Belize takes the 2007 Costa Maya Crown

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 31            August 9, 2007

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2007 Reina de la Costa Maya is Miss Belize, Maria Jeffery!

Mexico and Belize, Nicaragua and Honduras during the swimsuit fashion show.

Guatemala and El Salvador also strut their stuff during the fashion show.

The winning costume was worn by Miss Mexico, Isis Barrera.

Felicita Arzu, Miss Belize World, wowed the crowd with her renditions of popular songs during the interlude.

All six beautiful contestants in their gorgeous evening gowns await the announcement of the winner.

It was a joyous occasion once Miss Belize was announced as the winner.

From left to right: Daniela Lacayo (Nicaragua), 2nd runner up, Leilah Pandy, Maria Jeffery (2007 Winner), Liliana Nuñez (Miss San Pedro) and Isis Amor Barrera (Mexico) and first runner up.

Thursday night marked the perfect opening night for the much anticipated 2007 International Costa Maya Festival. Well in its sixteenth year, the festival kicked off with a bang as hundreds flocked to the festival grounds to witness the selection of the Reina de la Costa Maya 2007-2008. Each of the six contestants proudly represented their respective countries, but at the end of the night, it was Miss Maria Jeffery representing Belize that dazzled the audience and judges with her grace, poise and charming ways, capturing the prominent title of the night. Miss Belize Maria Jeffrey bested queens from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and El Salvador.

    Well worth the wait, the festival-goers were delighted by the beauty and elegance of the six delegates who took center stage with the unleashed melodious voice of Natalie Arceo and the San Pedro Dance Company for a colorful hip busting number. Hosting the evening affair were two gorgeous ladies: Nuestra Belleza Maria Jose Rosado Solis and again making her appearance was Mexican Television personality, Lilian Villanueva who added some extra sizzle to the pageant. The six beauties were judged on cultural presentation, swimwear, dance performance and eveningwear as well as their answers to the final interview questions.

    Following the opening number was the costume segment which had each contestant adorned in exotic traditional costumes illuminating the stage with their splendor and charisma. The girls were poised as they walked in all the splendor of the Mayan Gods that they each depicted with much flair.

    An added treat for the evening was a musical presentation by Miss World Belize, Felicita Arzu who delighted the audience with her extra special solo performance. Her harmonious voice kept the crowd in humming with her favorite songs like “I’m every woman” and a Spanish Ana Gabriel hit, “Quien Como Tu”. Next up was the swimsuit competition and a first for the festival, a fashion show. The ladies modeled their swimsuits on stage whilst strutting their stuff and showcasing their superior modeling skills to the masses. Throughout the evening all of the contestants received thunderous applause from the audience, but the final decision was surely a difficult task for the judges as all the ladies were worthy of the crown.

    The end of the evening had all six gorgeous queens in all their beauty and splendor donning their evening wear. All elegant they took to the stage and did not hesitate to flash their beautiful smiles to audience members and judges.

    The night came down to the final moments as the delegates were put on the spot during the question and answer the distinguished panel of judges consisting of Melanie Paz, Vanya Nuñez, David Gegg, Miguel Angel Trinidad and Arlando Smith the numbers were tallied and the winners were announced.

    With her traditional costume depicting the one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichén Itza, Miss Mexico Isis Barrera won the hearts of the judges with the gorgeous elaborate jade and gold colored ensemble. The announcement of the placements followed with second runner up going to Miss Nicaragua’s Daniela Lacayo and first runner up title going to no other than Miss Mexico’s Isis Barrera. The moment everyone waited for was a suspenseful one yet a sweet victory for our nation as the hosts announced that Belize’s very own Maria Jeffery was chosen as the 2007 Reina del la Costa Maya. The last time Belize won the title was in 2003 with Leila Pandy and now Maria Jeffery will follow in those steps and reign in her home soil.

    At other intervals, the crowd got treated to performances from the steel band, Natalie Arceo, Take the Lead and the good vibrations of DNA. Overall it was great entertainment for all ages marking the official beginning of the year’s festivities. Kudos to the Costa Maya Festival Committee for yet another blockbuster event!

    Following are pictures that follow through the rest of the nights of Costa Maya 2007. We hope to see you in 2008!

Friday night brought some great entertainment at the stage of the International Costa Maya Pageant. Mario Barrios from Guatemala took the crowd through a musical journey.

Las Chicas de Samba brought their Honduran beat, charisma, and undisputed punta shakes to the stage. Audience members could not wait to get in on the fun.

Belizean talent also shone through with San Pedro’s very own dance company, who put on a spectacular show for the audience.

As always Grupo Crash entertained all and their dances were unparalleled. (Photo Courtesy of Shawn Tewes, Positive Vibes)

Ricardo Montaner, his hits, his moves, the fact that despite the rain he remained belting out his tunes, made for a wonderful International Night at the Costa Maya Festival.

From start to finish, International Night was a great success!

Chabelita made everyone’s belly bust at the seams with her comical antics. She is pictured below confessing her misbehavior to her “priest”.

    The San Pedro Sun held its first ever community Costa Maya contest last year. This year, the community was asked to take a good look at the six gorgeous delegates and determine who they thought would walk away with the crown. As advertised, callers were given the opportunity to call in and cast their votes. “Last year we placed the announcement three weeks in advance, and this year, only one week. We got far more calls this time than in the past year. People are recognizing that it does not take much to win and hey, it is a wonderful memento of the festival; one to keep for years to come,” commented Kainie Manuel, Associate Editor/Senior Reporter for The San Pedro Sun.

    After the pageant and once the world knew Maria Jeffery had won, callers who had voted for Miss Belize were then raffled and the lucky victor was chosen. This year’s winner was Rosita Aldana of the Moon Dancer Boutique, who was ecstatic to learn she had won the grand prize.

    Rosita got to meet Miss Costa Maya, Maria Jeffrey in person, and had her photograph taken with her. The photo was then printed at Gecko Graphics, autographed by Miss Jeffery and then framed by 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 takes 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. “Next year voting can start from the first week that the Costa Maya Committee announces its first delegate. We will definitely try to have bigger prizes next year. So, stay in tune,” she ended.

    Congratulations Rosita!!!
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