ANTOFAGASTA — This month, the city of Antofagasta celebrated the selection of its “Queen” and “King” for 2019. The contest seeks to reward young people who best represent the community, for beauty, intelligence, sympathy, and social values, among other qualities, as a way to encourage and foster the city’s youth leaders.
From 18 candidates between the ages of 17 and 29, Catalina Figueroa, 23, was selected as the city’s Queen, and Matías Torres, 26, was selected as King.
Before the start of the selection festival, which took place in Croatian Park, the candidates paraded in casual attire and answered typical questions about the city of Antofagasta.
Among the 5,000 festival participants was Antofagasta mayor Karen Rojo, who said “we now have the new [King and Queen for] 2019, with whom we will continue to demonstrate the talents that young people in the commune of Antofagasta have. We thank the participants, and we enjoyed the local and national artists who accompanied us during this night.”
Esta tarde los participantes del certamen “Una Reina y un Rey para Antofagasta” realizaron su 1era presentación de traje de identidad local. Además disfrutamos de todos los éxitos de la cantante nacional Daniela Castillo.— Dideco Antofagasta (@dideco_afta) February 2, 2019
¡Felicidades a cada uno por su dedicación y esfuerzo! pic.twitter.com/DyxDtG5X4N
Organized by Antofagasta’s community development directorate (Dideco), the annual event was hosted by television personalities Nataly Chilet and Cristian Ly. Actor and national singer Augusto Schuster and local band Los Pepperutis also attended.
From January 22 until the day of the selection, February 2, various activities took place, including body expression classes, photography, modeling, and Dideco social and community programs, where participants honed and demonstrated their leadership skills.
Figueroa, the Queen of Antofagasta, was thrilled: “The truth was that the competition was super strong, I think all the girls had the skills to be Queen of Antofagasta, and I am super happy and will give everything as the new Queen of this city. The experience was very enriching.”
Figueroa also thanked everyone who helped her achieve this dream, especially her team, Maria Jose Albayay, Mario Morales, and Karina De La Cerda.
“It’s a pleasure seeing Catalina winning this place that made all of us proud of her. It was my honor to be her makeup artist. It’s a good place to show the talents of the city’s youth,” said Morales.
Los participantes del certamen “Una Reina y un Rey para Antofagasta 2019” han realizado diversas actividades, sociales, recreativas y deportivas, donde se valora el compromiso social y comunitario que cada candidato tiene. 👸🏻🤴🏻❤️#Antofagasta pic.twitter.com/NfqJtFan9c— Dideco Antofagasta (@dideco_afta) January 29, 2019
Torres, the new King of Antofagasta, never expected he would be selected. “During the event, I did my best to represent young people. I am super happy.”
Torres also thanked the mayor for giving him and other young Chileans the chance to participate in such events.
Marcela Sepúlveda and Esperanza Ríos were selected as the second and the third queen runners-up, while Sebastián Torrejón and Frank Oliva were selected as the second and the third king runners-up. In addition, the best companion prize went to Angie Trujillo, and the most photogenic prize also went to Ríos.
The first place prize in both categories included CLP$ 1.5 million (US$ 2,200) while the second place bagged CLP$ 1 million and the third CLP$ 500,000.
Mohammad Arafat, 26, is a graduate of the Islamic University of Gaza, where he studied English. He aspires to become “a voice for people, expressing their hopes and pains, helping them pursue their dreams in the face of adversity and demonstrating that every life matters.” A freelance writer, Mohammad already has self-published his own book, “Still Living There,” which he disseminates through Amazon.