‘’I am trying to make an impact in the best way possible’’: Miss Universe Jamaica 2019 Iana Tickle Garcia

17 Mar 2020 | Angelique Reyes

We’ve heard various beauty queens quote that beauty pageants is a positive platform that helps and empower women. But Iana Tickle Garcia who decided to step out of her comfort zone and participate in Miss Universe Jamaica 2019 has lived that quote.

Iana is 19-years-old and stands 178cm tall who attended the Montego Bay Community College and kept her aim on attending the University of West Indies for further studies. She is studying International Relations and Law and the university and operates her own charity called Crochet for Charity, which positions her to be one of the most altruistic Jamaican titleholders.

Iana is a trained pianist, martial artist and a professional model. She started her beauty pageant journey in 2018 when she participated in Miss Montego Bay pageant in 2018 and was adjudged as the first runner up. She later decided to participate in Miss Universe Jamaica North West 2019 and was one of the finalists. She was later crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2019 and earned a chance to represent her country at Miss Universe 2019 stage.



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The diva decided to participate in the beauty pageant because she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and work on her interpersonal skills.  Participating in beauty pageants has been life-changing but therapeutic for the diva as because of this, she realized what she wants to do in life.

Iana explains that she has changed so much and so much has happened in such a short time. She feels really happy to see the changes she has went as a person the person and how much strength and courage she has to achieve her goals.

Iana believes that people should not see her Miss Universe 2019 stint as a failure even when she was unplaced because she met the other beautiful delegates who’ve inspired her to be more courageous and happy in life. She wants them to understand that being unplaced at Miss Universe 2019 won’t stop her from getting her goals and dreams.



A post shared by Iana Tickle Garcia (@ianaolivia) on


She further explains about her new initiative, “I Recycle. What’s your superpower?” It was launched at the end of the 2019 and has been active in four schools and two business places in MoBay. The diva aspires to extend her project in the rest of the country in order to raise awareness about the recycling.  Asking about her inspiration for the project, Iana adds, “This really started with my sister Yaderia Davis who was always interested in the environment. She got my entire family to be more eco-conscious. I saw how passionate she was about the environment and from her I learned the importance of caring for the world. I am passionate about taking care of what we have and making sure there is a future.”

The 19-years-old beauty queen is still not sure where her interest lies in terms of professional career but she states that creative industry is where she would like to give her time and effort. Growing up in family where she had influence of a Cuban mother, Swiss-born German-British father and rich St Elizabeth and Montego Bay creole, has an innate love for cultures and languages. Iana also mentioned her childhood neighbor, who is now deceased; is the reason why she has a deep appreciation for finer artistic expression.

“Her name was Ann Mills and I would go to her every Sunday for about three hours. She would teach me how to garden, sew, embroidery, crochet. I stopped crocheting for a while, but I took it back up because I didn't want it to be something that died with her.”  Iana added.

As she is growing up in a world where things are fast paced and people are not kind enough, Iana wants to grow and be kind and loveable. She looks back at her Miss Universe 2019 journey as an experience that she would have never had if she’d decided to stay in her comfort zone.  She also talks about the controversy that appeared with her National Costume during the pageant.  The national costume for Miss Universe Jamaica 2019 was based on the Jamaican legend Annie Palmer, the infamous White Witch of Rose Hall, and immediately, the social-media-using public blasted the choice as tone-deaf, inappropriate, and insensitive.

Iana mentioned that it doesn’t bother her much but she knows that a lot of people would remember her for the same. But she had a message for all of them, “Remember me as someone who stuck by her initiative, her passion, and her platform. Even when my reign ends, I want to be remembered as someone who did not let my journey end when I gave up my crown. Someone who continues…”

Iana Tickle Garcia may have been unplaced at the beauty pageant but her courage, confidence and humbleness have won many hearts. She is on her journey to discover herself and inspire others to be the best version of them and we couldn’t be proud of her.