Elisha Gonzalez, crowned Miss Garifuna!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 45            November 17, 2005

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With the theme “Keep Garifuna culture alive at home, in our community and worldwide” and the fantastic drum beat, nine-year-old Elisha Gonzalez was crowned Miss Garifuna San Pedro 2005-2006. The Lions Den echoed with laughter and applause as she was announced the new queen.

   The night officially started with the drum beats and lively rhythms by the special drummers and singers of the night (Delton Polonio, Sony Garcia, Isabella Gonzalez and Agnus Gonzalez).

   The girls danced their way to the stage with the traditional Hugu Hugu to make their introductions. Janine Franzua, Sheila Velasquez, Rahgeedah Williams and Elisha Gonzalez all proudly walked on stage to display their rich Garifuna culture.

   Throughout the night, the four beauties entertained with their various traditional dances including the Punta and Chumba. The highlight of the evening was the girls’ with their individual dance and presentation. The different presentation carried various meanings; Janine spoke of her love of dance, the fact that although she wants to go to bed and sleep, the beat of the drums keeps her awake and alive. Sheila spoke of a hard working woman working on the milpa and upon going to work she stumbles on the body of a dead person. Rahgeedah highlighted the importance of listening to one’s parents. She talked about a young woman that decided to go fishing on her canoe although she did not have her parents’ approval. During her venture the boat almost capsized and she realized that no one would have known where she was because she had gone without permission. Finally, Elisha depicted reaping the fruits of one’s labor. A farmer had worked his entire life and because of it was able to have three farms.

   The spontaneity of the pageant was certainly proven when pageant coordinator Latifah Maximo joined the Mistress of Ceremonies Yolanda Nuńez on stage for a demonstration of the Chumba. It was a great delight to all!

   By the end of the night, everybody’s spirits were high and filled with joy and laughter at the spectacular show put on. But, there was still one order of business, announcing the winner. Elisha Gonzalez took home the crown, while second place was taken by Rahgeedah Williams.

   Congratulations to Elisha Gonzalez and everyone is invited to come out and celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day on November 18th at the Central Park.

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