Drums rolled and Master of Ceremonies, Angel Nuñez, took center stage to announce the beginning of yet another festival night: El Salvador Night. After the national anthems of El Salvador and Belize were played, the Ambassador of El Salvador, Herrardo Sol Mixo, addressed the crowd gathered at the festival. He spoke of how proud he was that El Salvador could be a part of such a culturally rich festival. He also spoke of the vibrant people of San Pedro. Costa Maya Committee member Melanie Halliday gave the welcoming speech. She thanked everyone for coming out and spoke of how hard the committee worked to make the 1998 festival a success.
The enchanting dancers of El Ballet Nacional de El Salvador started the evening's entertainment with cultural dancing. Dressed in a rainbow of color and with their hair braided like tiaras above their heads, four lovely female dancers swept across the stage to dance for San Pedro. The Ballet Nacional's dances were unique and portrayed the simplicity of the life of the Mayan people and their traditions. A dance performed depicting an episode in the life of a young couple in love was especially liked by the audience. The dance opened with a young man planting corn in his milpa. In the second scene his young love searches for him in the milpa. They meet and embrace in the next scene. They sit and eat the lunch she has brought for him. She hand feeds him and after their meal they kiss. The dance ends when the enamoured farmer lifts his sweetheart into his arms and carries her away. Half way into the group's 40 minute dance performance it rained. The dance group continued to dance in the drizzling rain but was unable to continue when the downpour intensified. The Ballet Nacional returned to the stage after the showers subsided and presented their final dance. With smiles adorning their faces, the group danced, covering the stage and themselves in confetti.
San Pedro gets high on CRACK
Mexico, Mexico! Viva Mexico! Rained delayed the commencement of Mexico Night but, the show did go on! MC Nuñez opened the evening's activities and the national anthems of Mexico and Belize were played. Ambassador of Mexico, Enrique Hubbard Urrea, addressed the gathering and talked about the beauty of the festival and the idea to unify the Costa Maya countries. Costa Maya Festival Committee member, Dorian Nuñez, gave the welcome speech for the evening. He spoke about the importance of the festival: to promote tourism in San Pedro during the slow season and to promote the five Mundo Maya Countries. He also spoke about Belize's excellent relationship with Mexico.
El Ballet Folklorico de Quintana Roo, Mexico, performed for an hour and a half. They performed five dances from five different areas in Mexico. The group has visited San Pedro four times and has always presented a spectacular show. The Ballet Folklorico is known for their foot stomping dances and for their flirty stage personalities. Their performance was awesome and, as expected, the crowd loved them.
El Ballet Folklorico de Quintana Roo was created in September 1995 to promote dances unique to Mexico and to represent Mexico in competitions abroad. The dance group consists of 40 members, of which 20 came to perform at the Costa Maya Festival. The members of the Ballet are all students at a technical university in Mexico. They have managed to balance school, work and dance. The 10 women and 11 men of the group range from 16 to 20 years of age.
"They are very good dancers even though they are young," said Mr. Rene D. Marrufo Buenfield, Chaperone. They have also performed at the International Festival of Caribbean Cultures along with many other Central American and Caribbean countries. This is their fourth visit to San Pedro and their second performance at the Costa Maya Festival. Their most recent performance was at the Carnival festivities in April here in San Pedro.
The Ballet performed five dances from five different regions of Mexico. They are originally from San Luis Patosé, Vera Cruz, Yucatan, Michoacan and Guerrero. The group practiced five hours every day to deliver their best to the people of San Pedro. The dance presentation for the festival was the responsibility of the principal dancer, Rafael Romero Pot, who acted as the Director and Choreographer. Carlos Alcoser is the dance group's official teacher.
"We would like to thank all the people of San Pedro, especially the principal organizers, for inviting us once again to Ambergris Caye," said Mr. Buenfield. "We hope that the people like our dance because we have been practicing many hours because we like the people of San Pedro so much."
The CRACK Band performed in San Pedro for a second time on Mexico Night. They opened their presentation with a fast-pace cumbia song. It didn't take long for the party-happy-crowd to gather below the stage to kick up their heals. Dance, dance and dance they did. The band even played English selections. The crowd sang a few of the more popular selections with the band. The celebrating continued until after 3:00 a.m. The party animals could not get enough and screamed for more and more and more!
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