New Miss Venezuela dedicates her crown to slum where she grew up


Hours after being proclaimed Miss Venezuela 2018, Isabella Rodriguez said here Friday that she hopes to give back to Petare, the sprawling Caracas slum where she grew up.

“I think my contribution will be spiritual. We should return to values and to spirituality. That is so important for the children to be able to see a change,” Rodriguez told a press conference after her triumph Thursday night.

Her community suffers from a high crime rate, but she insists that through religious faith and family unity, Petare’s residents can escape from violence and pursue their dreams.


“Teenagers, adults, sometimes shy away from dreaming, so let them see in me that I’m a girl of 25 and that I could make it,” Rodriguez said.

She said that adults unhappy with their lives should “inculcate in their children ... that they can dream and that they can make their dreams a reality,” Miss Venezuela said.

Rodriguez, who will represent Venezuela in the 2019 Miss World pageant, said that she was moved to her neighbors in Petare take to the streets in the wee hours of Friday to celebrate her success in the contest.

“They came out at three in the morning with a flag, from who knows where,” she said. “It fills me with pride and I feel moved every time I say it because they are also part of this, they’ve seen me grow up.”