Miss Nicaragua, Sheynnis Palacios, has won the Miss Universe competition in El Salvador, the first to wear the crown from her country. Her biography facts explored.
After weeks and a fierce competition involving 84 women from all around the world in hopes of taking the title, the Miss Universe beauty pageant contest has culminated and one woman stood out as the winner.
Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Alondra Palacios has been crowned as the new Miss Universe at the annual event hosted at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena in El Salvador.
Sheynnis takes the crown from Houston, Texas native R’Bonney Gabriel who won the title in 2022.
The 2023 titleholder made history on November 18 as the first-ever Miss Nicaragua to win the pageant.
Here’s everything we know about the beauty queen.
Who is Sheynnis Palacios?
Sheynnis Palacios (real name: Sheynnis Alondra Palacios Cornejo) was born on May 30, 2000, in Managua, Nicaragua.
She is a model and beauty pageant titleholder crowned Miss Universe 2023.
Having previously been crowned Miss Nicaragua 2023, she was the first Nicaraguan to win Miss Universe and the first to win one of the Big Four international beauty pageants.
What school did Sheynnis Palacios attend? Palacios was educated at La Salle Managua Pedagogical Institute, where she won the Miss Lasallista beauty pageant, beginning her interest in pageantry. She studied at the Universidad Centroamericana and graduated with a degree in mass communications.
During her varsity days, she was an active athlete and played volleyball for her school’s team.
In her youth, Palacios suffered from anxiety attacks, which later inspired her to adopt mental health awareness as her pageant platform.
Palacios is an advocate for women’s mental health and has been open about her struggles with anxiety attacks.
In a bid to raise awareness for women who may experience similar issues, Palacios started a project named Understand Your Mind.
The initiative sees Palacios interview different specialists on mental health.
Palacios describes herself as an animal lover who rescues cats and dogs, and she has also stated she enjoys doing puzzles.
When asked who she would choose to spend a day in the life of during the Miss Universe final, Palacios named Mary Wollstonecraft.
She explained that she chose the 18th-century British writer and philosopher because she broke boundaries and “gave an opportunity to many women”.
Sheynnis Palacios is not new to pageant competition – so what other competitions have Sheynnis Palacios won?
Before winning Miss Universe, Palacios competed in several other competitions.
She won the Miss Teen Nicaragua pageant in 2016, her first contest as a beauty queen.
She then competed in Miss World 2021 and placed in the top 40.
Palacios won the title of Miss Nicaragua 2023, after which she represented Nicaragua in Miss Universe.
The star’s win at Miss Universe makes her the first Nicaraguan, and the second woman from Central America, to win the title.
What does Sheynnis Palacios do for a living?
By profession, Sheynnis Palacios is a model, mental health activist, and audiovisual producer. According to her Miss Universe bio, Palacios is passionate about producing and editing video content.
Her career goals include working in the humanitarian sector, and “running a newsroom and producing content and commercials for international brands”.
She has also produced events and other audiovisual projects on mental health, which she is very focused on.
Before becoming Miss Universe, Palacios was working as a journalist in Nicaragua.
With mental health, which stems from her own experiences with anxiety, she started an accessible initiative called “Understand Your Mind,” in which she interviews a specialist on emotional care in her television segments.
Is Sheynnis Palacios married and does she have children?
Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios is not married and she doesn’t have children.
In August 2022, Miss Universe changed its rules to allow married women and mothers to compete for the first time in the competition’s history.
In 2023, Miss Colombia Camila Avella became the first married woman and mother to place at the event.
Palacios and Avella were not the only women to make history at the 2023 Miss Universe as there were several other firsts for the competition.
Erica Robin competed as the first ever Miss Pakistan, while Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett became the first body-inclusive contestant to compete.
Miss Portugal Marina Machete also broke a record, becoming the first transgender contestant to place in the top 20.
Who are Sheynnis Palacios’ parents and family members?
Sheynnis Palacios’ parents are Mr. Palacios (father) and Raquel Cornejo (mother).
Her mom and dad have been instrumental in her success, providing her with unwavering encouragement and guidance throughout her journey.
Her social media shows a close-knit relationship with her mother, Raquel, and grandmom.
Sheynnis, a problem solver, put herself through the communications program at her university by working in her mom’s snack business.
When the business faltered in an economic crisis, her mother migrated north to find a better job, and she became the economic and emotional support for her grandmother and young brother.
What is Sheynnis Palacios’ net worth?
Sheynnis Palacios has made a sizable fortune throughout her career. Per reports, she has an estimated current net worth of less than $1 million.
She accrued her money from brand endorsements, beauty competitions, and sponsorships with companies aside from her profession as a mental health activist and audiovisual producer.
Who took part in Miss Universe?
In 2023, 84 women from all over the world took to the Miss Universe stage in hopes of being crowned the pageant’s winner.
The top 20 was made up of competitors from:
- Puerto Rico
- El Salvador
- South Africa
- United States
Miss Australia Moraya Wilson placed third and Miss Thailand Antonia Porsild was the runner-up behind Miss Nicaragua.
The competition was presented by TV stars Jeannie Mai, Maria Menounos, and Olivia Culpo.
Culpo won the Miss Universe competition herself back in 2012 and 2023 marked the second time she had returned to host the event.
The judging panel, meanwhile, included Queer Eye and Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Carson Kressley, model Halima Aden, TikTok’s Avani Gregg, and former Miss Universe winners Janelle Commissiong and Iris Mittenaere.
Meet R’Bonney Gabriel, the last 2022 Miss Universe winner
R’Bonney Gabriel won the last Miss Universe. She was born in Houston, Texas, on March 20, 1994.
In October 2022, Gabriel told ABC News’ local affiliate in Houston: “My dad moved to America from the Philippines on a college scholarship with about $20 in his pocket.
“He wanted to pave a new life for himself. He met my mom in Texas, who is a country woman from Beaumont. I’m a very proud Filipina Texan.”
According to her bio, she loves to hula hoop, backpack, and read during her free time.
Meet Harnaaz Sandhu, Miss Universe 2021 winner
Harnaaz Sandhu was born in Chandigarh, India, on March 3, 2000.
The 23-year-old is known as an Indian model and beauty pageant titleholder.
Over the years, she has won multiple titles including Miss Chandigarh in 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India in 2018, Femina Miss India Punjab in 2019, and Miss Diva Universe in 2021.
Outside of competing, Sandhu reportedly enjoys yoga, dancing, cooking, horseback riding, playing chess, and swimming while she works on starting a career in acting, according to her Miss Universe bio