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Jan 11, 2021

Iris Salguero is New Miss Universe Belize

Iris Salguero is the new Miss Universe Belize. The latest beauty ambassador was chosen via a virtual casting call that included several rounds of interviews with a local and international panel of judges. The crowning took place live on Channel Five, and News Five’s Duane Moody files this report. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

Miss Universe Belize 2020 is twenty-four-year-old San Pedrana Iris Salguero. The announcement was made during a virtual broadcast from the Biltmore Plaza over the weekend. It was an overwhelming experience because even though she was chosen in early December, it had to be kept a secret until the official announcement was made.


Iris Salguero, Miss Universe Belize 2020

“My mind is racing. As I was telling you, no one back home knows. It was a secret that was very difficult to keep; not even my parents knew. And I am just excited to see the response of the people, and I ask all Belizeans for their love and support because, as I said in my speech, it makes a difference.”


The selection process was different this time around. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a casting call for which fifteen persons applied was held. And after several rounds of interviews, Salguero was selected to take over from 2019s Destinee Arnold. Romeo Escobar is Director of the Miss Universe Belize Organization.
Romeo Escobar, Director, Miss Universe Belize Organization

“It was a lengthy process that started on November first. Fifteen girls applied, and then the committee reviewed other applications, and we narrowed it down to a top eight. These persons went on to interview with the Miss Universe Belize organization and the reigning queen, Destinee Arnold. After that, we narrowed it down to a top-four; those lucky four went on to an interview with an international panel of judges.”


Iris Salguero

“My experience has helped me to grow into my confidence, into my empowerment. I was a child that was bullied in school, and it made me very insecure, and I was a tomboy because of it. I used to hide my body because I was bullied for being thin and tall. 2015 was a year of lessons for me; a lot of wins and losses, but it made me just fall in love with all of those imperfections that society tends to label. So I think that my biggest strength is my confidence and remembering my roots, my humility and just representing my people because Belize is a melting pot of cultures; there is a lot to represent, so heavy is the crown, but I am sure that I can do it.”


Salguero is no stranger to the pageant industry, representing the Jewel in several international pageants, including Miss World back in 2016 and Miss Earth in 2017. So, with a date for the international pageant still outstanding but rumored to be held sometime in late April or early May, Salguero and her team have already hit the ground running.
Iris Salguero

“Even though I have experience, there is always room for improvement. That goes down to training with my walk, perfecting it with my trainer Rafael Pimentel; I am grateful for him. He is really experienced. With my speech coach, fine-tuning my answers, my contract, to my bio for Miss Universe, but we are training very hard. And it requires some late nights and early mornings, but its not about the glitz and glamour. Its about the higher purpose and platform that I want to achieve with Miss Universe.”
Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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