It's here - The 2002 International Costa Maya Festival!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 31            August 15, 2002

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Pageant co-host Johnny Lozada
Festival headliner Maribel Guardia

The stage is set, the grounds are ready and the excitement is mounting as tonight (Thursday) marks the beginning of the long-awaited 2002 International Costa Maya Festival. Kicking off the four days of festivities is the ever-glamorous Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant. Scheduled to commence at 8:00 p.m., this particular event will showcase representatives from the five Mundo Maya countries in swimsuit, cultural and evening wear, followed by a question and answer session. Co-hosting this affair will be popular ex-Menudo singer/actor Johnny Lozada who will be accompanied by beautiful Miss Costa Maya 2000 Sandra Glower of El Salvador and Miss Costa Maya Belize 2001 representative, Melina Diaz.

    Earlier this week, the five delegates received their official sashes during a brief ceremony held at Ramon's Village. On Saturday, the girls were introduced to the San Pedro community during Noche Sanpedrana hosted by Rico's Restaurant at The Villas at Banyan Bay. The delegates were welcomed by Deputy Mayoress Mel Spain, Costa Maya Festival Director Melanie Paz and Area Representative Patty Arceo, who also presented the beauty ambassadors with a commemorative Costa Maya pin. The five beauties were accompanied by Miss San Pedro Dilcia Trejo and past Costa Maya representatives Charlotte Romero, Sandra Glower and Melina Diaz. Those attending were serenaded throughout the evening by Wil Nuñez and Dale Wallace, and entertained by Barbara's Dance Group and the San Pedro Dance Company. Since their arrival to "La Isla Bonita," the ladies have participated in various outings and also spent numerous hours rehearsing for tonight's presentation, which promises to be a "first-class" event. The five delegates competing for the 2002 Reina de la Costa Maya crown are: Becky Bernard representing Belize, Pamela Portillo of El Salvador, Paula Alonso of Guatemala, Lesly Caballero of Honduras and Elsa Burgos of Mexico. Joining them at the event will be the reigning Reina de la Costa Maya Evelyn Lopez of Guatemala.

    Friday night will feature the diverse cultures of the Mundo Maya countries together on one stage. Professional performances by the Ballet Folklorico del Instituto Tecnologico de Quintana Roo, Gary y su Grupo Precaucion de Merida, Lico Vadelli cultural group from Guatemala, Ballet de la Universidad Nacional de El Salvador, Cuadro Nacional de Danzas Folkloricos de Honduras, San Pedro Dance Company and Barbara's Dance Group will illuminate the stage with their spectacular shows.

Reina de la Costa Maya delegates
    On Saturday, August 17th Santino's Messengers of Belize City will liven things up prior to the festival headliner - Latin bombshell Maribel Guardia performing her biggest  hits, backed by the sensuous sounds of her wonderful Mariachis. The party will continue until the wee hours of the morning with more music by Santino's Messengers.

    The party continues on Sunday with a Belize Jump-Up with Santino's Messengers and entertainment courtesy of the Belize Bodybuilding team. Throughout this four-day event, attendees can enjoy tasty treats from the food court and take advantage of some great deals from the product booths. 

    Tickets for the festival are still available for: Season Passes - Adults - $85/Children $40. Day Passes - Adults - $20/Children $10. International Night Passes - Adults - $50/Children $20. Tickets can be purchased at Fantasy Garden Restaurant, Amigo Travel, Emerita Muñoz, Wally's Electrical, Sea Turtle Gift Shop, Nellie's Laundromat, Ambergris Store, Island Magic, Lala's Store, Excalibur Tours and Milo's Store.

     The Costa Maya Committee would like to thank the following sponsors who have pledged their generous support. Diamond - Coca Cola, Ramon's Village Resort, Cuello's Distillery and the San Pedro Town Council. Platinum - Maya Island Air, Estereo Amor/Love FM, Tropic Air, Belize Tourism Board, Belize Rural South, Reef Radio and Mash Company Limited (Krystal Shipping). Special Gold - TACA Airlines. Gold - The San Pedro Sun, Moncho's Rentals, BEL and Ambergris Today. Silver - American Airlines, Medical University of the Americas, Tabony Industries, Victoria House, The Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank, Milo's Ice and Milo's Money Exchange. Bronze - Amigos del Mar, Coral Cable Vision, Moon Dancer Boutique, Venus Swimwear, Jaguar's Temple Night Club and Rehab Lounge, and Sol Caribe. Restaurant Sponsors - Blue Water Grill, Caliente, Fido's Courtyard, Mickey's Place, Victoria House, Celi's, Elvi's Kitchen, Fantasy Garden Restaurant, Rico's Restaurant and Wet Willie's. Hotel Sponsors - SunBreeze Hotel, Holiday Hotel, El Pescador, Corona del Mar, Caribbean Villas, Spindrift Hotel, Belize Yacht Club, Caribe Island Resort, Paradise Hotel and Mayan Princess. Friends of the Festival - TMM and Angelus Press.
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