Karina Ramos Leitón, 20, has won the Miss Costa Rica 2014 beauty pageant. And it seemingly blew her mind.
“I don’t remember very well what I was thinking,” Ramos told La Nación about the announcement. “I just felt great relief … I threw my head back, I looked upward and said, ‘God, it happened.’”
A Heredia native, Ramos moved to San José in 2008 to study public relations at ULatina. But before she pursues her career in radio and television, Ramos will compete in Miss Universe, the most famous beauty pageant in the world.
The Miss Costa Rica competition has been crowning smiley young Ticas since 1954, and the tiny nation has a long and storied history on the global stage, starting with Marían Esquivel McKeown of San José, who was a Top 15 finalist at Miss Universe. Costa Ricans have performed particularly well in recent years, with Johanna Solano being selected for the Top 10 in 2011 and Fabiana Granados earning Top 16 in 2013. Other distinctions include the International Coffee Queen (2006), Miss Photogenic (1978), and Miss Congeniality (1956). Perhaps the most curious win was “Miss Asia Pacific,” in 1996 and 1998.
Ramos is no stranger to pageants: She has participated in a number of major events, earning Top 20 at the Miss Supranational Costa Rica competition in 2012, among other titles. She will replace Fabiana Granados as Miss Costa Rica until mid-2015.
To date, Costa Rica has never won the Miss Universe crown. But it would definitely be fun to watch if it happens this year, because Ramos’s head might explode.
To learn more about Miss Costa Rica (in Spanish), visit the official website.