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The personal and professional development of Latina women in the past two decades has been
significant and we embark now on a new era for pageantry. No longer can it be said that beautiful
women are not intelligent and the Latin women is now taking advantage of pageants to further
their careers, whatever their field of endeavor. Having achieved its goals, the Miss Latin America
program begins the millennium with more emphasis now on the entertainment facet of pageantry,
while continuing to promote the integral beauty and international goodwill for which it is renowned.
The New Millennium
The new millennium sees Barceló Hotels & Resorts co-producing their
first Miss Latin America® Pageant , along with the Miss U.S. Latina®
national competition, commencing a new tradition for this, the
longest-running pageant exclusively for Latinas in the world.
The Government of Nicaragua hosts the Miss Latin
America and Miss U.S. Latina Pageants in 2000. The
Miss U.S. Latina Katherine
Gonzalez (far right) with the 2001
Miss Latin America Pageant
delegates visit President Arnoldo
Aleman in Managua, Nicaragua.
Carol Arciniegas, First Runner-Up
and Miss U.S. Latina 2000
Katherine Gonzalez in Nicaragua..
In 2002 the Miss Latin America Pageant is held as part of the celebrations of the 10th Anniversary
of the Barceló Playa Tambor Resort in Costa Rica. The US Pageant is not part of the program
and there is not enough lead time to produce it separately. Miss U.S. Latina 2002 has to be chosen
from among existing pageant titleholders by executive decision and Utah gets its first national
titleholder in the Pageant's history.
After the successful event in
Nicaragua, Barceló Hotels &
Resorts invites Organizacion Miss
America Latina to their famous
resort in Punta Cana - the Barceló
Bavaro Beach Resort. California's
delegate wins the 2001 National
Pageant as part of the inaugural
activites of the new Barceló Bavaro
Convention Center in November.
capital Managua is the stage for the USA finals that saw New York's delegate take the crown. She
joined the international delegates competing for the 2001 Miss Latin America title that same
November in Playa Montelimar.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2001
President Hipolito Mejia with Miss Latin America and
Miss U.S. Latina Pageant delegates at the Presidential
Palace in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Delegates at the 2003 Miss Latin
America Press Reception in San
Jose included Miss U.S. Latina 2002
Elynor Martinez (3rd from right).
Barceló Maya Beach Resort in Mexico's Riviera
Maya hosts the 2003 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant for
the first time separately from the international
event that it had been a part of since US state
delegates began competing in the Miss Latin
America Pageant in 1983. A national sister
pageant for Teens was added to the production
and the first Miss Teen U.S. Latina was crowned
on the same night that gave Utah back-to-back
Miss U.S. Latina winners that year.
Miss U.S. Latina 2003 Lydia Acuña
meets again with Mayor Juan
Ignacio Garcia Zalvidea when she
returns to Cancun with the
participant of the 2004 Miss Latin
The 2003 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant
delegates are welcomed to Mexico by
Mayor Juan Ignacio Garcia of Cancun.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 2004
The Barceló Bavaro Convention Center, stage of the first Miss Latin America Pageant in the
Caribbean, host the 2004 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant in the Dominican Republic. This time, it shares
the stage with its Dominican counterpart, just as it had done before in Argentina and Guatemala. A
statuesque beauty from Kansas gives
that state its first national Latina
titleholder. Later that year she goes on
to become First Runner-Up to Miss Latin
America 2005 on the very same stage
she was crowned Miss U.S. Latina.
For a third time, the Miss U.S. Latina Pageant is held
concurrently with its counterpart in the host country.
The bi-national 2004 event elected the candidates
from both the USA and the Dominican Republic to the
2005 Miss Latin America Pageant that year.
Miss U.S. Latina 2004
Graciela Stanley with
San Pedro de Macoris
Echavarria in the
Miss U.S. Latina
H. Hertell at the
in Santo Domingo,
The Miss U.S. Latina Pageant returns to Mexico in 2005, together with its sister pageant
Miss Teen U.S. Latina. Barcelo Maya Beach Resort hosts the event for a second time in
the Riviera Maya and sees New York take home the crown. She takes it all the way and
becomes the first Miss Latin America from the USA in the two-decades long history of
At 2005 National Pageant Finals in Riviera
Maya, Mexico are (L-R) Miss Teen U.S. Latina
winner Geysha Gonzalez, Pageant Judge
Mayor Dora Alcala of Del Rio, Texas,
Pageant Show Host Jacqueline Cacho of
Univision, and Miss U.S. Latina 2005 winner
Melissa Quesada of New York.
Featured performers at the 2006 Miss U.S.
Latina and Miss Teen U.S. Latina Pageants
in Massachusetts are C Note, above with
winners Melissa Marin of Rhode Island and
Teen Karla Acosta of Florida
New York State Senator Jeff Klein and Miss
Latin America 2006 Melissa Quesada
bringing cheer to veterans at the VA Hospital
on Valentaine's Day.
Springfield City Council President
Jose F. Tosado talks with Miss
U.S. Latina Melissa Quesada at
the Big E Press Conference.
Melissa Marin and
Speaker of the House
Salvatore DiMasi at El
Jolgorio in Boston.
Miss U.S. Latina 2006
Melissa Marin at a
Rhode Island fundraiser
with City of Providence
Mayor David Cicilline
Guests of Honor at the
El Jolgorio event are
Boston Mayor Thomas
Menino and Miss U.S.
Mayor Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
welcomes 2007 Miss Latin America delegates, among them
Miss U.S. Latina Yalena Matos of Oregon.
Miss U.S. Latina 2009
Diana Franca with
Chairman of the San
Chamber of Commerce
and Marissa Castro,
Miss Teen US Latina '09.
Melissa in Boston meets State
Senator Robert A. Havern of
Massachusetts and his wife.
Miss U.S. Latina 2009
Diana Franca presents
Vice President Ramon
Alburquerque of the
Dominican Republic a
goodwill gift from the USA
during the official visit by
the Miss Latin America
2009 Pageant delegates
to the Presidential Palace
in Santo Domingo.