Latinas dominated the Miss Earth 2016 as Ecuador scored its second win in the pageant while three other South American beauties finished in the podium.
Katherine Espin,23, bested 82 other delegates to win the title. Ecuador first won the crown in 2011 with Olga Alava.
“I feel very blessed,” Espin told Missosology moments after winning. “I was able to [make] my dream come true.”
Colombia’s Michelle Gomez was named Miss Earth-Air, while heavy favorite Stephanie De Zorzi of Venezuela settled for the Miss Earth-Water title. Brazil’s Bruna Zanardo was crowned Miss Earth-Fire.
Espin impressed the judges in the final round when she was asked, “If you were selected as Miss Earth 2016, what would be your program to protect Mother Earth from climate change?”
She replied: “I truly believe in the 5Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, [Recycle], Respect – and I believe that as human beings, if we apply that to our everyday lives, we can make a change and reduce the problems just mentioned…we can save the place we live in which is Mother Earth.”
No stranger to pageants, Espin competed at Miss Bikini Universe 2013 and Top Model of the World 2015.
Completing the Top 8 finalists were Miss Russia Aleksandra Cherepanova, Miss Sweden Cloie Syquia Skarne, Miss USA Corrin Stellaki and Miss Vietnam Nguyen Thi Le Nam Em.
The rest of the 16 semifinalists were Miss Australia Lyndl Kean, Miss England Luissa Burton, Miss Italy Denise Frigo, Miss Korea Chae-Yeung Lee, Miss Macau Clover Zhu, Miss Mexico Itzel Astudillo, Miss Northern Ireland Julieann McStravick and Miss South Africa Nozipho Magagula. Miss Philippines Imelda Scweighart failed to make the cut.
Miss Moldova Tatiana Ovcinicová won Best Eco Video while Miss Wales Charlotte Hitchman was named Miss Eco Warrior.
The finals, hosted by Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez, was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. PageantFocus