From AOL Celestrellas:

It might sound cliché, but even if Miss Haiti doesn’t go on to win the Miss Universe pageant, her singular story of overcoming tragedy, multiple obstacles and Haiti’s ruinous situation following the devastating earthquake earlier this year is something to be celebrated across the world.

In an exclusive interview with Celestrellas at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas where Sarodj Bertin, Miss Haiti, is staying in preparation for the big event on August 23, she shared her story with us: As a nine-year old, Bertin witnessed her mother’s murder, an obviously traumatic experience which has shaped her outlook on life and absolute desire to succeed. More recently, she won an improvised Miss Haiti pageant, organized amidst the misery and chaos that the earthquake left behind in this tiny Caribbean nation. It is the first time in 22 years that Haiti has participated in the Miss Universe pageant.

Magali Febles, former director of Miss Puerto Rico, believed that one of the ways for Haiti to rebound from the earthquake’s devastation was to celebrate the beauty and grace of the people of Haiti. She moved to organize the Miss Haiti pageant and send a candidate to the Miss Universe event in Las Vegas. In a modest event, without sponsors Sarodj Bertin was crowned as Miss Haiti. She didn’t even get a bouquet of flowers.

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