Grisel Carballo takes the crown at La Diosa Maya Internacional in Mexico
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Belizean Grisel Rosseli Carballo of Orange Walk Town is the reigning La Diosa Maya Internacional 2013-2014 after winning the regional pageant in Mexico over the weekend. Carballo joined delegates from the other four Mundo Maya member countries that participated in the annual event hosted in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Carballo also won best costume in a competition leading to the final pageant.
According to the 21 year old business management student of the University of Belize, she was invited by the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard to be the country’s representative, an invitation she gladly accepted. “The pageant is an event where all the Mundo Maya member countries are united and an ambassador is selected to represent the Maya culture for the region. These participating countries consist of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and of course our jewel – Belize. We got the opportunity to get to know each other, learn about each country and we even visited various places in Yucatan in the days leading to the main event,” outlined Carballo.
According to Carballo, the first round of competition took place on Thursday, March 14th in the municipality of San Felipe, Yucatan. The candidates from the five countries introduced themselves and also participated in the cultural costume competition in which they depicted something related to the Maya in each country. “I introduced myself in the three languages I know which is Maya, Spanish and English. In another segment I introduced my costume. We won best costume and it was an elaborate and extravagant one; portraying a Maya warrior,” said Carballo. The cultural costume was designed by Belizeans Gabriel Garcia and assistant Esbin Estrada, both of Orange Walk Town.
The pageant followed on Saturday March 16th at the Olimpo Cultural Center in Merida City. There were four segments to the pageant, including an introductory dance, evening wear, a public speech in which each delegate outlined, described and promoted the rich experience of the Maya culture in her country and a final display of the cultural wear used in the competition prior to the pageant. “I went with my mind set to win the title of La Diosa Maya Internacional. When I participated, I decided to do so for my country. I have always wanted to become an ambassador for my country and this is one of the ways I am giving back to Belize. I want the world to know that our Maya culture is here and it’s alive and our Maya people are one of a kind. I now become the Ambassador of the Mundo Maya and will be travelling around to promote the culture,” explained a proud and ecstatic Carballo. Her main responsibilities are to be at the forefront of promoting the Maya in the region.
Carballo hopes to use her title as La Diosa Maya Internacional as a platform to put Belize in the spotlight; promoting the diverse, rich Maya heritage. Already Carballo is making her mark: she was due to participate in a photo shoot at the ruins of Chichen Itza to promote the Maya culture for the region. However, she managed to convince the organizers to film the promotional material at the ruins of Lamanai in the Orange Walk District, something the organizers have agreed to and the shoot is scheduled for April.
Carballo becomes the first Belizean to ever win the title of La Diosa Maya Internacional. The annual pageant is conducted under the auspices of Manuel Blanco, Organizer of La Diosa Maya Internacional Organization, and this year it was hosted by the Municipality of the City of Merida. The event is rotated in different countries and because Carballo won, the next event is expected to be hosted in Orange Walk Town. The last time Belize hosted the pageant was back in 2010.The San Pedro Sun joins the country in congratulating Miss Grisel Carballo – La Diosa Maya Internacional and wishes her success in executing her duties. To view a recording of the pageant, you can visit ladiosamaya.blogspot.mx.
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