Costa Maya 2006 a wild success!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 32            August 10, 2006

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Miss Honduras, Lissa Viera takes the 2006 Costa Maya crown!

On Thursday, pageant night, the festival grounds came to life as the six Mundo Maya beauty ambassadors illuminated the stage with their beauty and charm. Beautiful, talented and intelligent Lissa Viera, Miss Honduras, stole the hearts and the crown at this year’s La Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant, making history as the first Honduran to take the title. Pageant conductors were Lillian Villanueva, Mexican television personality and Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2005 Cynthia Olavarria.

    With dance numbers, swimsuit and national costume presentations, plus a question and answer session, the contestants kept the audience enthralled until at the end of the evening, the distinguished panel of judges had the difficult task of choosing one winner. The stunning and elegant 22-year-old Lissa Viera from Honduras won the hearts of the judges and crowd on Thursday night’s opening of the International Costa Maya Festival and Beauty Pageant. Lissa presented herself with much poise and elegance, which gave her the edge over the other beautiful and talented contestants from Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belize. Honduras made history as this was the first time that the country has won the Costa Maya crown. The lovely brunette, Cindy Cajuste, representing Mexico was named first runner-up. Miss Nicaragua’s Anahir Rocha was awarded the title of best costume, which depicted the melting pot of cultures that can be found in Nicaragua.

    The festival goers then celebrated the crowning of the new Miss Costa Maya as they danced the night away with the sounds of Grupo Sabor Latino.

Iliana Chan wins San Pedro Sun Costa Maya Contest!

The San Pedro Sun proudly hosted its first ever community Costa Maya contest during the Reina de la Costa Maya pageant to determine who would take the crown. As advertised, callers were given the opportunity to call in and cast their vote to choose which contestant they thought would win. The office received countless calls and the winner was chosen after the pageant had announced this year’s reigning queen, the stunning brunette, Lissa Viera Saenz who represented the beautiful country of Honduras. Callers who had voted for Miss Honduras were then raffled and the lucky victor was chosen. This year’s winner was none other than Iliana Chan, who was ecstatic to learn she had won the grand prize.

    Iliana got to meet Miss Costa Maya, Lissa Viera in person, and had her photograph taken with her. The photo was then printed at Gecko Graphics, autographed by Miss Viera and then framed at Isla Bonita Framing and Art Gallery. There, with the added artistic touch of gallery owner, Karen Sue Brown, the picture was made even more memorable. The San Pedro Sun representative Maria Novelo handed the prize over to its proud owner, who accepted with much delight. We take this opportunity to thank all participants of this year’s contest, and Karen Sue Brown of Isla Bonita Framing and Art Gallery for so generously donating her framing services. Be sure to look out for the contest next year, as it will surely be an annual event!

Costa Maya at a glance!

The four day weekend that was Costa Maya Festival 2006 provided much entertainment for residents and visitors alike. There was music and dancing and good food and Mexican beers to be had. Following are some images capturing what Costa Maya ’06 was all about!

The San Pedro Dance Company wowed the audience with their amazing moves and top-notch costumes and props. Joining them onstage was talented San Pedro vocalist Natalie Arceo, who enchanted everyone with her beautiful renditions of popular songs, including a delightful ditty by the late great Celia Cruz.

El Grupo Crash’s interpretation of modern dance songs had everyone moving to the beats. Their energy and charisma was present throughout the festival, and the audience was captivated.

Dance knows no boundaries. This festival-goer showed what she was made of as she danced away with one of the members of El Grupo Crash, much to the delight of the audience.

One of the headlining acts for Friday night was “Las Nenas de la Caña”. The beautiful ladies kept their audience involved and even managed to pull up some men onstage to help them with their “Atolation”. Mike and Brent Hess were willing participants onstage.

Despite not having mechanical rides for the children this year, the Festival Committe managed to secure some great entertainment. Actors donned costumes based on chilren’s fairy tales and interpreted some of the most popular stories, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty.

Cultural dancers had the entire audience captivated with their great dance numbers, and even managed to dance to the tunes when the dancers got off the stage to mingle with everyone. Even Miss Costa Maya got to show off her dance skills!

The pageant contestants got a real treat from Wings! Each of the six beauties got a $500 shopping spree, which they took advantage of last Wednesday, August 2nd. The new Miss Costa Maya, Lissa Viera, got an extra $500 spree after the pageant was over! Above they are pictured with Manager Monica Melwani and her staff at Wings.

Fans got up close and personal with Los Mismos from the moment they got off the plane to the end of the night! The group did not leave the festival grounds until every last picture was taken and every autograph had been signed! During the show, fans enjoyed old and new songs which they happily sang along to.

Belizean Alternative/Rock band Echoes hit the stage after Los Mismos, and die hard fans stayed on to rock to their favorite tunes, ranging from Santana to Mana to Guns ‘n’ Roses to Nirvana and of course, Metallica! (Naturally the staff of The San Pedro Sun and friends were there to enjoy every minute of it!)

Peace Corps volunteer Stacy Lang, also known as Pica, was on hand to amaze everyone with her incredible fire dancing show! The crowd was blown away by her grace and extreme theatrics with fire!

Seven outstanding body builders were on stage to showcase their muscular physique, pose for the cameras while San Pedro got to see for the first time an exhibition that is slated to return to San Pedro in the future.
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