Sheynnis Palacios reacts after being crowned Miss Universe at the 72nd Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Saturday. AP
Palacios, 23, received the crown and sash from her predecessor, R'Bonney Gabriel from the United States.
This is the first time a contestant from Nicaragua has won the contest, with Thailand's Anntonia Porsild and Australia's Moraya Wilson rounding out the top three.
Palacios, who said she considers humility and gratitude for little things as her main qualities, won among 84 contestants who participated during a week of competitions that included posing in swimsuits, evening gowns and traditional dresses.
In her final answer to the jury, Palacios emphasised the importance of equal pay regardless of gender so that women can "work in any area." "There is no limit for women," she said.
Palacios said she wants to work to close the salary gap between the genders so that women can work in any area.
Each participant paraded on a stage set up in the newly renovated Adolfo Pineda National Gymnasium, in the capital San Salvador.
The organisers of the gala, which was attended by El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, also announced that the next edition will be held in Mexico.
Miss Universe was last held in El Salvador in 1975. This year's event was another opportunity for President Nayib Bukele to tout changes made under his administration, especially greatly improving the country's safety.
"El Salvador has changed for good and we have shown it again,” Bukele said Saturday night. "Miss Universe has given us the opportunity to show the world what we are capable of. Thank you for choosing to be part of El Salvador’s rebirth.”
Bukele is running for reelection despite constitutional term limits and is widely popular for his crackdown on the country’s gangs. But he has faced international criticism for eroding checks and balances on his power and not respecting human rights.
More than 72,000 people have been arrested without due process since a state of emergency was declared in March 2022 in response to a surge in gang violence. The special powers it granted Bukele remain in place.
Sini Shetty from Karnataka was announced the winner of Femina Miss India World 2022 title. Rajasthan’s Rubal Shekhawat emerged as Femina Miss India 2022 first runner-up and Shinata Chauhan from UP was named second runner-up.
The glitzy competition, born from a 1921 Atlantic City beauty contest just a year after women were given the right to vote, maintains a complicated presence in American culture that has undergone multiple waves of feminism.
The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat. The pageant was held in the middle of the night, wrapping up at 5 am local time (10 p.m. EST) to accommodate the primetime schedule in the US.
Shifting to a healthier diet – and sticking to it – can add almost a decade to life for middle-aged people, a new study finds.
To make this dish vegan, replace honey with maple syrup and use a dairy-free alternative to butter.
After all, most holidaymakers suffer the sting of blisters from new sandals rubbing at the feet after a day of exploring.