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Aug 20, 1999

Hondurans perform at Costa Maya

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On Wednesday the Guatemalans took the stage at San Pedro’s Costa Maya Festival and a new queen of the coast was crowned from Mexico. In tonight’s report Janelle Chanona is back with a look at what the Hondurans were up to.

It was supposed to have been Honduras night at the Costa Maya Festival but after a last minute cancellation by one of the two groups, believed caused by immigration problems in San Pedro Sula, it was a dance group from San Pedro that dominated the stage. Despite the no show, the Honduran ambassador to Belize still feels both countries benefited from last night’s event.

Oscar Bueso, Honduran Ambassador to Belize

“It’s an honor for Honduras to participate. We’ve been part of it for the past eight years and we’re very proud to be part of a festival that unites the Central American countries, demonstrating that by uniting, we can achieve a lot.”

While Belize’s tourism is getting a boost from the festival, the Minister of Tourism from Honduras, Norman Garcia, has had difficulty trying to promote his country in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.

Norman Garcia, Minister of Tourism, Honduras

“The two main destinations which are the Copan Mayan Ruins and the Bay Islands, as a diving destination, are intact. However, it’s been very difficult for us to project to the world that those two destinations are in good shape because the idea is that the whole country is devastated. And as I said before yes we were hit very badly but those two main destinations are intact. The first four or five months of this year has been very rough tourism wise but it’s beginning to pick up and we hope to end the year in a much better shape than last year.”

In conjunction to the festival, San Pedro is also playing host to a meeting of the Ministers of Tourism from the five Mundo Maya countries. Garcia believes that the countries can best be marketed as a regional package.

Norman Garcia

“When you go to Europe, you say, “I’m going to Europe.” Why? Because you visit two or three countries, at least. This is what we’re looking after, to become a multi-destination and to be able to share among ourselves what we don’t have.”

One thing we didn’t have was a problem with the weather. The crowd was substantial and while they may have been disappointed over the lack of quantity in the Honduran delegation, the quality of Los Rolands de la Cieba made it difficult for you to stay in your seat.

Janelle Chanona for News Five.

There’s still a big weekend ahead at San Pedro as Mexico takes center stage on Friday night, Belize headlines on Saturday and El Salvador is featured on Sunday night. News Five’s coverage of the Costa Maya Festival is made possible through the sponsorship of the Belize Marine Terminal and Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association. Check them out at the foot of the Swing Bridge for a comfortable ride to the festival.

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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