On Monday night Haiti was announced as the first runner up to France in the 65th edition of Miss Universe. Raquel Pelissier represented Haiti and she did her country proud. Here are 6 things to know about the towering 5′ 9″ beauty.
1. She is Haitian-born and raised (she left the country in 2010 to attend college in Spain.) Her hometown is the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
Pelissier told Haitian blogger, Fashion Ayiti, why she entered the Miss Haiti pageant.
I chose to apply for the Miss Haiti pageant because I wanted to represent my country. I realized that Haiti is the foundation of the woman I am today. I am Haiti. Winning a crown is my way of giving back to the land that bore me since it gives me the opportunity to expose its colors and culture abroad. I want to change the way the rest of the world sees us and make a good impact.
2. Pelissier is a survivor of the disastrous 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti.
During the Miss Universe interview portion, she shared:
About seven years ago, I survived the earthquake. I feel I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams. I was living day-by-day. And that earthquake, it was a bad event, but I chose to be a very positive person, and learned a great lesson from it. Because if I am here today, it’s because I am living my dreams.
3. She is currently attending graduate school for a master’s in optometry.
Pelissier’s Miss Universe bio states that:
… She is also getting her Master’s Degree in Scientific Research in Optometry and Vision. She is working on a research project on the regeneration of the optic nerve. She hopes to become the first Miss Universe to find a cure for blindness.
4. She has ties to the Philippines, where the Miss Universe pageant was held.
During an interview with the Philippine’s GMA News, Pelissier revealed that she has Filipino roots.
Before coming here in the Philippines, I was really excited because from my mom’s side, I have Filipino blood, and since I was little, they used to tell me that I never lived with that side of the family, but I’m interested in learning about the culture and that’s why I’m happy to be here.
5. Pelissier is quadrilingual!
This beauty can speak four languages — French, Haitian Creole, English and Spanish.
6. She understands that Haiti is historically exceptional for being the first liberated black nation in the West.
To be haitian is to be a fighter. We fought in 1804 and created something ever seen before in the history of mankind : A black nation free of servitude and slavery. And we still fight today to overcome our struggles. We have fallen one time after another in the past decades, but it has made us even stronger and more powerful beings. That’s what we bring on the table : our resilience and determination to rise to the top.
She kinda, sorta predicted Trump in a September 2016 interview;
“I would definitely suggest ‘1984’ by George Orwell. It’s a dystopian novel in which he paints a world suffering from a totalitarian regime in which the streets and houses are filled with screens so as to control the population at all times. This book has made me realized that the world he is describing is not much different from the world we are actually living in since, with the use of technology, our privacy is at stake. It also made me see the thin line between security and privacy and why some governments use our safety as a pretext to control us, especially after a terrorist attack.”
Beautiful and woke.