Destiny Wagner | The Journey as Miss Earth 2021-22
Destiny Wagner is a digital influencer, author, philanthropist, certified diver, and entrepreneur from the noble southernmost town of Punta Gorda. While living in the United States, she sparked an interest in pageantry after being sent a flyer for a competition and wanting to be the first to represent Belize. Since that moment, Destiny has competed in other pageants like the Miss Universe Belize 2019, placing as the first runner-up. She has remained in Belize, contributing significantly to her community through her and her family’s non-profit, Operation Kingdom, and other works, including publishing a poetry book, Belizean Blues. No matter where she goes, Destiny always lights up a room with her smile and grace, which has led her to win the hearts of those in the Miss Earth pageant.
Road to the Crown
On November 21, 2021, Destiny represented Belize in the Miss Earth pageant, which was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She competed with over 80 contestants and was victorious, winning the crown as Miss Earth. It was a historic moment for Belize to win one of the four major international pageants for the first time. “I feel honored, but I know this is a huge responsibility…I want to do everything I can to help the next generation of young leaders, title holders, and entrepreneurs. I hope my win gives them hope and inspires them.” she said.
Destiny came home to the warm embrace of cheerful locals as she traversed the streets in a congratulatory parade. However, the road to her victory wasn’t easy. She shared, “I had so many different emotions. I was thankful for the opportunity to represent our jewel, but I felt slightly unprepared.” She continued, “I was stressed out! I only had two weeks before my videos were due. I had to make my team, and the first week I barely slept. I was reaching out to everyone I knew who could be of assistance.”
Destiny’s family and friends were swift in creating the robust team she needed and the motivation to keep her going through the pageant experience. They stepped in to accommodate all that was necessary to get Destiny as prepared as possible for the big night. “People think because the pageant is virtual, it’s easier when it’s a lot more challenging to portray who you are through a laptop.” Nevertheless, Destiny rose above the obstacles faced and showcased to the world who she was- it paid off!
Queen on a Mission
Her mission as Miss Earth started right away! She knew her priority was to advocate for marine conservation. “We have the second largest barrier reef in the world and are a coastal country…Our livelihood depends on it. It’s home to thousands of species and provides us with food.” Destiny worked on several projects locally, partnering with Oceana Belize, the Ministry of Blue Economy, Digi Belize, the Ministry of Climate Change, and the Belize Tourism Board as its Sustainable Tourism Ambassador, to name a few. “I positioned myself with these ministries because they are relevant to my advocacy and to combat the climate crisis. You have to be in a room with decision-makers.” Destiny also added that she has traveled to several countries to plant trees and is currently working on raising $20,000 to go towards Innoceana’s reusable plastic campaign.
As mentioned, Destiny Wagner is the Belize Tourism Board’s Sustainable Tourism Ambassador. She has embarked on several outreach initiatives and projects like the Belizean Traveller campaign. She stated, “Being the Sustainable Tourism Ambassador of Belize was so fitting during my reign. I advocate for marine conservation and promote our beautiful beaches and wildlife. It only made sense to develop a partnership to showcase ways in which you can travel and be sustainable.” Destiny capitalized on every opportunity to encourage fellow Belizeans to protect and preserve the environment. She shared that keeping the jewel clean starts with taking accountability and practicing efficiency like carpooling, reusable bottles, and supporting locals.
Starting a New Chapter
On October 12, 2022, Destiny passed the mantle as Miss Earth Belize to Simone Sleeuw, entrepreneur and certified diver, to compete in the 2022 edition of the pageant in the Philippines. As the first-ever Belizean to win an international pageant, Destiny shared that NGOs and the local government must support representatives when participating in the competition. She said, “Resources are key to the success of our Delegates. When we go out on that stage, we are not representing ourselves. We represent our nation, so every NGO and ministry should be involved because they all benefit from the win.”
As she prepares to pass on the crown to the new Miss Earth 2022-23, the question for Destiny is: What’s next? In the Belize Tourism Board mini-series, Down to Earth with Miss Earth, she answered, “Even after my reign is done, I’ll still be Miss Earth 2021. So there will be more trips as different countries will continue to invite me to their distinguished countries and judge their pageant. But I am also going to transition into the film industry.” She also mentioned that she plans to continue with her entrepreneurship endeavors.
To anyone with interest in the Miss Earth pageant, Destiny shared, “My three tips would be: To show up as you are in your most authentic form! Represent your culture and represent your country! Last and certainly not least, do not get lost in the glitz, glamor, and fame. Focus on your advocacy.” She has set herself to be a true example of a queen, raising the bar for more Belizean women to be confident in achieving great things in pageantry!
In collaboration with Destiny Wagner, Miss Earth 2021-22.
Banner Photo Credit: @photography.by.quilz.tamay, Row Photo Credits: @destinywagner