1978, a year of good luck for Costa Rica

In 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.

When 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 transmit.

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 to Mexico.

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.

Due 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.

In 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 designer.

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 (Costa Rica)



This anecdote is from the month: AUGUST 2005

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