What commenced as the San Pedro International Sea and Air Festival and now The Costa Maya International Festival, this Festival is King in Belize and soon Central American Region. This past week saw the 20th Annual Costa Maya Festival and there is lots to celebrate about its success.
Despite a shaky start with no formal announcement of its opening to hype up the crowd, the presence of the beauty contestants of the Miss Costa Maya Pageant was enough to excite the crowd who immediately took sides with their favorites like Miss Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico. The night, of course, became euphoric with the sensational performances of local singer Nathalie Arceo who debut a soon-to-be-released single along with San Pedro’s guitar pro, Derrick Banos; and of 11-year old Jael August of Belize City who mesmerized the audience with her powerful yet melodious voice.
Day two (Friday, August 3) commenced with a slow start but when the performances took center stage it, was cheering and ecstatic participation from there on. There was the Hollywood performance by Ballet de Camara de Quintana Roo, followed by the sensational group of El Salvador, El Grupo Crash. The Remaining rock band from Belize City ignited the stage with rendition to popular rock/pop songs and were a very special treat to the festival; the crowd was indeed asking more from the band. As if that was not enough, the participation of Berne Velasquez and The Nu Generation Group of Belize City served to build up the momentum for the concert of Kevin Lyttle of Saint Vincent and the Granadines who really put the icing on the cake. For one hour of rhythms singing and dancing, Lyttle really made it a ‘big’ night for everyone who definitely was eager for more.
Day three (Saturday, August 4) of the festival was highlighted by the performance of El Salvador’s professional singing imitator Juan Manuel who immediately hyped up the audience with his excellent imitations of well known international artists. He combined his imitations with good clean humor and the crowd was out of their seats. Grupo Crash returned by popular demand and they too had the crowd enthralled with their high energy level performance.
And then the surprise of the night - a dynamic and sensational performance by San Pedro’s very own, the new dance group, Island Boys and Bella Donnas led by choreographer Alex Valencia. This energetic and rhythmic team of very young boys and girls gave a top-grade performance. Up next was the sexy and high energy performance of Divash from Guatemala that had everybody's atttention. Miss Costa Maya 2010 Gabriela Asturias is a member of this four-girl group who have travelled internationally, showcasing top grade dance and burlesque performances. However the night was far from coming to an end because musical sensation Corozalsa of Corozal Town, kept the crowd in great spirits as the show picked up momentum for international artists, Los Pasteles Verdes of Peru.
Los Pasteles Verdes had everyone singing and reminiscing old songs, old romances, old and pleasant memories. One by one couples came up to the stage to dance and before the night was over, Los Pasteles Verdes had everyone dancing and ASKING FOR MORE! And they kept pleasing the large and fascinated spectators and dancing fanatics until the wee hours of the morning. It was only because it was three a.m. that led singer Aldo Guibovich was forced to set down his guitar and the noisy crowd reluctantly went home but fully happy with a once in a lifetime performance- a concert and dance. What a fabulous night to bring Costa Maya 2012 to an end. Certainly this is an indication that Costa Maya Festival is King and that San Pedro is ready for Costa Maya 2013.