Sheynnis Palacios is a Nicaraguan model, businesswoman, TV host, and social worker who made headlines in 2023 when she became the first Nicaraguan woman to win the Miss Universe crown.
Sheynnis Alondra Palacios Cornejo was born on Tuesday, 30 May 2000 (age 23 years; as of 2023) in Diriamba, Carazo, Nicaragua. Her zodiac sign is Gemini.
She did her initial schooling at La Salle School, Managua followed by an English course at American Nicaraguan School, Managua.
She pursued a bachelor of mass communication degree at the Central American University (UCA), Managua which she completed in 2022. While studying in her school and college, she started competing in beauty pageants.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Figure Measurements (approx.): 32-26-34
She belongs to a middle-class family.
Parents & Siblings
Her mother’s name is Raquel Cornejo, a single mother. She has a younger brother named Alex.
Husband & Children
She is unmarried and does not have any children.
Her maternal grandmother’s name is Silvia Cornejo who lives with Sheynnis and her family.
She was interested in beauty competitions since her early teenage days and became the Miss Teen Nicaragua 2016, representing her home region of Carazo. She later came up in the Top 10 of the Miss Teen Universe 2017 held in Managua, Nicaragua.
On 16 May 2020, she won the Miss World Nicaragua 2020 crown, representing the capital of Nicaragua, Managua. She was set to represent Nicaragua in the Miss World pageants in 2020 and 2021; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those beauty shows were cancelled.
She made it to the Top 40 of the 70th edition of Miss World, held at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 16 March 2022, by winning a head-to-head Fastrack challenge, but failed to advance to the Top-13. She later tested positive for COVID-19 due to which she could not compete in the 2022 Reinado Internacional del Café.
On 5 August 2023, she became Miss Nicaragua 2023.
She has also walked the ramp in many fashion shows and did many modelling photoshoots.
Miss Universe 2023
On 18 November 2023, Sheynnis Palacios won the Miss Universe 2023 competition, held at the José Adolfo Pineda Arena in San Salvador, El Salvador. Anntonia Porsild of Thailand emerged as the first runner-up, and Moraya Wilson of Australia emerged as the second runner-up.
She became the fifth Nicaraguan woman to enter the semifinals, the first Nicaraguan to win the title, and the second woman from Central America to be crowned Miss Universe after Justine Pasek of Panama in 2002, was originally 1st runner-up and inherited the title after the original titleholder was dethroned.
When she was asked who she would choose if she had to spend one year in another woman’s year, and the reason behind that, she chose the British author, philosopher, and women’s rights advocate Mary Wollstonecraft and gave the reason that Mary opened new avenues for women and said,
She opened [a] gap and gave an opportunity to many women. What I would do, I would want that gap [to] open up so that women could work in any area that they chose to work in because there [are] no limitations for women. That was 1750. Now in 2023, we’re making history.” The Philippine Star
She said that she was very happy to win the crown as she was representing her country on such a grand stage and said,
My skin crawled when I heard backstage when they said Nicaragua, my heart swelled and it made me feel very happy, to represent not only Nicaraguan women, but an entire country.”
Sheynnis Palacios has also worked as a television host and presenter of the show ‘Understand Your Mind,’ which is related to mental health and broadcast on TV Red (Canal 11). She also has an interest in creating content.
She once said that her aim was to become an audio-visual producer and start her own International PR company. She added that she wanted to do her postgraduate degree in cinematography and a master’s degree in audiovisual production
Sheynnis Palacios has done many social activities to help the poor and underprivileged. After Nicaragua was hit by two hurricanes in November 2020, she started a fundraiser project named ‘Uniting Lives’ to help the people hit by the natural calamity by rebuilding the San Bartolo bridge.
She also runs another project named ‘Smiles That Teach’ through which she raises funds for children to receive cleft palate and cleft lip surgery at the Smile Nicaragua Operation Centre. Through one of her projects named ‘Beauty With a Purpose,’ she started a veterinary clinic in the La Fuente neighbourhood in Managua.
Since she suffered from anxiety while growing up, she has helped more than 60 women with anxiety-related issues through her mental health awareness TV show named ‘Understand Your Mind’. She has conducted more than 100 fundraisers for her social help projects.
She runs a business venture named Buñuelos La Guadalupana, a food business, in partnership with her mother.
- First Nicaraguan woman to win Miss Universe (2023)
- First Central American woman to win Miss Universe (2023)
She bought a Nissan Sentra in November 2022.
She earned $250,000 as the cash prize after winning the Miss Universe 2023.
- At the age of seventeen, Sheynnis Palacios suffered harassment when she was in the washroom (toilet) of a restaurant in Managua. She revealed that a male person tried to record her and make a MMS on his phone.
- She is a dog lover and owns four dogs named Bruce, Brownie, Koda, and Simba. She also loves other animals such as Iguana.
- She has loved dancing since her childhood and often does dance sessions.
- Sheynnis Palacios likes to ride horses during her free time.
- She often does adventure activities such as sandboarding with her friends.
- She often works out in the gym to maintain her lean figure.
- Her favourite singer-songwriter is Luis Pastor.
- Sheynnis Palacios considers her mother, Raquel Cornejo, as her role model.
- She likes to spend time on the beaches.
- During the national costume round of Miss Universe 2023, she wore a dress based on the El Zanate bird (similar to the Grackle bird), which is found in abundance in Nicaragua. Though the majority of the people liked her dress, a few news reporters and people made memes about her by dressing in black bags which was not well-received by the public.
- She often takes part in the LGBTQ+ rallies to show her support towards their campaign.
- Barbie doll toys have been made based on her appearance.
- She used to play volleyball during her college days.
- She likes doing activities that stimulate her mentally such as reading books and solving puzzles.