The young representative of San Sebastián was in the Netherlands, where she left after being the first finalist in the 2019 contest in which Madison Anderson Berríos won.
A year and three months ago, Estefanía Soto held hands with Madison Anderson Berríos to hear which of the two would represent the island in the Miss Universe 2019 pageant. Her name was not mentioned. At that moment, she closed a chapter of her life that she never imagined that she would open again last night to place on her head the crown that makes her the new Miss Universe Puerto Rico .
Faced with the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the local organization decided that Estefanía, in addition to having been the first finalist in last year's contest, was the most qualified person to succeed Madison and represent the island in the next international event that is expected to be held early next year.
For Estefanía, this new opportunity means the redefinition of what it is to win, because a year ago she had all the qualities to become the ambassador of Puerto Rico in the Miss Universe and that was something that played in her favor this year.
“When they called to tell me, the first thing that came to my mind was that everything comes in due course. I believe it faithfully. I was a competitor in 2019. I competed for the town of San Sebastián. I was first runner-up. I finished that plan I had, I resumed my plan to move to Europe and being there for seven months, I receive that call. What I thought and what I keep thinking is that everything comes at the right time, when you are most prepared and when life really wants it, “explained the new queen.
Estefanía has a bachelor's degree in foreign languages and a master's degree in intercultural mediation from the University of Leuven in Belgium and speaks Spanish, English and French. At the time of receiving the offer to become Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2020, she was living in Holland and decided to return to her island to receive this new assignment.
He commented that it was a moment of reflection. After all, he had already settled on the European continent and was directing both his professional and personal life. After putting everything on a scale, he understood that it was an opportunity that he could not refuse.
“Being Miss Universe Puerto Rico is something very big, especially for our country, for our continent and that was one of the reasons. But beyond carrying the title, the prestige, the glamor and the attention that comes with the title, (it allows you) to have that opportunity to share with the people the experiences that I have had, to share about the resources that allowed me to reach where i arrived. Beyond saying that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it has incredible value ”, he highlighted.
It is a fact that the new queen has a more extensive academic preparation, in addition to work experiences that many other young women who have conquered the crown have not had and that allows her to be very clear about the steps she wishes to take with the privileges that this title gives her. provides.
Although for Estefanía wearing the Miss Universe Puerto Rico crown means the beginning of many projects, there is one that began when she was the candidate from San Sebastián to which she wants to give continuity and is the support of immigrant women on the island, something that is very tied with her university studies – she has a master's degree in intercultural mediation – but also with the commitment she has as a citizen.
“But, beyond that, (I share) the experience I have as a Puerto Rican woman moving to another country, not to say that my experience is close to an immigrant woman in Puerto Rico, because I have to clarify that there are some factors that are different. , some privileges that are involved and that mark and determine that experience. But as a human being, the changes in the process that I went through, of getting used to a new culture, different countries, languages and different government systems, which at times can be fun, but which is also difficult and requires a lot of stability. emotional, mental. I wonder what happens to those women who come to our country looking for a better lifestyle. I'm going to meet them, see what they are doing for them and what their stories are ”, he explained.
To achieve her goals in times as difficult as those lived as a result of the pandemic, the new queen intends to use all possible means to carry her message, being clear about the power of social networks.
Hopeful in the vote of the young
For almost a year, Estefanía was out of Puerto Rico and now that she returned and saw the interest of the youth in voting in the next elections, she makes her feel hope that a change is possible in the country.
“ Puerto Rico, for a long time, has faced countless problems that have made us stop in our tracks and re-evaluate our priorities. Now that I arrive on the island and the voting time is approaching, I feel a lot of hope because I see a very genuine motivation, especially from the youth, to create change and to be informed to exercise that right to vote to express what they want and what they need ”, he commented.
The beauty stressed that, although Puerto Ricans have had to face great challenges in recent years, she feels confident in the fighting spirit and desire to get ahead that her compatriots have.
“There are things that are worrisome, but right now that I'm coming back, I notice that and it's a ray of light,” he said.
Feminine and intelligent
Another great objective of Estefanía in the year of reign that has just begun is to help break the stereotype that beauty and coquetry are at odds with the intellectual and professional capacity of a woman.
For her, it is important to show that a woman can have many interests and very varied at the same time. He uses his life experiences as an example. From a very young age, she was drawn to the field of fashion and beauty to the point that she stood out as a runway and editorial model. Over time, he developed a great passion for academia, education and languages and has been able to unite both interests without problem.
“ I would like to show that you can be genuine by running an international organization, but also having a YouTube channel to do makeup tutorials. There should be no shame about that and no doubt about a woman's potential and character or questioning her academic resume because she is a model. I would like to show that women are multifaceted. There is nothing simpler, but purer than doing what your heart dictates ”, he concluded.