretty face and a goodwill ambassador. It is with that in mind that Pageants Belize was re-structured and re-organized.

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