Thursday 7 December 2023

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios, Miss Universe 2023: “We did it, we made history”

Nicaraguans took to the streets of several cities to celebrate and wave the blue and white flag

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Q24N — The newly crowned Miss Universe 2023, Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios Cornejo, said Saturday night during a brief press conference that the crown “is dedicated” to the Nicaraguans, with whom she shared: “we did it, we made history.”

Sheynnis Palacios, Miss Universe 2023

Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, thousands took to the streets of Managua, Diriamba, Jinotega, Matagalpa and other cities in the country to celebrate and wave the blue and white flag.

Nicaraguans in other countries, such as Costa Rica with a large Nicaraguan population, also celebrated Sheynnis Palacios’ crown. Social networks were flooded with photos and videos of Nicaraguans dancing and singing.

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Sheynnis Palacios, Miss Universe 2023

“This crown is dedicated to girls around the world, to my inner child, to my family and to the more than six million inhabitants of my country,” said the 23-year-old model.

“I want to tell all the Nicaraguans who are watching me, we did it, we made history (…) my country is going to change and many doors are going to open,” add Sheynnis.

In Managua, fireworks went off since the beauty queen reached the top 10, the celebration increased when Sheynnis made final five for the first time.

The official photo of the new Miss Universe 2023: Sheynnis Palacios, the first Central American to win the crown.

Never before has a Nicaraguan worn the Miss Universe crown.

“I felt that we were really making history not only as Nicaragua, but as Central America because, just as the prince of Castilian letters Rubén Darío said: ‘if the country is small, a big man dreams of it’. Central America may be small, but these people full of dreams. When we dream big nothing and no one stops us,” Palacios declared.

The Government of Nicaragua said in a press release issued on Sunday, “Nicaragua celebrates with legitimate pride and joy the crowning of Miss Universe for its beautiful representative, Sheynnis Palacios Cornejo”.

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Sheynnis Palacios, a 23-year-old communicologist, originally from the municipality of Diriamba, province of Carazo, said she wants to work to promote mental health after suffering debilitating bouts of anxiety herself.

Miss Thailand, Anntonia Porsild, was first runner-up and Miss Australia, Moraya Wilson, the second runner-up.

Eighty-four women competed for the crown in the 72nd edition of the competition. In the Top 5 were Miss Colombia, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Thailand, Miss Nicaragua and Miss Australia.

Miss Philippines, Miss El Salvador, Miss Australia, Miss Peru and Miss Spain, rounded out the top 10.

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Miss Costa Rica 2023, Lisbeth Valverde, had no chance of taking the crown and said on her social networks, with a broken voice and tears in her eyes the message that, “she gave it absolutely everything.”

Miss Costa Rica 2023, Lisbeth Valverde

“Obviously it hurts me, it hurts a lot, but it’s what God wants for me. I gave it all, I gave it absolutely everything, I did everything I could, what I had in my hands. I’m sure it will open up many opportunities,” said the 28-year-old Costa Rican.

Who is Sheynnis Palacios, the new Miss Universe 2023?

Born on May 30, 2000, the social communicator worked before her coronation as host and presenter of the program Entiende tu mente (Understand your mind), which is broadcast on Nicaraguan television channel 11. The progeam addresses different topics about mental health and was born from her personal experience, as she learned to cope with anxiety.

Sheynnis Palacios

Before representing Nicaragua in Miss Universe, she participated in 5 other pageants. In 2016 she was crowned the teen queen of Nicaragua, then she participated in the Miss Teen Universe 2017 where she was among the 6 finalists. Years later, she was crowned Miss World Nicaragua 2020, and was among the 40 finalists.

But her life was not far from controversy. In the political context of 2018, she and her mother, single mother, set up a business selling buñuelos to pay for her university studies, a Nicaraguan dessert made from cassava.

Later, when she became known, her family business earned her harassment and ridicule from those who devalued her efforts.

Her struggle as a woman, dreamer and entrepreneur, born in one of the poorest countries on the continent, goes beyond beauty pageants. She herself has stated that she is a person who comes from a low economic class family.

Sheynnis has not been indifferent to the reality of his country. According to her publications on social networks, like thousands of Nicaraguans, she was part of the protests against the Sandinista regime in 2018, and in which, according to the UN Human Rights Council, the dictatorship committed “serious and systematic violations.” to human rights, including crimes against humanity.”



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