It's here - The International Costa Maya Festival 2003

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 30            August 7, 2003

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Miss San Pedro Jenine Haylock with pageant contestants from Mexico, Guatemala, Reina de la Costa Maya 2002 Elsa Burgos, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize

The stage is set for entertainment, as tonight (August 7th) is the Opening Night of the International Costa Maya Festival 2003. This evening five lovely young ladies will compete for the title "Reina de la Costa Maya."

     Last Saturday night, the five Mundo Maya contestants (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize) were officially given their respective sashes at "Noche Sanpedrana," a special ceremony held at Rico's Restaurant at Banyan Bay. Each contestant was given the opportunity to introduce herself to the community and each stated that they were very happy to be in San Pedro. They commented that although they had just arrived on Friday, they were enjoying themselves already. Miss Costa Maya 2002 Elsa Burgos from Mexico was also present. She stated "I am very happy to be back in San Pedro and here, I feel at home. Although I am from Mexico, I have adopted Belize as my second home. I come from far away, but to be here justifies the long distance I had to travel." Mayoress Elsa Paz and Miss San Pedro 2002-2003 Jenine Haylock then presented each of the lovely young ladies with a commemorative island pin.

     Musical entertainment was provided by San Pedro's dynamic duo, Wil and Dale, and dance presentations were given by the San Pedro Dance Company and Barbara's Dance Group.

     Following is a short biography of this year's five Mundo Maya contestants.

     Leilah Pandy, 22, Miss Belize 2003 will represent our beautiful host country. Leilah is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Princess Casino in Belize City.

     Rocio Linnette Macal, 19, Miss Santa Ana, will represent El Salvador. Rocio is in her third year of studying social communications at the "Universidad Centroamer̀cana José Simeón Cañas" in El Salvador.

Pageant host Gabriel Soto arrives in San Pedro

     Karla Isabel Mendoza Kipps, 24, is the contestant who will proudly represent Honduras. She is a second year Communications and Advertising student at the "Universidad of San Pedro Sula" in Honduras. Karla is also an executive for the BuyUsa Program at FIDE.

     Karla hobbies include translating for Medical Brigades and she also enjoys helping out at the Pastor Fasquelle Ecological Foundation.

     Carina Velasquez is the contestant who will represent Guatemala. Carina was Miss Guatemala 2002 and represented her country in the Miss Universe Pageant last year.           

    Diana Juarez Rodriguez de la Gala will represent Mexico. Diana Rodriguez vied for the tile of "Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2002" (Miss Mexico) representing the state of Campeche.  

     The schedule for this year's activities is as follows: Thursday, August 7th, 2003 - Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant hosted by Mexican actor, model and singer Gabriel Soto, and co-host, Mexican television personality Lillian Villanueva. Entertainment will be provided by Guatemalan band "El tambor de la Tribu" and Belizean singer Nadine Espat from San Ignacio, Cayo District. Friday, August 8th, 2003 - Presentations by Identidades cultural group from El Salvador and also performances by Honduran musical band "Las Chicas Roland". Saturday, August 9th, 2003 - International Night featuring Cuban singer and actress, Niurka Marcos. Super G with Grigaholix will also perform. Also, presentations by Mexican cultural group Sian Ka'an and mariachis - Los Compadres from Merida, Yucatan. The San Pedro Dance Company will entertain the crowd with dance performances. Sunday, August 10th, 2003 - All day "jump up" with added entertainment by Mexican cultural groups and the San Pedro High School Band.     

     Tickets for the festival are on sale for: Season Passes - Adults $85/Children $40; Day Passes - Adults $20/Children $10; International Night Passes - Adults $50/Children $20. Costa Maya 2003 tickets can be purchased at: Ambergris Store, Amigo Travel, Belize Rural South Office, Excalibur Tours, Fantasy Garden, Island Magic Salon, Emerita Muñoz, Lala's Store, Milo's Store, Sea Turtle and Wally's Electrical Supplies.

     The Costa Maya Committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Diamond - Ramon's Village Resort, San Pedro Town Council, and Bowen and Bowen Limited; Platinum - Belize Tourism Board, Estereo Amor/Love FM, Tropic Air, Mash Company Limited/Krystal Shipping and Reef Radio; Gold - The San Pedro Sun, Alliance Bank of Belize Limited, Ambergris Today, Moncho's Golf Cart Rentals, Milo's Ice and Milo's Money Exchange, Graniel's Construction, and Thunderbolt; Silver - Atlantic Bank Limited, Southwind Properties, Maya Island Air, Discovery Expeditions, Jaguar's Rehab Lounge, Belize Social Security, Amigos del Mar, TMM, Travel & Tour Belize and Belize Electricity Limited; and Bronze - Moon Dancer Boutique, Sagittarius, Coral Cable Vision, Jaguar's Temple Nite Club, Belize Bank Limited, Angelus Press, Polo's Golf Cart Rentals, Cholo's Bar & Golf Cart Rental, San Pedro Hardware, The Palace Amusements Limited and Harmouch Store. Restaurant Sponsors - El Divino, Celi's, Elvi's Kitchen, Mickey's Place, Caliente, Fido's, Fantasy Garden, Rico's, Mambo Restaurant and Ramon's. Hotel Sponsors - Paradise Resort, Holiday Hotel, Corona del Mar, Mayan Princess, Martha's Hotel, Royal Palm Condominiums, Belize Yacht Club, Blue Tang, SunBreeze, Nellie's Property Management, Banana Beach Resort, Victoria House, Caribe Island Resort and Coconut's Beach Resort. Friends of Costa Maya - Apex Money Exchange, Richie's Store and Reef Seekers Glass Bottom Boat.
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