Miss Latina plans to use title as platform

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
2019 Miss Latina Queen Deisy Sandoval, 17, left, hugs her mom, Noemi Gonzalez, both of Jasper, after the Latino Culture Fest Pageant at Southridge High School in Huntingburg on Sunday.

By OLIVIA INGLE
oingle@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — On Sunday, Deisy Sandoval was named 2019 Miss Latina Queen, and wants to use the title as a platform to speak to the Latino community.

The 17-year-old Jasper High School senior took the title at the Latino Culture Fest Pageant Sunday at Southridge High School in Huntingburg. The four participants were judged on an interview, stage presence and their response to a question on stage.

The Asociación Latinoamericana del Sur de Indiana — or the Association of Latin Americans in Southern Indiana in English — will host the Latino Culture Fest Friday and Saturday at Huntingburg City Park.

“Being Latina is the most beautiful thing about me, and I embrace it,” Deisy wrote in a statement for the pageant. “My family is the vast majority of why I’m so proud to be a Latina.”

The daughter of Noemi Gonzales and Luis Reyes, Deisy plans to study international business and pre-law after high school.

First runner-up in the contest was Karla Alegria, a sophomore at Southridge High School.

The 15-year-old daughter of Aida and Carlos Alegria, Karla said she decided to participate in the pageant because she thought it would push her out of her comfort zone and would be a good way to show she’s proud of her heritage. Karla was born in the United States, but her parents immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador.

Deisy Sandoval, 17, of Jasper, center, smiles after being announced as the 2019 Miss Latina Queen while 2019 Miss Congeniality Crystal Gonzalez, 16, of Huntingburg, right, claps during the Latino Culture Fest Pageant at Southridge High School in Huntingburg on Sunday.

“To me, being Latina means being proud of the culture and community I’m a part of,” Karla wrote in a statement for the contest. “And also means never settling for less, and understanding that I have control to create change instead of waiting for the right moment.”

Karla plans to study biology when she graduates from Southridge, and aspires to become a cardiologist.

Crystal Gonzales was named Miss Congeniality in the contest. The 16-year-old Southridge High School sophomore is the daughter of Marisela Hernandez and Ricardo Gonzales of Huntingburg.

Thalia Hernandez, 15, and a sophomore at Jasper High School also competed. She is the daughter of Elba Regalado and Raul Hernandez of Jasper.

A Little Miss Latina Princess and Little Mister Latino Prince were also named. Lola Dubon, 3, of Washington, was named Princess, and William Dubon, 10, of Huntingburg, was named Prince.

Lola is the daughter of Francisco and Ashleigh Dubon of Washington, and William is the son of Jose and Edith Dubon of Huntingburg.

All of the contestants are excited to represent the community at the fest this weekend.

“I’m most excited to see the eating contest and the music,” Deisy said.

Miss Latina contestants Deisy Sandoval, 17, of Jasper, left, Karla Alegria, 15, of Huntingburg, Crystal Gonzalez, 16, of Huntingburg, and Thalia Hernandez, 15, of Jasper, wait for the judges to announce the results for the Latino Culture Fest Pageant at Southridge High School in Huntingburg on Sunday. 
2019 Miss Congeniality Crystal Gonzalez, 16, of Huntingburg, left, 2019 Miss Latina Queen Deisy Sandoval, 17, of Jasper, 2019 First Runner-up Karla Alegria, 15, of Huntingburg, and Thalia Hernandez, 15, of Jasper, smile for a portrait after the Latino Culture Fest Pageant at Southridge High School in Huntingburg on Sunday.



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