- Press Release, Saturday, November 17, 2012 - Queen of the Jewel (the Official Miss Belize), Destinee Arnold, made history as she was crowned Miss Ethnic World 2013. The pageant was held at the elegant Westin Hotel in Long Beach California where delegates from all over the world gathered for a weekend of activities, photo shoots and rigorous rehearsals.
The delegates were judged in six categories including personal interview, cultural expression, fashion-active wear, fashion-after five, eveningwear and community service in which documentation of service hours were verified by a third party.
While most international pageants have either removed the cultural competition from their score sheets or offer minimal points for it, Miss Ethnic World remains the only international pageant that is dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity through talent presentation and extensive interview. These two categories are each worth a hefty 20% of the delegate’s overall score.
“We are pleased to report that not only did our Miss Belize bring home the coveted crown; she also bested all 17 other delegates in personal interview, fashion – active wear and eveningwear. In addition to this, Miss Belize made top five in cultural expression for her poem and dance performance entitled: “Indigenous Me - The Year of the Maya”, paying homage to the Sun God, Kanich Ahau by dancing to Maya music and a pre-recorded recitation of her poem.
Destinee Arnold was crowned Miss Belize – Queen of the Jewel in July of 2012 in a well attended pageant that was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and aired live on Love TV. It was only three weeks ago that hundreds of proud Belizeans stayed awake until five o’clock in the morning to watch the 19-year-old Roaring Creek native represent our jewel at the prestigious Miss International Pageant in Okinawa Japan. Despite her stellar performance during the final competition and her ability to move the audience to tears with her speech about the much anticipated Inspiration Center of Belize, our stunning scholar did not place in the top 15.
“Destinee did express some disappointment upon her return. However, it was obvious that her confidence was completely unscathed as she jumped at the chance to compete again in such a short period of time. She trained intensely for both competitions and clearly our hard work has paid off. I couldn’t be more proud of her,” expressed Opal Enriquez, National Director of Miss Belize – Queen of the Jewel.
How does it feel to be an international winner?
Destinee: I feel honored and accomplished to be an international titleholder. Belize has been waiting for another international pageant win for a long time. It is amazing that I am able to follow in the footsteps of those who have: Maria Jeffery and Leilah Pandy who won Miss Costa Maya and My Director Ms. Opal who won Miss Pan –American International.
What do you hope to gain most from this experience?
Destinee: I hope to bring more global attention to Belize. Prior to this year, our country has been overlooked in the pageant industry and it is time for the world to see what we have to offer. Other queens before me have represented Belize well. When my reign ends I want the satisfaction of saying I have contributed to the cause of making Belize a country to watch.
What was your most memorable moment from this experience?
Destinee: My most memorable moment is when I won the award of best interview. When the competition started I told my director that other than winning the pageant I wanted to win that award. The moment they called my name I knew that I had accomplished my goal. My primary focus is my academics so it is important to me as a woman to be acknowledged for my intelligence. Everything else is a perk.
What do you hope to be your next accomplishment as Miss Belize?
Destinee: Well I just signed an exclusive contract with SMART so I am looking forward to being the new face of such a great company. The next thing I would like to accomplish as Miss Belize is executing my platform which is to promote education and become an advocate for the advancement of children with special needs. I also hope to work with the Diabetes Foundation and the Belize Cancer Society in educating people about those illnesses and providing medical attention for those in need. Now that I have an international title as well as my national title it is time for me to focus all of my attention to my purpose as a public figure.
Destinee and Queen of the Jewel Ltd would like to express their utmost gratitude to the Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon. Roland P. Yorke , the Arnold/Garbutt family, NICH, Love TV, SMART , Mars Caribbean Restaurant, The Belize Cultural Foundation (BCF) , BTIA, Belize in America and Ambergris Today for their continued support. Destinee will be returning to Belize on Saturday, November 24 to continue her official duties as the reigning Miss Belize.
Congratulations Destinee! You bring honor to the Jewel.