Miss Nicaragua secured the Miss Universe 2023 crown, marking a historic first for her nation.
Sheynnis Palacios, a 23-year-old model and communicologist, clinched the 72nd Miss Universe title during the coronation night held Saturday at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Palacios, who bested 83 other candidates, is the first Nicaraguan woman in history to win the Miss Universe title.
The competition’s final top three were Palacios, Miss Thailand Anntonia Porsild, who became the first runner-up, and Miss Australia Moraya Wilson, the second runner-up.
During the final question and answer round, the three candidates were asked the same question: “If you could live one year in another woman’s shoes, who would you choose and why?”
“I would choose Mary Wollstonecraft, because she opened the gap to give an opportunity to many women,” Palacios answered. “What I would do, I would want that gap, that income gap, would open up so that women could work in any area that they chose to work in because there’s no limitation for women. That was 1750. Now in 2023, we’re making history.”
Wollstonecraft was a British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. In 1972, she authored “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” a classic of rationalist feminism.
Sheynnis Palacios’ Pageantry Journey
Palacios is well-versed in the beauty pageant realm, having embarked on a lengthy journey before clinching this year’s Miss Universe title.
Palacios began her pageantry journey early, winning the Miss Lasallista pageant when she was a student at La Salle Managua Pedagogical Institute. At the age of 17, she became Miss Teen Nicaragua 2016.
Her ascent continued as she claimed the Miss World Nicaragua 2020 crown, an accomplishment that propelled her onto the global stage.
In 2022, she represented Nicaragua at the Miss World 2021 competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which earned her a spot among the top 40 finalists.
Sheynnis Palacios’ Advocacy for Mental Health
Throughout the competition, Palacios has been vocal about her advocacy for mental health, particularly addressing anxiety. In her “Voice for Change” video, she candidly discussed her experience, sharing that her anxiety episodes began at 18 years old.
“I want to speak on mental health, especially anxiety on women,” Palacios shared in the video. “Because the reality is it is affecting people all over the world.”
Motivated by her personal journey, the beauty queen launched the “Understand Your Mind” project. This initiative aims to champion women facing mental health issues, specifically targeting anxiety symptoms and attacks.
Sheynnis Palacios’ Education and Sports Career
Palacios pursued her education at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua, graduating with a degree in mass communication.
Beyond her academic pursuits, she showcased her talents in volleyball, competing at the university level as part of her university’s varsity team and demonstrating a multifaceted approach to her studies and extracurricular activities.
Sheynnis Palacios’ Early Life and Family Background
Palacios, whose full name is Sheynnis Alondra Palacios Cornejo, was born on May 30, 2000, in Managua to parents Sheyla Cornejo and Reynaldo Palacios. Both of them are immersed in entrepreneurial pursuits. The beauty queen has two siblings, Reynaldo Jr. and Sheyla.
Palacios is fluent in three languages: Spanish, Portuguese, and English.