The Miss Universe pageant has historically showcased young, beautiful, talented women from around the globe.
In recent years, the representatives from Latin American, the Caribbean and other Western nations have increasingly become more reflective of the wide variety of people living in those countries. Keeping with this recent trend, two of the top three contestants were of African descent in this year’s pageant.
First runner-up Raquel Pelissier represented Haiti and she is as smart as she is beautiful. Pelissier is currently pursuing a master’s in optometry and vision, speaks five languages and has donated school supplies to those in need.
Miss Colombia, Andrea Tovar, was second runner-up. The model graduated with a degree in industrial design and photo production and hopes to create a foundation that will use raw materials from the Pacific to develop eco-friendly Colombian products. Tovar spends her free time teaching children with disabilities.