May 25, 2004
  • Focus on Amelia Vega
  • UNESCO masterpiece rituals
  • Dominican child star
  • DCA to fly to Miami from SDQ
  • Dominican gourmet dining in Punta Cana
Focus on Amelia Vega
World press coverage is focusing on the Miss Universe pageant that is taking place in Quito, Ecuador. The star of the show is the Dominican Republic’s Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003, who is accompanying the contestants in Ecuador as she prepares to crown her successor on 1 June 2004. To follow the event and for great pictures of Amelia Vega and Miss Dominican Republic this year, see:
UNESCO masterpiece rituals
The Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of the Congos of Villa Mella will be staging their traditional rituals this coming 27-30 May. The 500-year-old tradition has been passed on from generation to generation and since 1941 has taken place at the central park of the community. The performances received world recognition when on 18 May 2001 UNESCO proclaimed the performance “a masterpiece of the aural and intangible heritage of humanity.
UNESCO highlights the fact that the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit represents communities and individuals of mixed descent who believe in the Holy Spirit, which they associate with percussion instruments. Their traditions have Spanish roots, but were adapted by the slave population during the colonial period. Family ties, paternal and maternal, determine membership and position within the fraternity.
During the 27-30 May performance, the members of the Brotherhood will conduct the Celebration of the Holy Spirit and festivities of the Virgin of Rosario. They will play the music of 21 traditional songs during burial and veneration rites. The rituals and celebrations of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit are attended by thousands of people every year.
This year, however, the event has been shortened from ten days to four, after the municipal government of Santo Domingo North cut down the trees in the park that formerly provided a shady shelter from the sun for the performances.
Villa Mella is located north of Santo Domingo, and can be reached taking the Av. Maximo Gomez. For more on this group, see:[email protected]_ID=3453&URL_DO
Dominican child star
Daughter of Dominican emigrants to New York, Karina Pasian received good reviews for her performance alongside Andrea Bocelli in the “We are the Future” concert broadcast live last week from Rome's historic Circus Maximus. Pasian was chosen after being a winner of the CBS child talent show. The concert is hosted by the city government of Rome and produced annually by Quincy Jones who invites dozens of the world’s top-rated artists and celebrities to participate with the common goal of helping children as an investment in the future. Millions are gathered in proceeds from the broadcast and related merchandise sales. This year Pasian performed together with Angelina Jolie, Carlos Santana, Patti Austin, Juanes, Fehr of Mana, Herbie Hancock, Noa, Take 6, Patti Austin, Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey, among others.
DCA to fly to Miami from SDQ
Dutch Caribbean Airlines announced flights to Miami from Las Americas International Airport as of Wednesday, 2 June 2004. The airline is using a MD80 with capacity for 131 passengers in economy and 8 in comfort class. DCA is the flag banner airline for Curacao and has been flying to the DR since 2002. Las Americas International flights to Curacao continue on to Aruba, Bonaire, San Martin, Valencia, Paramaribo and Port of Spain. The airline fills the void left after LanDominicana, an affiliate of LanChile, announced it was suspending its Miami connection.
Dominican gourmet dining in Punta Cana
General manager Manfred Schoebel of Melia Caribe Tropical announces the opening of a gourmet a la carte Dominican restaurant at the Punta Cana resort. “Guarapo” will be a showcase for Dominican culture and local delicacies, explained Shoebel. He said the restaurant is opened in response to requests from guests whose contact with some of the best in Dominican food was limited to the weekly Dominican food night. “Guarapo” joins the 7 a la carte restaurants at the resort that feature Asian, Mexican, French, Japanese, Seafood, BBQ, Spanish and Italian food.
Shoebel says that the restaurant is part of the efforts of the Melia chain to promote Dominican culture and what is local. “We need to contribute to develop Dominicans; if we do not we will not be successful in the country, nor as a company,” he said making the announcement of the restaurant during the Dominican Annual Travel Exchange held recently in Puerto Plata.
During the event, Francisco Castillo, general manager of the Paradisus hotel, a nearby Melia property in Punta Cana, also announced the opening of a nature park and ecological walk open to guests staying at the Melia or Paradisus beach hotels.
For more information on the Melia properties in Punta Cana, see:

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