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Aug 2, 2013

Reina de la Costa Maya… And the Winner is Miss Belize!

One of the highlights of the annual International Costa Maya Festival in la Isla Bonita is the pageant which seeks to promote the Maya culture. Central American and Mexican delegates competed for the coveted title based on cultural presentation, swimwear and evening gown.  On Thursday night, it went down to the wire as the bevy of beauties strutted on the stage and then took on questions to test their intellectual skills. In the end, only one would take the crown. Duane Moody looks at the winners in the pageant.


[Announcement of winner…]


Destinee Arnold, Winner, Reina De La Costa Maya 2013

“Belize, I’m just so excited that I’ve made you proud and I hope that this instilled a little bit of hope in young girls that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Thank you for my team and all the people that I mentioned during the interview. I couldn’t have done it without you. I am blessed to have you. Thank you.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Miss Belize is the new Reina de la Costa Maya 2013. Twenty-year old Destinee Arnold captured the title and brought the crown back to the jewel on Thursday night after some three hours of competition on poise, presence and portrayal of the proud Mayan culture. This is the third time that Belize has won the title; first with Leilah Pandy in 2004, Maria Jeffrey, six years ago in 2007 and now Destinee Arnold in 2013.


Marleni Cuellar

Destinee Arnold

“We’ve been competing for quite a while and we hadn’t won the title in six years actually. Was that something you kinda had with you throughout the competition; thinking it is time for us to bring it back home?”


Destinee Arnold

“That was definitely my mindset. I am the first Miss Belize to go up for Costa Maya since Maria Jeffrey, so that was a heavy weight on my shoulders and something I really had to uphold and I had to become my country and make sure I represented them well and bring that crown home.”


Starting slightly off schedule, the pageant commenced just after eight-thirty p.m. with only seven delegates—as Guatemala’s delegate had to return home due to an emergency. The delegates took to the stage boasting their effervescent personalities in the cultural costume segment.


….there was a boost of energy as the swimwear segment featured the delegates as they swayed and strutted across the stage to showcase their physique.


And then it was the evening wear. A kaleidoscope of colors as the delegates sashayed their way across the stage. They showed poise and elegance before the anticipated question and answer segment.


But in the end, after several hours of competition, Destinee won the hearts of the judges and the title as Reina de la Costa Maya.


In a sit down interview this morning on Open Your Eyes, Destinee spoke of striking that balance of keeping her identity as a Belizean while still competing in the international level.


Destinee Arnold

“I am Belize. What more can I do, but be Belize. I think that there is not much of a difference. When you go to an international competition, you become your country and you represent it and you show the world the beauty of your country and that is just the ultimate goal and I think I’ve accomplished that.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So Destinee, tell me, how is your Spanish?”


Destinee Arnold

“Oh, my Spanish is not good. I try. I took three years of it in high school, but since I didn’t have anyone that I could speak it with at home, I eventually lost it. So when things are said, I could pick up on certain words. But when it comes to responding, I’m like a deer in a headlight…I have to conjugate this verb, this way. But the beauty of this pageant is that since we have different tongues, instead of letting it make us divert, I made sure I helped it unite us. I’ll teach you some English, if you teach me some Spanish. My roommate was Miss Mexico and she spoke very little English, so we had like some hand gestures going on. We were playing charades in our room all the time and the one I learned was ‘lista.’ “Lista?” Ready? Like I told the judges in my interview, never tell me that I can’t do something because I’m gonna make sure that I prove you wrong. And not just to prove you wrong, but for personal satisfaction knowing that I overcame an obstacle. And I think that instead of letting something set you back, you’ve got to think positively and keep on giving it your all and make the best of it.”


Destinee also had words of advice for those who aspire to follow in her footsteps.


Destinee Arnold

“It can be a lot of pressure, a lot of stress. You definitely have to be a strong-minded person; not letting people’s comments bring you down because there is a lot more to the crown than the glitz and the glam. You are truly an ambassador for whatever region, state or country that you are representing. So girls don’t just think that it is about the makeup and the hair and the pretty dresses; there is a lot more to it.”


Taking second place in the competition was Nicaragua while Panama placed third. Duane Moody for News Five.

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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5 Responses for “Reina de la Costa Maya… And the Winner is Miss Belize!”

  1. sickntired says:

    Wow this lee gyal pretty and mek we proud too. I really proud of di lil sis. Keep up di good work and always mek we ckuntry lok good. And fi think when belize mi di select we miss belize di ugly gyal from orange walk mi facey fi think da she mi fi win over destinee. Is a good thing common sense help we pick a real winner.

  2. May says:

    Is that a girl or a guy?

    Don’t get me wrong, “she” seems quite attractive if indeed “she’s” a “she”.

    But these days you just don’t know. Someone might LOOK like a very attractive female. Might even sound like a female too, but turn out to be a biological male.

    That’s what the “T” in GLBT is all about.

  3. May you are an Idiot says:

    She looks wonderful, She has boobs and looks stunning in all of her outfits. Stop being so mean to her.

  4. vicky says:


  5. karlaa says:


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