Belize woman Destiny Wagner has made history after winning the title of Miss Earth 2021. The 25-year-old did not only become the first Belizean to hold an international title for the country but also became the first Black winner of the pageant in 19 years. The last Black woman to be crowned winner was Kenya’s Winfred Omwakwe in 2002.
Wagner has been praised by Belizeans including the country’s Prime Minister Johnny Briceño for her win. “I congratulate Ms. Destiny Wagner on winning Miss Earth 2021. We look forward to your stellar representation of our beautiful country over the next year,” the prime minister posted on social media.
Miss Earth is an annual international major beauty pageant that advocates for environmental conservation, awareness, and social responsibility. Wagner has said that she is focused on the conservation of natural resources and children’s rights.
“My family and I have a non-profit organization in which we supply sustainable meals to children in 3 plus villages for the past 10 years. We provide them with school supplies, toys, and resources necessary for them to excel in the classroom,” she said, according to Ambergris Today Online.
And she couldn’t hide her joy when she topped 87 others who participated in the competition to be named the winner. “My country has never placed at Miss Earth before nor have we ever had an international crown,” she said. “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.”
Wagner, born in 1996, is a poet, television presenter and author. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pace University in New York. Her first book “So You Need Advice” looks at issues such as love, sex, school, and other matters that women face on a daily.
During the final question and answer portion during Miss Earth last week, the Top 4 contestants – Belize, USA, Thailand and Chile – were asked how they think technology can solve environmental problems. Wagner responded: “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 said, according to Ambergris Today Online.
The competition was held virtually due to COVID-19. Wagner succeeds American woman Lindsey Coffey who won in 2020.