Human Interest

Nicaraguan becomes first Central American to be crowned Miss Universe

(Update 1: Adds details of winner, changes head and lede)

San Salvador, Nov 18 (EFE).- Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios on Saturday night became the first Central American to be crowned Miss Universe, during the 72nd edition of the event, held in El Salvador.

The winner succeeded American Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel.

Palacios took the crown ahead of first runner-up from Thailand, Anntonia Porsild.

Australia’s Moraya Wilson was second runner-up of the contest, which will be held in Mexico next year.

The three finalists were chosen from a group of five, which was completed by Puerto Rico and Colombia.

A preliminary group of 20 semifinalists included entrants from South Africa, the Philippines, Peru, Venezuela, India, El Salvador, the United States, Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Nepal, Cameroon, Pakistan, Portugal and Spain.

Born in Managua, 28-year-old Palacios has a degree in communication from the Jesuit Universidad Centroamericana, where she played volleyball, and is host and presenter of the program “Understand Your Mind”, a social project that she launched after battling anxiety, with which she seeks to help other people and address mental health issues.

In 2016, she won the Miss Teen Nicaragua and placed in the top 10 at Miss Teen Universe 2017.

In 2020, at the age of 20, she won Miss World Nicaragua.

Miss World was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but last year Palacios represented her country in the contest held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she was among the top 40.

This year Miss Universe, which was held in San Salvador for the second time, included two married mothers, thanks to rule changes for this year’s contest, as well as two transgender women and one plus-size woman.

The parade in gala dress was accompanied by a performance by American singer John Legend.

The jury included the model and Miss Paraguay 2021 Nadia Ferreira; American actress Giselle Blondet; French model and beauty queen Iris Mittenaere, who was crowned Miss Universe 2016; and the first Miss Trinidad and Tobago crowned Miss Universe in 1977, Janelle Commissiong. EFE


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