Vanessa Ponce de Leon – The first Mexican woman to be crowned Miss World

29 Feb 2024 | Priya Bhardwaj


Vanessa Ponce de Leon – The first Mexican woman to be crowned Miss World


The 68th edition of Miss World was held on 8th December 2018 at the Sanya City Arena in Sanya, China where Vanessa Ponce de Leon from Mexico created history as she became the first ever Mexican woman to be crowned Miss World. She was crowned by India’s Manushi Chhillar Miss World 2017.

Vanessa was 26 years of age when she was crowned Miss World and holds the record of being the oldest Miss World thus far. She bested 117 other contestants to win the Miss World crown. Born on 7th March 1992 in Guanajuato, Vanessa holds a degree in international business from the 'University of Guanajuato’ and also holds a diploma in human rights.

Being an avid humanitarian who has impacted uncountable lives, Vanessa’s Beauty with a Purpose project also helped her create a strong impact. Her project was called ‘Na Vili’, created to help the children of the indigenous Mexican day laborers who emigrated from the State of Guerrero, Mexico to the State of Guanajuato.


Vanessa Ponce de Leon – The first Mexican woman to be crowned Miss World


During the final Q/A at Miss World 2018, Vanessa was asked, “How would you use your influence as Miss World to help others?” to which Vanessa replied, “I would use my position just as I have been doing for the past three years, by being an example. We all can be an example of good in the world. We all have to care, we all have to love and we all have to be kind. It doesn't cost a thing and helping is not that hard. You just have to go out there and there will always be someone who needs what you have to offer. So, help anyone you can guys.”

Vanessa Ponce de Leon’s court included Nicolene Limsnukan of Thailand who was adjudged as the first runner-up while Maria Vasilevich of Belarus, Kadijah Robinson of Jamaica  and Quiin Abenakyo of Uganda placed in the Top 5.


Vanessa Ponce de Leon – The first Mexican woman to be crowned Miss World


Apart from creating a strong impact as Miss World, Vanessa has volunteered for 'Migrantes en el Camino,' a migrant shelter home that assists and works for migrants from various parts of the world. Using her influence as Miss World, Vanessa has spoken for the 'National Youth Institute.' She is also associated with a special school called 'Nenemi’ which provides intercultural education to children from local tribes.

As Miss World, Vanessa lived in England and visited China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Uganda, the Philippines, Ghana, Singapore, Poland, Tanzania, the Bahamas and various cities in her home country Mexico to promote the humanitarian causes.

Vanessa Ponce, even after her reign, has continued to impact millions of lives all across the world with her strong message to the world and her efforts to bring a positive change. She is, indeed, a beautiful and gracious Miss World queen.