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Jul 30, 2004

Contestants arrive for Costa Maya

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It happens each year around this time and seems to get better and better. Today the first contestants began to arrive for San Pedro?s Costa Maya pageant and as Patrick Jones reports, the level of competition is high.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

The Six contestants in this year?s Costa Maya pageant come with some impressive credentials. Organizer Marisa Salazar says it?s the biggest competition to date.

Marisa Salazar, Organizer, Costa Maya Pageant

?Well this year we have, apart from the five countries that have participated the past nine years, we have for the first time will have Costa Rica. From Mexico, we have Nuestra Belleza Yucatan Marisol Rojas; we have Miss Guatemala Marva Weatherbourne; from El Salvador we have first runner up Rocio Caseres from the national pageant; Costa Rica we have Shirley Calvo which is also Miss Costa Rica world, and for Belize we have Farah Evans one of the finalists for last year. So this year it seems it will be a pretty tight competition.?

But even though the competition will be stiff, when News Five caught up with the regional beauties over lunch, they appear to be having the time of their lives. Belize?s Farah Evans says for her, it?s a dream come true.

Farah Evans, Belize

?It means a lot. It?s always been a dream of mine to represent my country in an international pageant. And that?s what this is; it?s my representing Belize. And it?s even better because its here in Belize. So I have home court advantage.?

Rocio Caseres, El Salvador

?It?s a goal; it?s something really special in my life. I mean this is something that if you win, you are going to represent our culture; what we are made of. And that?s an honour, to any of us. Just being here it?s an honour. So it does mean a lot to me to represent my country, their culture, our culture and to know even more cultures, it?s amazing.?

Shirley Calvio, Costa Rica

?It?s really an honour to represent my country at an event as important as this one, the Costa Maya pageant, in such a beautiful neighbouring country. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to show the world, or in this case Belize, a little bit of Costa Rica.?

Marva Weatherbourne, Guatemala

It?s a big responsibility as the reigning Miss Guatemala pageant to be here in Belize for the first time, and I am very happy to share the culture of my country.?

The competition will feature the ladies in cultural wear, swimsuit, evening gown and a question and answer period. Salazar says while they appear relaxed right now, the schedule over the next five days will give the contestants little time to focus on anything other than the pageant.

Marisa Salazar

?This morning we had a tour of the city, we will be taking them to Altun Ha and Maruba, they will be doing a river trip, we have an all day beach tour scheduled for them in San Pedro, they?ll be visiting Hol Chan and of course there will be lots of rehearsals.?

While Evans opted to keep her cultural presentation under wraps until pageant night, the other three contestants we spoke with say they will each depict different aspects of their culture, all based on the Maya.

Rocio Caseres, El Salvador

?My dress is, actually of the Xochicalli goddess, but basically its just representing our whole lives, our whole day to day basis and what we were, what we are and what we are becoming. So basically that?s what I want to represent on stage.?

Marva Weatherbourne, Guatemala

?I made my own costume, which comprises the blue and white colours of the Guatemalan flag. The costume will depict Quetzalcuat, which is a god that was worshipped in the Peten area.?

Shirley Calvio, Costa Rica

?My cultural costume will represent the traditional indigenous culture of Costa Rica, from the northern part of the country. It?s an area called Guanacaste and is similar to the Maya, except in this case the Maya of Costa Rica.?

And in case the organizers forgot to send you an invitation, here is a personal invitation to the Costa Maya pageant, courtesy Miss El Salvador.

Rocio Caseres, El Salvador

?I just want to say that this pageant is going to be one of the best. Don?t miss it. I think its going to be on Thursday at eight in San Pedro, so just enjoy it. Just come and watch and enjoy it. It?s going to be a blast.?

Patrick Jones, for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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