After a very short break, we are back with the next 11 contestants in our list. Without any delay, let's get straight into this meet and greet.
23. Please Welcome - CROATIA!
Arijana Podgajski is the living definition of “that girl”, and at just 20 years of age. She likes to workout at home and indulge in yoga and meditation to keep herself physically, mentally and emotionally content. She is also an avid reader, she loves books and reading is a very big and important part of her daily routine. She also likes taking walks in nature to just feel connected. Other than being literally every other girl’s dream, she is also a student at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb. She advocates for quite a few causes, but the ones she is the most dedicated towards are women rights, mental health and taking care of abandoned animals. She often visits animal shelters to take the animals out for a walk. This young queen believes in finding light where there is darkness, positivity and learning opportunities where there are difficult situations. She is one of the most ambitious queens from her country that we shall be witnessing at the stage of the universe. Wishing this ray of sunshine All the Best for her competition!
24. Hola - CURACAO!
Gabriela Dos Santos is also a 20 year old with unshakeable belief in herself, something that is not common in this age and era. This woman is an energetic, sensitive and positive personality that is driven by the purpose of empowering other women, which is also what she would be using the Miss Universe platform for. She believes that the only thing she can be best, is herself. In her words “I am not perfect, but I am myself”, she is passionate towards helping others and bringing about a positive change in the world. She also believes herself to be a good learner, and claims that she does make mistakes, but she is always ready to learn and rectify them. She is also the founder for Light4Change - Non Profit Organisation, which is dedicated towards spreading awareness and protection against cyber bullying. La Mejor de las suertes Curacao!
25. Nice to Meet You - CZECH REPUBLIC!
Sára Mikulenková is a 20 year old model from Czech Republic, chosen on 4th November 2022, to represent the nation at Miss Universe 2022. She has a really helpful, fun loving and extremely kind personality. She also works as a teacher after passing her maturita exam in 2021. She is also a certified makeup artist and has used her skills to make herself and many other women feel beautiful and confident. Her dream is to one day have a beauty salon. Other than her professional background, she loves skiing, biking, running and playing the piano. Give it up for Miss Czech Republic!
26. Mucho Gusto - REPUBLICA DOMINICANA!
Andreina Martinez was the rightful representative for the Dominican Republic in the 70th Miss Universe edition. However, the universe had some other plans for her. She caught the Covid19 virus a few weeks before the final Miss Universe competition, thus making her participation impossible. After recovery however, she began her preparations for this 71st Miss Universe competition with full dedication. She is a psychologist by profession and has completed her graduation in psychology and Latin American studies from the City College of the City University of New York. She is also a Dominican-American and served as a legislative intern at the district office of Senator Jose Serrano in New York, back in 2017. During the same period, she was a Caucus CUNY scholar. She also worked as a peer mentor of the SEEK Program at the CCNY and as a health educator at Peer Health Exchange.
Andreina was a legislative intern at the office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand in Washington DC in 2018. During that time, she also worked as a legislative budget intern at the New York City Council. In December 2018, the National council for Behavioral Health issued her mental health first aid certification. We sure love a highly educated queen, now don't we? Best wishes from our side for Republica Dominicana!
27. Give it Up For - ECUADOR!
Nayelhi González is a 26 year old professional model from Ecuador. Being a licensed nurse, she likes to volunteer at Fundación Germinar in Esmeraldas, an organisation concerned with providing medical assistance to people at home. Nayelhi loves playing volleyball, painting and singing in her spare time. She revealed that growing up, she and her grandmother would sing together and enjoyed rehearsing all kinds of songs. Being born in an artistic family also made her inclined towards the art of painting. She also has a soft corner for animals. She is full of empathy and her humanism is what inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. She also runs her own project called - Juventud Diamante - (which literally translates to Diamond Youth in English), with the Germinar Foundation that pays special attention to younger children in Esmeraldas. Ecuador is vying for their first Miss Universe Crown and we have our fingers crossed for them!
28. Bienvenido - EL SALVADOR!
Alejandra Guajardo is a 26 year old, half Mexican, half Salvadorian ballet dancer. Also not new to the concept of pageantry, Alejandra, has been a part of this industry since 2018 when she participated in Mexicana Universal Veracruz 2018. She finished as the third runner up at Miss Earth Veracruz in 2018 and was a part of the top 5 at Miss Veracruz 2019 pageant. She also placed as the second runner up at Miss Morelos 2021. Pageantry is in fact a part of her blood as she is the daughter of an ex contestant of the Nuestra Belleza Quintana Roo pageant. She is also a graduate in International Business from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and works as an administrator in her father’s companies. She sure does have all the experience she needs to be a threat in the upcoming Miss Universe competition. Wishing her the best, always.
29. Now Let’s Meet - EQUATORIAL GUINEA!
This 21 year old model from Equatorial Guinea aspires to pursue a career in law. Her face might be very familiar to some, and that is because she has already been at an international pageant before. We will give you a minute to take a guess. Time’s up! If you guessed Miss Supranational 2019, good for you because you are absolutely correct. She didn't manage to get a placement for Equatorial Guinea but did bring home the title of Supramodel of the year for Africas. She has also won the title for best model of the Salon International du Textile Africain. She is all for women empowerment and want to use the platform provided to her for spreading the same message. Wishing her good luck for her journey.
30. Hei - FINLAND!
This 26 year old is the light of her family for fulfilling the dreams of her mother and her grandmother. They dreamed of winning the title for years but never gathered enough courage to even participate in the contest. Petra Hämäläinen is also the tallest Miss Finland ever crowned, standing 184 cms tall. Given her height, she works as a model in her country. Alongside modelling, she is also pursuing a degree in education from the University of Eastern Football. Petra believes that she is a strong candidate for the upcoming contest of the universe as she loves performing and also has a good heart. She wants to tell the world and especially the younger population to always believe in their dreams and also make efforts to pursue them, because had she not had the courage to do so, she would have been the third generation of her family with this unfulfilled dream. Wishing this gorgeous queen everything good in this universe.
31. Ravi De Vous Rencontrer - FRANCE!
Floriane Bascou was appointed as the French representative at Miss Universe 2022 when the main title holder stepped down from the responsibility, because of lack of time and preparation. Floriane was the first runner up at Miss France 2022 competition, which gave her the right to assume the reign as Miss France 2022 after the dethronement of Diane Leyre. This 20 year old model is a graduate of a scientific baccalaureate specialising in life and earth sciences. Her career goal is to become an orthodontist in future, which is why she is pursuing a degree in preparatory health with an option of law. She speaks of her desire to help others, which is what inspired her to pursue a career in the medical field. She will be the first ever Miss Martinique to ever grace the universe stage. Tous Nos Vœux France!
32. Hallo - GERMANY!
Another queen that the universe craves for. Crowned as Miss Germany back in 2017, he didnt get to represent Germany at Miss Universe as the franchise was bought by Miss Universe Germany Organisation back in 2009. Soraya Kohlmann owns a beauty salon and cosmetic salon and is also a professional model back in Germany. She is also very passionate about fitness, the reason why she also chose to be a pilates trainer. An environmental enthusiast, her advocacy involves spreading awareness about how humans can use the resources provided to us by mother nature, by making better choices. She also aims at helping people improve their physical health by teaching them about nutrition and healthier choices. Germany has won just one Miss Universe crown in the entire history of the pageant and with Soraya, they have their hopes high. Alles Gute Germany!
33. Bring It On - GHANA
Engracia Afua Kaley Mofuman is yet another pageant veteran in the class of 2022 - Miss Universe. She represented Ghana at the 2018’s edition of Miss Intercontinental and managed to place in the top 20 of the pageant. She is a polyglot, fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French and has attended several colleges in different countries, right from Equatorial Guinea to Cameroon. She is a 27 year old model. In August 2022, she shared another one of her achievements with her supporters - graduating in International Relations and Diplomacy Magna Cum Laude. She loves education and also aims at educating herself further, as much as she can. Her love for education made her start an initiative, directed towards the education of underprivileged girls in the rural areas of Ghana. The project is called “Power Of Pencil” and this is also her advocacy that she would be using her Miss Universe Platform for. Always love a visionary Diva. Good luck Ghana!