1978, a year of good luck for Costa Rica
March of 1978, Maribel Fernandez Garcia, a beautiful 19 year old
Costa Rican model, was one of the candidates as “Press queen”
during the press week of Costa Rica that year. She did not win the
crown but her beauty made her stand out. Due to organization problems,
the Unimundo committee decided to suspend the Miss Costa Rica contest.
There would not be a representative in any of the most important
beauty contests in the world.
Acapulco Mexico was selected to organize Miss Universe, The Costa
Rican Institute of tourism (ITC) called a member’s committee
meeting and offered the sponsors so that Costa Rica would have a
delegate in the contest. It was then when Virginia Maroto and Pochola
de Nigro (better known as Vicky and Pochola) searched for a distinguished
group of high class society misses in Costa Rica, and did a fast
and private contest. Not like the ones Teletica channel 7 would
The first days of June, the Costa Rican press was invited to the
ICT headquarters where beautiful Maribel was presented as the new
Miss Costa Rica 1978 and representative in Miss Universe. In a few
days, the new queen fixed her night gowns which were designed by
Fernando Vargas (RIP), A Costa Rican designer who accompanied Maribel
Since her arrival in Mexico, Maribel
became one of the great favorites by the Mexican and International
press that was covering the Miss Universe contest. Photographers
named her Miss Photogenic. On the final night, Costa Ricans expected
to see Maribel in the top 12 group, people commented that she was
one of the favorites, but she didn’t make the finals.
Maribel received several offers
to stay in Mexico and to become an actress; she accepted and changed
her name to Maribel Guardia.
to her great performance in Miss Universe, the organization invited
her to represent Costa Rica in Miss World, which took place in London
England in November of 1978. She was also one the favorites, and
finally was eighth place.
July of that same year, Vivian Ungar Borbon and Marlene Amador Barrenechea
were selected to represent Costa Rica in Miss Young International
and Miss International. Both contests took place in Tokyo Japan
during August and September. Vivian was crowned Miss Young International
1978 and the best traditional outfit.
Before she traveled to Tokyo, she
stopped in Mexico where she bought her evening gown from a Mexican
There is no doubt that 1978 was a great year for Costa Rica. They
won Miss Photogenic in Miss Universe, a semifinalist in Miss World,
and won the Miss Young International crown.
Curiously, Costa Rica was not planning to organize the Miss Costa
Rica contest ...
Muchas gracias a Basilio Quesada
This anecdote is from the month: AUGUST