Carnaval 2003 - a unique tradition continues

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 8            March 6, 2003

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San Pedro Lions comparsa depicted "La Vencindad del Chavo"
Island children enjoy Carnaval

There was much speculation whether carnaval would take place this year as everything happening in Belize at the present time seemed to revolve around politics. Many were afraid that elections would obscure this year's celebrations but once again local residents made sure that the island tradition continued.

    Scores of children, youths and the "young at heart" formed a colorful mosaic on the streets of the island as they gleefully celebrated the three days of carnaval with festive spirits. Bright colors adorned the faces and bodies of hordes of locals and many tourists as they continued the long-standing tradition of painting each other with water-based paint, soot and sometimes lipstick; a custom unique to San Pedro. The comparsas (ethnic street dancing) added a more cultural side to the celebrations.

    The San Pedro Lions Club once again demonstrated their "carnaval spirit" as they danced all three days. On Sunday, the lively Lions depicted the Rastafarians. On Monday, they paid tribute to "La Vecindad del Chavo del Ocho," a comedic Mexican sitcom. Tuesday's finale featured the song "Los Frijoleros," portraying Mexican "bean pickers" who are angry with their US employers.

    Much praise should be given to the San Pedro Lions Club for ensuring that the comparsa tradition lives on and is instilled in the younger generation, and to Rosita Ayuso for writing this year's comparsa songs. Special thanks also goes out to Pauly's Pizza for the delicious pizza donated to the Lions comparsa, and everyone who contributed money for the dances.

    Carnaval enthusiasts enjoyed all three days of celebrating "to the max". Exhausted but elated street revelers retired to their homes filled with memories of the great fun they experienced during Carnaval 2003.

    The San Pedro Sun joins the community in saluting the San Pedro Lions Club, The Holiday Hotel, carnaval painters and all participants for helping keep the tradition alive.
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