Samara Party Team: From left to right are Johanna Jade Waite, Manu Dibango, Montserrat Dibango, Bea Jiron, Sofía Jiménes, Marilin Castillo, Maria Fernanda Vargas and Aline Muller. Photos courtesy of Tabanuco.
Samara Party Team: From left to right are Johanna Jade Waite, Manu Dibango, Montserrat Dibango, Bea Jiron, Sofía Jiménes, Marilin Castillo, Maria Fernanda Vargas and Aline Muller. Photos courtesy of Tabanuco.

QCOSTARICA (By Cher Compton, Vozdeguanacaste.com) Tabanuco’s restaurant on the beach in Samara was all in white Saturday night, December 13th.  Over 60 attendees, elegantly attired in white, brought new unwrapped toys, the price of admission to a fashion show, live music and dancing.  The toys will be distributed by volunteers this weekend to children from small remote villages between Camaronal and Nicoya who might not otherwise receive a gift at Christmas.

Guests mingled in the bar area or partook of a complimentary drink and a specially priced dinner before moving up to the runway. Even the stage and seating were beautifully dressed in white. Johanna Ortiz from the popular show, Intrusos de la Farandula acted as emcee dressed in a white sleeveless mini dress with a flared skirt.

The fashion show presented talented designers and artisans from Samara and surrounding areas including Sindy  Hernández (manicures) , Erika García (hair and makeup) , Marilin Castillo (clothing) , Sofía Jiménes ( clothing), with glasswork by Manu Dibango incorporated into jewelry designed by Montserrat Dibango.

Four local women acted as models, including Johanna Waite, Developmental Director at CREAR in Samara.  In spite of having spent the entire day at the flea market in Samara center raising money for CREAR children´s programs and the non profit Animales de Samara,Waite decided to volunteer herself one more time.

When asked how she got inspired to do so much in one day Waite replied, “Doing a “double” never even crossed my mind. I just knew that I would have to go from one event to another. When Montserrat called me to participate, I was flattered and excited, because it sounded like a really cool and different event, and I was glad to be a part of something that benefited the local children.”

Waite was joined on the runway by Bea Jiron, María Fernanda Vargas and Aline Muller. Fashions included swimsuits with hand crocheted cover-ups, dresses with had knotted cut-outs, body conscious skirts, flowing blouses and even a cute black lace lingerie set with a teal cover-up. The designers seemed to favor teal combined with bright tropical yellows and reds.

Each of the outfits was adorned with jewelry by Montserrat Dibango Jewelry that was a combination of hand worked wire, carved natural shell and stone and hand made Murano style glass beads by Manu Dibango.

Photos courtesy of Tabanuco - Montserrat Dibango with some of her family members including her son Elijah and niece, Ámbar Juárez Castillo, who danced
Photos courtesy of Tabanuco – Montserrat Dibango with some of her family members including her son Elijah and niece, Ámbar Juárez Castillo, who danced

At an intermission to allow time for models to change styling and prepare a second round of outfits,  the crowd was entertained by songstress Lindsay LaVelle.

After the second round of fashions guests were treated to a ballet performance by a local student  Ámbar Juárez Castillo who has studied dance at the Royal Academy in London with Patricia Vargas.  Her beautifully costumed performance inspired by the Nutcracker drew enthusiastic applause as she leapt across the runway.

After the ballet Lindsay LaVelle moved to the main stage to perform a mix of standards and pop songs.  A DJ was on hand to entice people onto the dance floor in the later hours.

Event organizer Montserrat Dibango said, “Super happy and thankful to God and everyone who made the white party possible.  Now to give away smiles for the kids! Thank you for the support and for believing in the talent of Samareños!”


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