Pali student Jennifer Villatoro wins Miss Guatemala Pageant

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Pali student Jennifer Villatoro wins Miss Guatemala Pageant

Maya Millner, Staff Writer

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Junior Jennifer Villatoro won the Union De Guatemaltecos Emigrantes pageant on August 16, 2018.

Villatoro was invited to participate in the pageant, and although she joined late, she quickly picked up the skills required to compete, including dancing the merengue, speaking proper Spanish and walking in heels. After hard work and studying with her fellow participants, Villatoro became Miss Unión De Guatemaltecos Emigrantes.

For Villatoro, the pageant experience was a positive one. On top of learning about politics and how to use proper Spanish, she said she made close friends, adding that “we live far away from each other, but we always come back and we’re always texting and talking to each other.

“Our organization is very welcoming. They would always tell us that we’re all beautiful. I don’t know about other organizations, but I think our organization is in a good place,” Villatoro explained, elaborating that she has heard that people in other beauty pageants told young girls to lose weight.

At first, Villatoro’s competitive drive made her want to win the pageant, but when she was crowned, she realized the importance of the entire process, which allowed her to learn more about her culture while also building confidence. “I actually have a big part in this. I didn’t really put into consideration what this was actually about,” she said. “I was just thinking it was fun, it was all nice and pretty and you could just tell people you’re a queen, but it isn’t really about that.”

Miss Unión De Guatemaltecos Emigrantes is more than just a title. Villatoro has many responsibilities. “You actually have to fight for your people,” she said. “You actually have to organize campaigns. You have to actually do what you’re saying. You have to actually mean it.”

After winning the pageant, Villatoro met with the mayor of North Las Vegas to discuss some economic issues that the community has been experiencing. “My job and the first finalist’ job is to come together and make an organization so we can go out of our way to help the people in poverty and people that are immigrants,” Villatoro explained, adding that she has also been working on ways to educate immigrants of their rights.

Although her father was initially against the pageant, Villatoro said her family and friends were supportive and excited when she won. Overall, Villatoro says she is “proud and honored to represent the country that my parents were born in.”