Carlene Martinez wins Miss Garifuna Belize

Miss Hopkins Carlene Martinez won the annual Miss Garifuna Belize Pageant held under the auspices of the National Garifuna Council at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City on Saturday, November 3.
Carlene impressed the judges with her erudition in the Garifuna language and her knowledge of Garinagu history and culture to capture the title, also winning as her prize a laptop computer, a beach cruiser bicycle and a bouquet of flowers.
Outgoing Garifuna Settlement Day Queen Miss Elisa Magdaleno sashed and crowned Carlene with her tiara, after the judges’ decision was announced.
Miss Seine Bight, Avery Thomas entertained the audience with her soliloquy and scored enough points with the judges to win second place, taking home as her prize a color television set and a home theatre set.
Miss Dangriga, Valerie Castillo, also impressed the judges sufficiently to win third prize, a Hewlett Packard Net book computer.
Three other contestants vied for the title: Miss Belize City Gwendolyn Roches, Miss Georgetown Dickeve Ramirez and Miss Peini of Punta Gorda, Marian Marin.
Carlene Martinez will be crowned at the annual Garifuna Settlement Day ceremonies at BTL Park after a re-enactment of the landing at the Court House Wharf and subsequent procession to the St Martin DePorres Roman Catholic Church for a concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Wawansera memeba lau lubafu bungiu hama ahari” (We keep going forward with the power of God and our ancestors).
The pageant began with Roslyn Enriquez singing the National Anthem in Garifuna, and the President of the Belize City Chapter of the National Garifuna Council, Matthew Martinez leading the congregation in a welcome prayer.
Mistress of Ceremonies Gwen Nuñez introduced the candidates, and the outgoing queen, Elisa Magdaleno bid her audience farewell after which the candidates performed the Gunjai and Chumba dances
Punta Rock artists Chico Ramos, Mohobub Flores and Peter “Titiman” Flores serenaded the contestants. Gwen Nunez then introduced the six candidates as each gave her main presentation in Garifuna for the judges.
The Belize City dance group and Stacy Martinez entertained the audience during an intermission while the judges tallied their scores.
Titman Flores led the candidates in a paranda dance, and the Hopkins Youth Group also gave a final presentation before the judges’ decision was announced.
Judges for the event were Christina Castillo from Hopkins, Ann Martinez from Belize, Caida Nunez from Punta Gorda, Eloisa Lopez from Seine Bight, Denise Palacio of Dangriga and Anelle Guzman of Georgetown.

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