San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival

San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival

July or August
Ambergris Caye is the largest island of Belize and a major historical site of the Mayan empire, a vast pre-Colombian civilization that extended from Honduras to Mexico. It is also the site of the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival, an annual event that celebrates the region's Mayan heritage and entices tourists from around the world. Performing at the festival are dancers, musicians, and other entertainers who represent the five countries of the Mundo Maya (Maya World): Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The festival began after several leaders of a Belizean chamber of commerce were inspired by a Honduran cultural celebration in 1991. They decided to launch their own party the following year. They set up the festivities in San Pedro Town, the main hub on Amergris Caye. The event's original name was the International Sea & Air Festival, a reference to the aircraft and sea vessels that attendees used to travel to the festivities.
Today, the weeklong festival is considered the biggest in Belize. The opening night is devoted to the Reina de la Costa Maya (Queen of the Mayan Coast), a beauty pageant that has been held since 1996. Each successive night is devoted to highlighting a different Mundo Maya country. Performers from all countries gather for Sunday's grand finale show.
Musicians perform a wide range of music including reggae, salsa, merengue, and traditional Maya. Dancing often accompanies the music performances and enhances the display of traditional culture.
CONTACTS:
Belize Tourism Board
P.O. Box 325
64 Regent St.
Belize City Belize
www.goambergriscaye.com/fest.html
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