Former Miss Universe Belize President reflects on achievements
Last week, we told you that Romeo Escobar has decided not to continue with the Miss Universe Franchise. Escobar, currently works in Los Angeles, California as a TV producer with KTLA, called the decision by the Miss Universe Organisation to change the rules with franchising as “disrespectful”. Escobar also recently competed in the reality show “Survivor”, where he ended up as second runner-up. With his busy schedule, he ran Miss Universe Belize for five years. In our conversation with Escobar, we asked him to reflect on the successes the organisation has had during that time.
Romeo Escobar, Former National Director, Miss Universe Belize: “I took over the Miss Universe Belize franchise in 2018. At the time it was very difficult because as Miss Universe had explained to me prior to that pageantry in the country had been plagued with controversy and it was difficult to get support. So my first year was very difficult so I feel that 2018 was my biggest achievement because it was my biggest obstacle to prove nationally and internationally that this new organization can actually do this and do it in the right way and so because of that I was awarded the franchise for the following year and the following year and the following year by the Miss Universe Organization. That same year the world definitely took notice because I was nominated as best director for the Global Beauty Awards which are known as the Oscars of the beauty pageant world in the US, in Washington State and I flew out for that so that was also a big achievement for me being that it was my first year as director. Ever since then 2019, 2021, 2022 I can honestly say that the goal that my organization had was to change the face of pageantry in Belize, get everyone excited not only locally but internationally about seeing Belize on that Miss Universe stage and I believe that we achieved that. People around the world were always curious and anxiously awaiting to see who the new ambassador of Belize would be. We would get messages from all over the world with interest and trying to figure out who would be crowned the next Miss Universe Belize and would represent us on that international stage and the world did take notice. You know in 2019 Miss Universe Belize Destiny Arnold was chosen by the big Miss Universe sponsor Olivia Quido as the brand ambassador for her O Skin Cosmetics and that was a huge achievement as well. I think that the world took notice during my time as director and I’m definitely proud of that.”
Under Escobar’s leadership, Belize sent Jenelli Fraser to Miss Universe in 2018, Destinee Arnold in 2019, Iris Salguero in 2020, and Ashley Lightburn for the 2022 pageant, which held this past January.