As the Costa Maya Festival grows every year, so does its popularity throughout Central America and beyond. Good word of the festival has reached Puerto Rico and they have offered to send a contestant to this year's pageant. For the first time ever, the pageant will have a sixth contestant. Representing "La Isla Encantada" Puerto Rico will be Miss Ymak Fagundo Soto. Honduras will be sending 18 year old, Ms. Gill Lorie Grant, El Salvador will be represented by the second finalist of Miss El Salvador 1999, Ms. Marcella Eugenia Godoy Mancia who will join Miss World Guatemala, Beatriz Gonzalez Schell and Nuestra Belleza Colima 1998, Ms. Denise Guzman representing Mexico. Representing Belize is San Pedro's own Miss Vanya Vasquez.
Entertainment for all the nights has now been confirmed beginning with Tuesday, August 17th - El Salvador, featuring Grupo Do Mayor and Ballet Nacional de El Salvador; Wednesday, August 18th - Guatemala will feature the band Nueva Era and the fabulous Guatemalan Ballet - Grupo Inguat; Thursday, August 19th - Honduras has announced that they will be represented by the vibrant sounds of Los Rolands. This is a dynamic fourteen member band from San Pedro Sula which promises to keep everyone dancing the night away. Honduras will also feature Grupo Coma Yagueta, winner of the National Festival of Folkloric Dances 1998-99; Friday, August 20th is Mexico night and will showcase the comedic duo Huarachin and Huarachon. They will be only part of a night filled with excitement as the band Flashback, Mariachi Los Galleros and dancers from the Instituto Technologico de Chetumal, Quintana Roo will also perform. Saturday, August 21st - International Night featuring the band Kairo. Gilharry 7 and the Belize Dance Co., both sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board. Grand Sunday will feature local artists who are being solicited to perform free of charge. Scheduled are Gilharry 7, San Pedro Dance Company and Barbara's Dance Group. There is also great news for the children. Tuki Tuki, the official San Pedro mascot has informed the San Pedro Sun it will make an appearance at the festival grounds every night to give away candy to the kiddies.
The committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Grand Sponsor - Grupo TACA, the official airline of the Costa Maya International Festival; Platinum Sponsors - Tropic Air and Krystal Shipping; Diamond Sponsors - Cuello's Distillery, Estereo Amor/Love FM, Ramon's Village and San Pedro Town Board; Gold Sponsor - San Pedro Sun, Belize Tourist Board, Maya Island Air, and Ambergris Today; Silver Sponsors - Atlantic Bank, Belize Bank, Pete's Enterprises and Southwind Properties; Bronze Sponsors - Amigos del Mar, Angelus Press, La Popular Bakery, Lino's Meats, Maple Plastics and NOVA Co. Reina de La Costa Maya Sponsor - Coco Palm Restaurant, Elvi's Kitchen, Island Cuisine and Tropica. The Noche San Pedrana will be hosted by Victoria House. This is the evening set aside for the pageant contestants to meet with business leaders of the community. An additional sponsor of the festival is Bowen & Bowen. Hotels are being solicited to sponsor lodging for the event. Those contributing are Bananas Beach Resort, Banyan Bay, Coconuts Hotel, Holiday Hotel, Mayan Princess, Paradise Resort Hotel, Playador Hotel, Ramon's Village, Royal Palm Villas, SunBreeze Hotel and Victoria House. Other generous donations have been received from BC's Beach Bar, Langdon Supply, Nellie's Laundromat and Polo's Golf Cart Rental.
Season passes for the festival will be available for the following prices: adults - $85; children - $40; nightly tickets (at the gate) adult - $20, and children - $15 except for Saturday, Belize Night when Kairo will perform and tickets will cost $40.
The next meeting will be held Thursday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Paradise Resort Hotel. Anyone needing further information should contact Ms. Elsie Morataya or Mr. Wil Alamilla Jr. at the Costa Maya office at 026-3016, Monday through Friday during normal working hours.
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