After a night of beauty, poise and grace, San Pedro Town has a new beauty ambassador, and she is 19-year-old Iris Salguero!
The 2015 Miss San Pedro pageant began at 8PM inside the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Stadium, with hundreds of island residents in attendance. After the National Anthem was sung, an opening number by San Pedro Jabbawockeez kicked off the night’s events. Host Eiden Salazar Jr. was once again in fine form, transitioning the evening’s various segments, starting with their introduction.
Each contestant took center stage after their opening dance, introducing themselves to the audience and sharing a little bit about themselves. Brianna Hope Leslie, Vivian Noralez, Ethel Villatoro, Tisane Martinez, Iris Salguero and Velie Alexi Williams all radiated confidence from the get-go, and set the bar high for the rest of the night.
As they slipped away to prepare for the costume segment, special invited guest performers Lirahunu Satuye Dance Group showcased some of Dangriga’s finest! The Garifuna group – comprised of drummers and dancers – brought color and life to the stage as they displayed one of Belize’s richest cultures.
Once again, the ladies graced the stage, as one by one, they modeled their costumes. From the rich flora of Belize, to its coral and marine life, a historic depiction of the traditional fishermen of years past, to the multi-colored plumage of the Scarlet Macaw, the glittering rays of the sun and lush prints of Belize’s fauna, each young lady depicted one of the many attributes that make Belize so unique.
Tasked with assigning points to each beauty were OJ Elrington, Monica Gallardo, Leonardo Melendez, Cara Thomas and Miriam Abdul, esteemed judges for the evening. They certainly had their hands full as each contestant did her best. The audience was full of supporters, some wearing special t-shirts, carrying banners and even banging out drums in support of their chosen candidate. When their favorite came onstage, the cheers were deafening, and certainly gave a boost to each girl’s confidence.
Drawing on that boost, the ladies modeled their swimwear after a fun dance presentation, then followed up with the most elegant part of the night: the evening gown portion. Wearing stunning dresses of their own choosing, each of the beauties shone brightly on stage. Vibrant turquoise, blues, sparkling rose and glittering white/champagne dresses added much glamour to the night, each contestant a true beauty queen as she walked the stage.
Naturally, the evening could not end without the most nerve-wracking portion of any pageant: the question and answer segment. Each beauty drew a question, then had to face the audience and give their answers on topics such as law, social media, school policy, culture and even politics. The audience applauded each young lady, encouraging them to answer to the best of their abilities. When the segment was over, the Lirahunu Satuye Dance Group once again took the stage to give the judges a moment to finish tallying their votes.
Outgoing Miss San Pedro Michelle Estrella Nuñez gave her final walk and speech to an adoring audience, highlighting her wonderful year as our beauty ambassador. Nuñez took the title of Miss San Pedro to another level, creating a group called SHINE to build up young girls’ self-esteem and bringing to light the importance of caring for our young teens as they navigate their way through some difficult years. Thank you Michelle for showing compassion, drive and determination to make your year as Miss San Pedro one to aspire to.
As part of the pageant, Hotel Los Cocos partnered with the Miss San Pedro organizers to hold a mini-pageant of their own in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico to choose their own winner, known as Linda San Pedrana. Over the weekend, one special young lady won over the hearts of special judges, and she is the gorgeous Brianna Hope Leslie! Also winning over the hearts of Los Cocos management and staff was Velie Alexi Williams, and she was gifted with a special prize from the Los Cocos family.
After the presentation of the separate prizes, it was time to present the sanctioned titles of Miss Photogenic, which also went to Brianna Hope Leslie and Miss Congeniality, which went to the lovely Ethel Villatoro. The first runner-up title is given to the contestant who will take up the duties of the winner in the event that she cannot participate. That title went to the beautiful Velie Alexi Williams, who graciously accepted her bouquet and title.
After a pause, and ramping up the anticipation, Eiden had the pleasure of announcing the winner, and our new Miss San Pedro, Iris Salguero! To the sound of our Baymen’s song, Iris was sashed and presented with her bouquet. The official coronation will take place on Thursday, September 10th during the first of the patriotic festivities for our September Celebrations. Congratulations to Iris, and to all the wonderful, gracious contestants for a job well done!