Destiny Wagner from Belize made history for her beautiful island on Saturday night as she won the virtual Miss Earth 2021 competition and became the first Belizean to win a major international pageant.
“My country has never placed at Miss Earth before nor have we ever had an international crown. So right now, this is what we needed and I am happy to represent such a gorgeous country. I am overwhelmed right now with emotions. The words and the gratitude, it’s very hard to express. But I am thankful. I am thankful for the Miss Earth Organization and thankful for my team as well,” Wagner said after winning the pageant.
After the winning, Destiny took to social media to share her joy.
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Wagner,25, a graduate of Business Administration, manages her own business and the non-profit organization “Operation Kingdom” dedicated to combating child hunger and fighting for equal education.
Her advocacies are sustainability of marine life and the promotion of children’s rights.
Destiny dedicated her performance on Saturday night to her best friend Jordan Perez who she said “supported me in all my endeavors and I miss him dearly” as he is no longer alive. “I know he (Jordan Perez) has been with me throughout this process and will continue to be with me,” said the newly crowned Miss Earth 2021 prior to the competition.
For Wagner, her motivation for winning was her team and everyone who stood by her side throughout the competition.
“I got appointed last minute and I got appointed as a replacement. A week after I got appointed, my videos were due. We had to rally together. I am so fortunate to have a great support system with family and friends, not only in Belize but throughout the entire world who came together and made sure that I had everything I needed in order to excel in this pageant. That was the highlight. They were my motivation and without them, I would not be here right now,” she said.
During the final question and answer portion, the Top 4 contestants – Belize, USA, Thailand and Chile – were asked how far can technology go to help save the environmental situation the world is currently in. In responding, Destiny said: “I am so thankful to live in a digital age right now. Because of technology, we are able to spread awareness of things that are happening not only in my country but in other countries as well.”
“However, technology can also be used to save our environment because by incorporating innovation and technology as well as sustainability, we can use those two things to come together. I am so thankful to be a woman now in 2021 and be able to have access to these things such as solar energy and renewable energy. When mixed together, there’s nothing that we cannot do. I am thankful to be in the digital age of technology and it will be used to save the planet,” she added.
Destiny topped 87 other delegates who participated in the competition to take the crown. Of the final four contestants, USA’s Marisa Butler won Miss Earth Air, Chile’s Romina Denecken was selected as Miss Earth Water and Thailand’s Baitong Jareerat Petsom settled for Miss Earth Fire.
Last year’s crown was won by USA’s Lindsey Coffey who will now pass the Miss Earth crown on to the Belizean entrepreneur and author who hails from Punta Gorda, Toledo.
In 2020 the Miss Earth pageant successfully mounted its first virtual competition and following its success, the organization decided to hold the 2021 competition virtually as well. Despite the non-traditional format, the organization was overwhelmed by the large turnout of participating countries and even welcomed the inclusion of the delegates from Iran and Syria who joined the pageant for the first time.
“The health and safety of the delegates have always been our top priority but we are hopeful that by next year, the global situation would not be as stringent and that we would be able to stage a live pageant once more,” Schuck said in justifying its decision.