After Ambergris Today broke the rumors that Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez might be stripped of her title much speculation and uncertainty about her status has been circling around town. It’s been a week that Ambergris Today has been trying to obtain an official press release from the San Pedro Town Council with no success. This has given the opportunity for rumors and unofficial information to continue circulating that adds to the misinformation out on the street and personal blogs/websites.
Today, information is forthcoming that Yakaralis Hernendez still is and will continue to perform her duties as Miss San Pedro for the rest of her term.
Yakarelis left San Pedro last week to pursue her studies in Nicaragua, but before leaving she informed the Town Council of her departure, as the reigning queens are instructed to do whenever they leave the island. Shortly after, rumors started circulating that Yakarelis was being stripped of her title and prizes.
The San Pedro Town Council denied the rumors, commenting that Yakarelis had not broken any rules to cause her termination as Miss San Pedro. But pressure from other residents and internet blog posts insist that Yakarelis has broken contract rules which the Miss San Pedro winners sign. Upon our investigations, we understand that no Miss San Pedro winner is obliged to sign any contract. Her only obligations are to assist Town events and report to the Town Council whenever she leaves the island and not able to assist a function.
Ambergris Today understands that the only document the contestants sign is when registering for the pageant that outlines rules and regulations leading up to the pageant and their participation in the September Celebrations.
It was being said the Yakarelis had broken contract rules that indicate that Miss San Pedro should remain on the island for the full length of her reign and also be enrolled in San Pedro High School. To our understanding there are no such rules, thus indicating that Yakarelis had not broken any.
According to a release from Amanda Syme, mother of Christine Syme (first runner up in the Miss San Pedro Pageant), at the time when Yakarelis announced her intent to go study abroad, The Town Council called Christine and informed her that she would be crowned Miss San Pedro by the Mayor at a press conference on January 11.
Amanda continued by stating: “She was told to purchase a wardrobe suitable for her duties and was instructed not to announce the change. On Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Christine was informed that rather than rush the press conference and have only a small coronation it would be more dignified and fitting to perform a full coronation ceremony during a large spectacular event - and so the date of February 18th was pinpointed -as this date will mark the launching of the Carnaval celebrations and there is a large stage event being planned. Christine was told that the mayor would present the crown to Christine and then she would enjoy the performance alongside the Mayor.”
The case now stands that Yakarelis does intend to study abroad but will also honor and perform her duties to the town, therefore not stepping down as Miss San Pedro. Both families of Yakarelis and Christine have met with Mayor Paz and the situation has been cleared up. The Mayor has extended her apologies to Christine Syme for any inconveniences caused during all the confusion.
We see it very shameful for individuals to start these malicious rumors without proper consultation with the Town Council and organizers of the Miss San Pedro Pageant. To our knowledge there is no formal committee. Should there have been one, proper handling of this situation would have been handled in a more steadfast manner and creating unnecessary stress on both Yakarelis and Christine. As of yet there has not been an official release from the San Pedro Town Council.
Below is the Press Release from the San Pedro Town Council sent January 20, 2012, at 3:20p.m. which was promised to Ambergris Today since Monday, January 16, 2012.
"On Thursday January 5, 2012 Miss Yakarelis Hernandez advised the San Pedro Town Council that she is leaving the country to further her studies. Under this circumstance it would be automatic that the First Runner Up would take on the title of Miss San Pedro. The First Runner Up was advised of the situation and requested to be discrete until all angles of the situation are properly dealt with. Unfortunately the information was leaked to the media and presented improperly without consideration on any of the two girls.
As a result the Council met with Miss Hernandez’s parents who explained that she left to take the necessary examinations for her admittance to the University. Her parents committed in ensuring that she fulfills her role as Miss San Pedro which includes public appearances, community service etc.
It is very unfortunate that this situation was blown completely out of proportion by the blogs and the social media. The greatest challenge that was not perceived by these individuals is how this would hinder the future of the Miss San Pedro Pageant. The San Pedro Town Council prides itself in organizing the best pageant in the Country of Belize.
This is the first time such a situation has presented and instead of allowing the Council and the Miss San Pedro Pageant Committee to deal with the matter as delicately as possible the situation has been forced into a direction that was never intended. It is of utmost importance to recognize that we are dealing with the emotions of two young ladies that entered the pageant in high spirits to meet new people, grow as individuals, and develop new relationships and over all have as much fun as possible. This is the drive that keeps the San Pedro Town Council and the Miss San Pedro Pageant Committee going and in no way will we allow the gossips and misinterpretations hinder these expectations.
The San Pedro Town Council extends its most sincere apologies to the Hernandez and Syme families for being put through this situation. Christine, you and your family have been very patient and understanding about the situation and we are very grateful for this. Yaka, you have been outgoing and dedicated to your responsibilities as Miss San Pedro and we look forward to continue working with you during the remainder of your reign. We wish nothing but the best for both of you." –End of release-