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Miss Earth Puerto Rico 2017 Eco-Video

PUERTO RICO
KARLA VICTORIA APONTE

Age: 19
Height: 175 cm
Measurements: 86 cm - 61 cm - 91 cm
Profession: Finance Student
Hometown: San Juan
Language/s Spoken: English and Spanish

Miss Earth Puerto Rico 2017

DESCRIBE YOUR CHILDHOOD GROWING YEARS (8-13 YEARS OLD)
During these years, I basically grew up alone. Unemployment started to become one of the main problems in Puerto Rico, and my father had moved to the United States for employment. At the same time, my mother had an unfortunate diagnosis and I assumed the responsibility to take full care of her while she was ill. She couldn’t even get out of bed without my help, and with my father not being around, it was very hard for me. I can’t even begin to describe my typical daily routine during these years. Because of these life experiences, I was forced to acquire a level of maturity that other kids my age didn’t have. I was bullied a lot during my school years, but sports became my escape. Soccer fields turned into my second home and by the age of fourteen, I was already on Puerto Rico’s National Soccer Team. Through soccer, I learned everything there is to know about life. I learned to work for my goals, to have discipline, the consequences of my actions, to always be kind, respect my peers, work as a team, and to be proud of my country.

ANY SPECIAL STORIES OR FACTS ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?
One of the most gratifying and memorable experiences I have had with my family was being able to connect with my grandfather’s biological family. He was adopted at a very young age by a family from a small town on the Island. He grew up surrounded with love and came to be a successful professional with admirable principles thanks to this adoption. Even though I never got the opportunity to meet him, I enjoyed listening to his stories and seeing my mother speak so proudly of him makes me feel like he is always by my side. Getting to hear the story of his biological family and learn more about my origins was a unique experience thanks to modern day technology. Social media allowed us to find each other and meet here in Puerto Rico. This is the main reason why I decided to start my environmental advocacy in a shelter for children without homes, in order to make an impact on the development of children’s lives and make responsible, admirable and exemplary citizens out of them.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE?
To be honest, it would be taking up a undergraduate course in applied physics which I never thought even existed at that time but I never imagined it would open doors of When I first started playing soccer, there wasn’t a team for girls. The sport wasn’t completely developed on the Island. I had to join a boys team in order to start playing. It was very unusual for a girl to play on a whole team of boys and for my parents to support this decision. In Puerto Rico, girls and women still live under certain stereotypes that I fight in order to succeed. Girls weren’t supposed to like sports, especially contact sports where there is pushing and mud involved. They were assumed to be dancing ballet or playing with dolls! Even today, I am underestimated as an athlete for being a model, as well as I am underestimated as a model for being an athlete.

WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE REPRESENTING?
Puerto Rico is an island on the Caribbean that measures only 100 x 35 miles. Being small hasn’t been a problem for Puerto Ricans. We have taken upon ourselves the responsibility to let the whole world know where our country is and who we are through our athletes, musicians, artists, singers, engineers, and every single person who was born on the Island. I am proud not only because of this, but also because our history demonstrates that we are courageous people who have fought for our country and will defend it at all stakes. Also, Puerto Rico has an incredible ecological diversity, some of them worthy of being considered as one of the seven wonders of the world, and one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. It isn’t called “The Enchanted Island” for no reason! What I am most proud of is our culture. We treat people like family and help each other out even if it isn’t convenient at the time. We always find a reason to smile and celebrate. We have learned how to dance in the rain, and that is what makes Puerto Ricans stand out.

WHAT TRIVIA ABOUT YOURSELF WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE?
I was a top 10 finalist in a national pageant this year, which was also my first beauty pageant ever!

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