Culture

An 18-Year-Old Just Became The First Indigenous Woman To Win Nayarit Beauty Pageant

Yukaima González is making headlines for becoming the first indigenous woman to be crowned “Queen” of the 2019 Nayarit State Fair. The 18-year-old beauty pageant winner is from La Yesca and is a member of the Wixárika community in the mountainous municipality of Guadalupe Ocotán. The news is notable as, historically, indigenous women haven’t typically participated in past pageants. This year saw two woman with
indigenous background compete with González taking the crown and making history along the way.

An indigenous woman breaking through and winning the crowd is a major moment for this beauty pageant.

@yukaima_gonzalez / Instagram

González being crowned Feria Nayarit queen is something that should be acknowledged and commemorated. Beauty pageants have often been criticized for supporting eurocentric beauty ideals or simply preferring “fairer skinned” contestants. This is a problem that plagues most pageants in the world.

To even participate in the beauty pageant, González had to leave her native community and move to Nayarit. There she began working as a nanny to help her pay for school as she pursues a degree in Physical Culture and Sports at the Autonomous University of Nayarit.

When González first heard about the beauty pageant she knew she had to participate in the pageant to represent her home of La Yesca. Her ethnicity, roots, and culture are a source of pride and would be a huge reason in participating in the contest.

González left a very strong impression on judges during multiple rounds.

Contest judges were blown away by González’s outfit that featured an array of beads, vibrant colors and traditional Wixárika god’s eyes. Her outfit was part of various judging rounds that included a “traditional dress” round and an original social project. González says she would want to provide support to Nayarit’s remote mountain communities by creating various job opportunities through food and self-employment ventures.

This all comes at a time when “Roma” star Yalitza Aparicio, an ingenious woman of Oaxaca, has received both recognition and disparging remarks for her historic role.

@THR / Twitter

Yalitza Aparicio, an Oscar-nominated indigenous woman from Oaxaca, caught fame after playing the main role in Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma”. Unfortunately, she has been mocked and has even received criticism for her talent and her appearance.

Televisa’s Yeka Rosales recently posted photos and videos of herself on social media wearing brown skin paint in an apparent parody of Aparicio.
The move was tone-deaf and is further proof of the negative portrayal that indigenous groups face.

Aparicio has faced racist attacks on social media even from some Mexican actors. However, she also received support among many women in Mexico and the U.S. who have identified with her indigenous roots.

Having two indigenous women participate in the Nayarit beauty pageant is a reflection of what Aparicio has done. She has in some ways opened the door for people of ethnic origin, who before, reflectors hardly recognized. In interviews, González has stated she is a fan of Aparicio and wants represent her culture as she has.

González is an example of this growing celebration of expanding what our collective understanding of what beauty truly is.

@yukaima_gonzalez / Instagram

As well as being crowned Queen of the Nayarit Fair 2019, González will become the face of Nayarit. Her pictures will be the official image of the state and will work with the Ministry of Tourism, as well as having a project to benefit its community.

It’s safe to say González is bringing much needed attention to the countless indigenous communities that are rarely given recognition. She says her pageant victory brings pride back to her community after being shamed for so long.

“In my community, we are losing our [indigenous] language, and residents are ashamed of wearing their traditional clothing,” González told Mexico News Daily. “I’m here so that they’ll feel proud of our roots and who we are.”

Nayarit is an oceanside state located on the west coast of Mexico in the middle of the country.

Nayarit is bordered by the states of Durango, Jalisco, and Sinaloa. The state is a major tourist destination as it is close to the tourist city of Puerto Vallarta. Like most of Mexico, there are beautiful and ancient archeological sites that people can visit when in the area. Nayarit is also home to a number of indigenous groups, like the Wixáritari people of which González is a member.

The Wixáritari people live within the states of Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, and Zacatecas.

Credit: @almamezcalera / Instagram

The Wixáritari people, also known as the Huichol predominately live in the highlands in Nayarit but do have colonies set up along the coast. They are known for their beautiful and intricate artisanal handwork. They have inhabited the land they live on since before the 16th century and continue to utilize the land and live in a community preserving their history and culture.

Like many indigenous groups in the Americas, the Wixáritari people use peyote for religious cermonies.

Credit: @globalcactussociety / Instagram

Peyote is an important part of many religious ceremonies within American indigenous communities. It is because of its importance that the Mexican government has passed laws that allow for the hallucinogenic plant to be used by these tribes for this purposes.

Mexico is filled with indigenous communities that add to the vibrant fabric of the country. The prominent success of Yalitza Aparicio and Yukaima González show that the country’s identity is deeply rooted in its indigenous past. These same people deserve the same respect when furthering the success of Mexico.

READ: Yalitza Aparicio Didn’t Win The Oscar But Her Fame And Success Are The Real Award

Ecuador Was In Chaos After Massive Protests But The Government Has Reached A Deal With These Indigenous Activists

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Ecuador Was In Chaos After Massive Protests But The Government Has Reached A Deal With These Indigenous Activists

@democracynow / Twitter

Ecuador’s government announced a round of talks with leaders of the Indigenous groups who have been mobilizing against the government in a move to end the violence and chaos that has racked the nation for more than a week.

President Moreno announced he would withdraw the country from a deal reached with the IMF that many said would cause the greatest harms to the country’s most vulnerable populations.

In a major address, President Lenin Moreno announced he had struck a deal with indigenous leaders to cancel a disputed austerity package.

The news comes after nearly two weeks of protests that have paralyzed the economy and left seven dead.

Under the new agreement, President Moreno will withdraw the International Monetary Fund-backed package, known as Decree 883, that included a sharp rise in fuel costs. Indigenous leaders, in turn, will call on their followers to end protests and street blockades.

“Comrades, this deal is a compromise on both sides,” Moreno said. “The indigenous mobilization will end and Decree 883 will be lifted.”

The two sides will work together to develop a package of measures to cut government spending, increase revenue and reduce Ecuador’s growing budget deficits and public debt.

Ecuador’s Indigenous groups celebrated the announcement as a major victory.

“I’m so happy I don’t know what to say. I don’t have words, I’m so emotional. At least God touched the president’s heart,” said protester Rosa Matango in an interview with The Guardian. “I am happy as a mother, happy for our future. We indigenous people fought and lost so many brothers, but we’ll keep going forward.”

Caravans of cars roamed the streets early on Monday honking in celebration, passengers shouting, banging pots and waving Ecuadorian flags.

“The moment of peace, of agreement, has come for Ecuador,” said Arnaud Peral, the United Nations’ resident coordinator in Ecuador and one of the mediators of the nationally televised talks. “This deal is an extraordinary step.”

Wearing the feathered headdress and face paint of the Achuar people of the Amazon rainforest, the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations, Jaime Vargas, thanked President Moreno and demanded improved long-term conditions for Indigenous Ecuadorians.

“We want peace for our brothers and sisters in this country,” Vargas said. “We don’t want more repression.”

The protests started when the President affirmed his support for an IMF-backed agreement, known as Decree 883.

The move sparked nationwide protests as prices rose overnight by about a 25% for gas and double for diesel. A state of emergency was imposed on Thursday. Truck and taxi drivers forced a partial shutdown of Quito’s airport and roadblocks have paralyzed major roads across the country.

Images from Quito showed protesters hurling gas bombs and stones, ransacking and vandalizing public buildings as well as clashing with the police in running battles late into the night.

Some protests became so violent that the government was actually forced to flee the capital of Quito for the coastal city of Guayaquil.

All of this was in response to Decree 883 which would have ended fuel subsidies that many of the country’s poorest citizens have come to rely on.

Other indigenous demands included higher taxes on the wealthy and the firing of the interior and defence ministers over their handling of the protests.

In a shift from the heated language of the last 10 days of protests, each side at the negotiations praised the other’s willingness to talk as they outlined their positions in the first hour before a short break.

“From our heart, we declare that we, the peoples and nations, have risen up in search of liberty,” Vargas told The Guardian. “We recognize the bravery of the men and women who rose up.”

These Men Represented Their Country In The Mister Global Pageant And We Are Living For These ‘National Costumes’

Culture

These Men Represented Their Country In The Mister Global Pageant And We Are Living For These ‘National Costumes’

David Ryo / Facebook

As any beauty pageant fan knows, the best part of the competition is the National Costume Show — a segment designed to showcase clothing that honors and celebrates contestants’ home countries.

Every year, outfits seem to get increasingly complicated, ornate, or simply engineered to go viral. This year’s Mister Global, an annual male beauty pageant founded in 2014, was no exception.

Same as every year, the most attention goes to pageant’s national outfits showcase.

Credit: David Ryo / Facebook

As always, the most visually enticing and talked-about competition of the Mister Global pageant is the National Costume Contest, during which each guy shows off his country’s heritage through an elaborate costume. “The winning costume is not about the size or design but the story and culture behind it,” says Kitti Kamjunsa, spokesperson of the male beauty pageant.

The pageant was won by Korea‘s Jong Woo Kim, who is a 23-year-old police administration student and model.

Credit: officialmisterglobal / Instagram

Jong Woo Kim is set to become an inspirational role model for young men all around the world. He will also become a Global Goodwill Ambassador and participate in environmental and charitable projects.

Among the other men who made it to the finals are Houssem Saïdi of Tunisia (first runner-up), José Luis Rodrigo Navarro of Spain (second runner-up), Kenan Murseli of Switzerland (third runner-up) and Braulio Encarnación of Dominican Republic (fourth runner-up).

Although a Latino didn’t win Mister Global this year, they still featured some of our favorite looks from the pageant.

MEXICO

Credit: Missosology

Mexico is a land of many different cultures. In the capital city, there’s even a park called Plaza de Las Tres Culturas. From the Aztec and the Mixtec to the Maya and the Zapotec, Mexico is rich in cultural identity. But according t Manuel Duarte, this year’s Mister Mexico, his look was inspired by the ancient Maya civilization.

BRAZIL

Mister Brazil won in 2017. Do you think this look would of helped him win this year?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Braulio Encarnación, Mister Dominican Republic, was the fourth runner-up.

PANAMA

Mister Panama came out in full on Carnival flare and yet left little to the imagination. Also, that smile…

PERU

Mister Peru seems to be channeling the ancient Inca people, who lived in Peru through the late 1500s – until they were eradicated by the Spanish.

CHILE

One look at the Facebook reactions to Mister Chile and you can see that he did his country proud.

PUERTO RICO

This year’s Mister Puerto Rico was Edgar Irizarry. His costume “paid tribute to the indigenous people of Puerto Rico; the taínos,” Irizarry told Insider. “The costume I wore was designed to resemble the Cacique Taíno,” or a leader of the group.

CUBA

Mister Cuba 2019 is Rubert Manuel Arias Solozábal. This was the first year Cuba was represented in the pageant and he went all in. I mean a costume doesn’t get more Cuban than this.

And, of course, there’s the USA:

The Twitter reactions to Mister USA were hardly positive. Sure, Superman may be ‘native’ to the US in that he was created there and is a part of American pop culture. But with the immense cultural diversity of the US’s Native American tribes, many questioned by they weren’t used as an inspiration for the look.

These national costume looks are incredible but let’s not forget the guys also had a swimsuit competition.

For a more complete look at those looks check them out here.