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A Mexican model and presenter has been crowned the most prestigious beauty pageant award, Miss World at a glitzy event on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan on Saturday.
Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce de Leon, 26, has a degree in international business, volunteers for ‘Migrantes en el Camino’ and is on the board of directors of a rehab center for girls, according to the Miss World website. She was crowned as the 68th Miss World by last year’s winner, Manushi Chhillar of India, in the coastal city of Sanya on Saturday.
The colourful ceremony included US group Sister Sledge performing their 1979 disco anthem We Are Family. Speaking backstage following her win, Vanessa said: ‘I can’t believe it, I really can’t believe it, and I think all the girls deserved it. I am proud to represent all of them.
‘I will do as much as I can in the time I have got. Thank you so much, everyone.”
Vanessa is a speaker for the National Youth Institute as well as working as a model and a presenter.
It was also gathered, she has also qualified as an open water scuba diver and she also enjoys playing volleyball, painting and ultimate Frisbee. Her favourite TV show is ‘Downton Abbey’ and her personal motto is, ‘We all need each other.’
This year’s runner-up was Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan, a 20-year-old studying business administration.
Miss Belarus Maria Vasilevich, Miss Jamaica Khadijah Robinson and Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo were also among the final five.
It is the eighth time the Miss World final has been held in Sanya, which first hosted the pageant in 2003.
The Miss World pageant, created in Britain by Eric Morley in 1951, is the oldest surviving major international beauty contest.
According to Rappler, Vanessa has previously said of her humanitarian work: ‘I am a woman who is always searching for a purpose.
‘I believe in love, art and caring for others. I am a hard worker, a daydreamer and I am always trying to put a smile on the faces of the people I meet.
‘I had been a model for the past couple of years, but two years ago, I gave the profession up.
‘It’s a completely different business. I work with people with disabilities or girls that are going through rehab, and I just love it. Everyone should try volunteering at least once in their life. They will be very surprised.’
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