In a historic moment for Nicaragua, Sheynnis Palacios has been crowned Miss Universe 2023, bringing the coveted title to her home country for the first time. The 23-year-old mental health activist and audiovisual producer from Managua captivated hearts at the 72nd edition of the Miss Universe pageant held at the Jose Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The announcement was made on Saturday night, marking the culmination of an incredible journey for Palacios. Miss Thailand Anntonia Porsild secured the first runner-up position, while Miss Australia Moraya Wilson was named the second runner-up, according to the official Instagram page of Miss Universe.
The crowning moment was particularly poignant as Palacios received the crown from the outgoing Miss Universe, USA’s R’Bonney Gabriel, who held the title in 2022. The Miss Universe organization shared the joyous news, declaring, “MISS UNIVERSE 2023 is @sheynnispalacios_of!”
Palacios, typically more comfortable behind the camera, stepped into the limelight driven by her passion for addressing global issues. Her journey, as described by the Miss Universe organization in an Instagram post, is a testament to her resilience and commitment to making a difference.
The 23-year-old Nicaraguan became the economic and emotional pillar for her family when her mother migrated in search of better opportunities during an economic crisis. To fund her education in the communications program at university, Palacios worked in her mother’s snack business.
Palacios, now crowned Miss Universe 2023, has chosen mental health as her advocacy. Having faced anxiety in her own life, she initiated the ‘Understand Your Mind’ initiative, making emotional care accessible through television segments featuring specialists. Additionally, she has organized events and audiovisual projects addressing mental health issues.
Her long-term aspirations involve working in the service of humanity by running a newsroom, producing content, and creating commercials for international brands. Alongside her professional pursuits, Palacios dedicates her spare time to rescuing cats and dogs and indulges in mental games and puzzles.
Palacios emerged victorious among contestants from 83 countries, surpassing challenges and standing out on a global stage. Notable mentions include Miss India Shweta Sharda, who made it to the top 20 contestants, and Erica Robin, the first-ever Miss Universe Pakistan 2023, also securing a spot in the top 20.
The Miss Diva organization took to Instagram to congratulate Shweta Sharda, expressing pride in her representation and eagerly anticipating her return. The diverse and talented group of contestants made the Miss Universe 2023 pageant a memorable spectacle.
Adding to the glamour of the evening, American singer-songwriter John Legend graced the stage, delivering a mesmerizing performance of his popular track “All of Me.” The event not only celebrated beauty but also highlighted the significance of individual stories and the causes that resonate with each contestant.
As Sheynnis Palacios embarks on her journey as Miss Universe 2023, her win not only marks a personal achievement but also serves as an inspiration for aspiring advocates and change-makers globally. Nicaragua proudly takes its place on the international stage, making history with Sheynnis Palacios at the forefront.