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First Win for Oklahoma in Miss U.S. Latina Pageant
Miss Oklahoma Latina Karla Ferrari wins National title at the 2014 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant held in the Dominican Republic as a preliminary event to Miss Latin America of the World.
Originally from Venezuela, Karla has resided in Oklahoma for the past two years, where she graduated last May from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in Leadership and Management. She is fluent in both the English and Spanish languages and active in several volunteer organizations, including Star Foundation and Oye Help Me.
Miss U.S. Latina™ is the first national pageant established in the country to recognize the personal and cultural attributes of Latin women beyond their physical beauty and in celebration of their ethnicity. The 2014 edition saw 24 delegates from across the USA participate representing Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and U.S. Puerto Rico.
The show’s spectacular opening featured all of the US delegates in white cocktail dresses joined onstage by the international delegates competing in the 2014 Miss Latin America of the World Pageant in their national costumes, along with the Barceló Bávaro Dancers. The Barceló Orchestra provided the music for the entire show that was co-hosted by former Miss U.S. Latina 2012 Sasha Zacarias and outgoing titleholder Ashley Garner. Guest artists for the evening were country-rock group Saints of Havana from Tennessee and award-winning singer Cristina Quinones from Georgia.
A distinguished panel of seven international judges, after preliminaries in swimsuit, evening gown and two separate personal interviews, selected the 10 Semifinalists that were announced following the evening gown presentation onstage. Continuing in the running and on to the swimsuit competition onstage in red bikinis were California’s Karina Heredia (Cuban/Mexican)
The judges then narrowed their choices to 5 Finalists. One last judging onstage – a brief speech by each Finalist as she was announced, led to Oklahoma’s Karla Ferrari becoming Miss U.S. Latina 2014, followed by New York’s Nicolle Velez as First Runner-Up, and in the Second, Third and Fourth positions, respectively, Arizona, Florida and Ohio. Receiving the President’s Award for Academic Excellence and Outstanding Life Achievements was Kristel Pabon, who represented U.S. Puerto Ricans.
About Organizacion Miss America Latina, Inc.: based in Miami, Florida, it is the oldest and largest producer of Latina pageants worldwide. Beginning in 1981, founding President Acirema Alayeto created an international pageant system where Latin American women from around the world annually compete for the title of MISS LATIN AMERICA® OF THE WORLD, best known worldwide as “MISS AMERICA LATINA DEL MUNDO.” The company also produces the annual MISS U.S. LATINA™ Pageant, official national preliminary to Miss Latin America of the World.