Miss Oklahoma Latina Karla Ferrari wins National title at the 2014 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant held in the Dominican Republic as a preliminary event to Miss Latin America of the World.
Karla Ferrari of Oklahoma City was crowned Miss U.S. Latina™ 2014 at the Barceló Bavaro Beach Resort in the Dominican Republic recently. The 27-year-old becomes the first winner from her state to take the crown since they began participating in this national competition six years ago. They came close last year with Katya Anaya of Tulsa, who placed as First Runner-Up.
Originally from Venezuela, Karla has resided in Oklahoma for the past two years, where she graduated last May from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in Leadership and Management. She is fluent in both the English and Spanish languages and active in several volunteer organizations, including Star Foundation and Oye Help Me.
Miss U.S. Latina™ is the first national pageant established in the country to recognize the personal and cultural attributes of Latin women beyond their physical beauty and in celebration of their ethnicity. The 2014 edition saw 24 delegates from across the USA participate representing Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and U.S. Puerto Rico.
The show’s spectacular opening featured all of the US delegates in white cocktail dresses joined onstage by the international delegates competing in the 2014 Miss Latin America of the World Pageant in their national costumes, along with the Barceló Bávaro Dancers. The Barceló Orchestra provided the music for the entire show that was co-hosted by former Miss U.S. Latina 2012 Sasha Zacarias and outgoing titleholder Ashley Garner. Guest artists for the evening were country-rock group Saints of Havana from Tennessee and award-winning singer Cristina Quinones from Georgia.
A distinguished panel of seven international judges, after preliminaries in swimsuit, evening gown and two separate personal interviews, selected the 10 Semifinalists that were announced following the evening gown presentation onstage. Continuing in the running and on to the swimsuit competition onstage in red bikinis were California’s Karina Heredia (Cuban/Mexican), Texas’ Natalia Castillo (Colombian), Ohio’s Carolina Peguero (Dominican), Oklahoma’s Karla Ferrari (Venezuelan/German), Indiana’s Ariana Rosado (Mexican/Puerto Rican), Arizona’s Natalli Valle (Mexican), New York’s Nicolle Velez (Colombian), Florida’s Eliza Lopez (Dominican/Puerto Rican), Illinois’ Vanessa Quintana (Mexican) and Nevada’s Francoise Renteria (Colombian/French). The judges then narrowed their choices to 5 Finalists. One last judging onstage – a brief speech by each Finalist as she was announced, led to Oklahoma’s Karla Ferrari becoming Miss U.S. Latina 2014, followed by New York’s Nicolle Velez as First Runner-Up, and in the Second, Third and Fourth positions, respectively, Arizona, Florida and Ohio. Receiving the President’s Award for Academic Excellence and Outstanding Life Achievements was Kristel Pabon, who represented U.S. Puerto Ricans.