“I had no intention to make history. I had no intention of being some celebrity or public figure. My only intention was to represent Belize to the best of my ability, and I didn’t how I was going to do it, but I knew that my ‘why’ was greater than my ‘how.’” Those are the words of Punta Gorda’s very own Destiny Wagner, who took up the crown to become Miss Earth
Speaking with The Reporter in a post-victory, one-on-one interview, the newly crowned queen shared her views on a range of topics. First on the list for Miss Earth is the climate crisis. As Climate Change continues to wreak havoc on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Belize, the title carries significantly more meaning. “This title symbolizes progression, ambition, unity and us coming together to combat these issues,” Destiny told us.
With “The Glasgow Climate Pact” still fresh in the public domain—and delegations already gearing up for COP27 in Egypt—we asked Destiny if she’d be interested in joining the Belizean delegation. “Absolutely, I would love to represent Belize again in more of a political stance because environmental policy and politics do coincide.”
Notably, Destiny expressed her concerns regarding coastal development and climate change impacting ecosystems and local communities. “I think it’s a huge issue that is causing our people and our animals to migrate,” she explained. “It doesn’t only dramatically affect ecosystems, but livelihoods as well.”
Destiny also felt it necessary to highlight her journey to becoming Miss Earth. She explained that it was somewhat difficult to get support and that some businesses she had reached out to refused to support her. While there’s no animosity, Destiny hopes that Belizeans at large “learn to support the youth. We all have that young person in our community who is starting a business or doing something great and yet we turn a blind eye to them. We must challenge them [our youth] and help them in any way we can.”
Along with being Miss Earth, Destiny is also a published author. She explained that the third book being composed delves into the more “raw version” of her poetry specifically her spirituality, sexuality, and femininity. She also expressed much interest in publishing a fourth book which would give the reader insight into all the details of her road to becoming Miss Earth.
With her newfound publicity, Destiny also hopes to revitalize our film industry. “It has always been a dream of mine to film a movie in Belize or act in one, and even if I’m not able to do the ‘acting’ I’d love to be a part of that project, because Belize has so much talent especially in the film and media industry.” She reiterated, “It goes down to supporting our youth and supporting our ambassadors who want to represent us.”
Toward the end of the interview, Miss Earth underscored the win and what it signifies for her being a Caribbean woman of color. “Being black and having dreadlocks, I want that to make Belize more tolerant,” Destiny shared. “I want that to open the conversation throughout the country to be more receptive of other people. I’m hoping that by being an ambassador that I am able to highlight this and say why can’t members of our police department have dreadlocks when our ambassador who represents the world does?” She continued and emphasized that being authentic and true to oneself is what Belizeans must strive for. “I didn’t have to change who I am to get this win and none of us should have to change who we are to accomplish anything.”