The 70th annual Miss Universe pageant took place on Sunday (December 12), and Latin America was represented well during the competition.
Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira ended the night as first runner-up from the 80 countries and territories that participated. Born in Villarica, Ferreira is a professional fashion model by trade and social activist. She was a student at the Universidad Americana in Asuncion.
The Top 16 contestants saw five Latin American countries represented. They were Valeria Ayos of Colombia, Branda Smith of Panama, Luiseth Materán of Venezuela, Michelle Colón of Puerto Rico, and Ferreira of Paraguay. Ayos and Colón then made it to the Top 10, and Ayos went on to the Top 5.
Miss India was named the overall winner of the evening. She was crowned by last year’s Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico.
Last week, Miss Chile, Antonia Figueroa, was also recognized by the Miss Universe pageant as the recipient of the Social Impact Award. Our communities were also represented in the selection committee, including Brazilian model Adriana Lima and Puerto Rican actress Adamari López.
During the interview portion of the pageant, Ferreira was asked about the advice she would give young women on how to deal with the pressures they face in society today. She took the time to ask all young women to rally together to accomplish their goals.
“I’ve been through so many hard situations in my life, but I overcame them,” Ferriera said. “I want all women…in this moment, to join forces to do what you’re meant to do. You can do it, no matter the situation. You can always be victorious.”
Ferriera also impressed judges and viewers at home during the evening gown portion of the pageant when she walked onto the stage in a sparkling silver dress with a sheer cape.
She also wowed the audience with her national costume, created by over 20 artists out of sustainable materials.