The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Eye on the Pupil: Jazmine Sanabria

Although senior Jazmine Sanabria’s story didn’t start with “Once upon a time,” it had a fairytale ending when she was crowned with the title “Miss Guatemala.”

The Miss Guatemala California for the Cultural Center of Guatemala pageant was held on Saturday, August 1 in Redwood City. The contestants needed to be Guatemalan, under the age of 25 and living in Northern California. This was the first pageant Jazmine had ever participated in, which she did “mainly for her family.”

“My mom was Miss Guatemala for the Navy, so it made her happy that I would participate in something like she did when she was my age,” Jazmine said.

This pageant was also a charity event with the purpose of raising money to build schools in Guatemala “while bringing Guatemalans together and letting them know they aren’t forgotten here.”

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Winning the crown was not just beginners’ luck; Jazmine put in a significant amount of effort to prepare for the pageant.

“[For the historical questions] I read some documentaries about Guatemala, and my parents helped me a lot when it came to facts that were important,” Jazmine said.
The pageant was divided into five parts. There was an interview and four separate modeling parts: a casual dress, a formal dress, a traditional Guatemalan outfit and a one-piece swim suit. For the interview, the contestants were asked questions in front of four judges, one of them the Guatemalan Consulate.

“It was a bit nerve-racking because I’ve never done anything like that before, so I had to put my game face on and improvise,” Jazmine said.

The first couple of questions referred to Guatemalan history, while the last two were questions that the contestants did not know and had to respond with meaningful answers.

When Jazmine was crowned as Miss Guatemala, she remembers being very “surprised.”
“It was nice to see my whole family there cheering,” Jazmine said. “Then afterward … everyone who went [was] trying to get a picture with me, [I had] to do on the spot interviews, people want[ed] me to take pictures with their children and mothers introduc[ed] me to their sons. It was crazy yet so much fun.”

Not only does Jazmine get to wear the crown and sash, but she also gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Guatemala next September, 2010. During this trip, Jazmine will help build a school with the money raised from the pageant. She will also be participating in a gift collection to bring Christmas presents to field workers in Stockton, California and in Guatemala.

In addition to the charity work, Jazmine will get to watch as “the actual” Miss Guatemala is chosen, the one who goes on to participate in the world-renowned Miss Universe pageant. Jazmine will be a guest queen, which means she will “go through all the spa treatments, fashion shows and … stay in the Presidential Palace.”

Jazmine will also get to meet Rigoberta Menchu, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Jazmine will be attending a presentation Menchu is giving to young women in Guatemala and will get to speak with her.

“I am excited to hear all the knowledge [Menchu] has to share,” Jazmine said. “She is a real inspiration.”

As Miss Guatemala, Jazmine wants to “encourage the youth to be proud of their heritage and to be more involved with helping out their community.”

Although Jazmine had “an amazing time” participating in this pageant, she does not plan on doing more pageants in the future.

“I’ll return to the stage for dance competitions for now,” she said. “But never say never!”

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