Miss Honduras wins the 2015/2016 Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant
Friday, August 7th, 2015
Taking the 2015/2015 Reina de La Costa Maya title and crown is none other than Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle. She charmed the judges and audience in all four segments of the 20th annual pageant. As the opening event of the International Costa Maya Festival, this year’s Reina De La Costa Maya pageant brought the carnival vibes to San Pedro with a display of color, music, dance and, of course, beauty. Even though only one could take home the crown, all eight contestants from across Central America and Mexico performed exceptionally well, certainly making their home country proud.
Opening the pageant was a lively performance “Rompe La Pinata” by San Pedro’s very own San Pedro AIDS Commission Carnival Group, perfectly complementing the night’s theme. Dominating the stage next was Belize’s Soca Queen, Ernestine Carballo performing alongside the Belize National Dance Company. The Master and Mistress of Ceremonies, Eiden Salazar and former Miss Costa Maya Karen Jordan, then took the stage and had the honor of introducing the main stars of the night. Taking over the stage in their elaborate, beautifully, colorful, cultural costumes were Miss Belize Samalia Vernon, Miss Costa Rica Corlina On Porras, Miss El Salvador Genesis Margarita Fuentes Bolaños, Miss Guatemala Lisa Hayet Francis, Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle, Miss Mexico Samantha Gutíerrez Gónzalez-Rubio, Miss Nicaragua Yuliset Laguna, and Miss Panama Maria Saavendra. Each of the beauties modeled their costumes inspired by their country’s rich heritage and tradition with honor. Accompanied by upbeat carnival rhythms, the first segment had the crowd cheering for more.
During intermission breaks, Mexico’s Ballet Alma Caribeña dance group kept the crowd grooving with their dynamic routines.
Their performances fit the carnival theme just right as they performed to tropical tunes dressed in fabulous costumes. Also performing were the talented dancers from the Belize Dance Company.
In the next segment, the crowd was delighted by another carnival themed performance, choreographed by the very talented Zuzana Marosova.
Dressed in tropical swimwear, the delegates commanded the stage with confidence and glamour. This segment definitely captivated the audience!In the following segment, the beauties graced the stage in stunning evening gowns. Beauty and elegance radiated from each of the ladies as they sashayed across the stage. The crowd was in awe as their marveled at their favorite contestant. After all the ladies had made their entrance, it was time for the most difficult section of the night: the Question and Answer segment.Each delegated answered a single question on global issues. Judges for the night were: Gricel Graniel, Idolly Saldivar, Manuel Ancona, Tanya Giacoman Ayala, and Diane Tabony. One by one, the delegates approached center stage, then chose and answered their question. The judges then begun the arduous task of selecting a winner.
But before the winners were announced, the delegates joined Miss Costa Maya Elisa Gomez as the organizers paid tribute to dearly departed Maria Jose Alvarado.
Alvarado represented Honduras in the 2014/2015 Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant. Her life (and her sister’s) was cut short just a month after the pageant, following an incident of domestic violence.
The beautiful tribute highlighted a life cut far too short, and there was not a dry eye in the audience as images of Maria Jose flashed on screen, showing her vibrant smile and captivating personality through photos taken during her participation in last year’s pageant.
Following a moment of silence, Miss Costa Maya 2014 also gave her farewell tribute before the announcement of the winners could commence.
Nail biting anxiety started to kick in as the time approached to announce the new Reina! The crowd cheered as the second runner-up was announced, and she is Miss Belize Samalia Vernon.
First runner-up was Miss El Salvador Genesis Margarita Fuentes Bolaños…
…and new Reina de La Costa Maya is Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle!
Valle was immediately crowned by outgoing Miss Costa Maya Elisa Gomez. She was also awarded Best National Costume.
Following the pageant was the after party with DJ Smallz. Attendees joined La Reina de La Costa Maya and the other delegates in dancing the night away.
Events will continue throughout the weekend with the Noche Cultural on Friday, August 7th which will include the dances of Central America and Mexico, as well as performances by Ballet Folklorico de Chetumal, El Chevo from Honduras and Belize’s Gillharry 7 Band. Activities continue on Saturday, August 8th with Noche Internacional. The night will see performances by El Salvador’s Grupo Crash, a Guatemalan Cultural Presentation, Belize’s Almost 7 Rock Band and Grupo Ladron as the main event. Festival gates open at 7PM on both nights.
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