It is an honor to present from the United States, Lucia Mendieta – International Model – Ms. Mundo Latina USA 2022. Lucia is a native of Guayaquil – Ecuador and grants me a valuable interview with much joy and humility, characteristic of the Latin woman.
Welcome Lucia Mendieta!!!
1.- Lucia, you were born in Ecuador, What do you like about your hometown in Ecuador? Currently in the USA,What do you feel for the USA, its people and its culture?
I grew up in Guayaquil – Ecuador. It is one of the largest cities in the country and the principal port for local and international commerce. My hometown is also known for their food, there are so many delicious dishes and they all have creative names, one of my favorites is “el encebollado” which is basically fish garnished with onions, cassava, some soup based and accompanied with plantain chips.
Besides liking the diversity of the food, I like the warmth of our people. We are very welcoming to locals and visitors and supportive to one another. Ecuadorians are all hard working, from the people farming in our beautiful land up to creating businesses to export our products, and providing services locally and internationally. Ecuador has yet so much to offer to the world not only for the amazing and wonderful places to visit, but for our culture, wonderful art, music, and traditions.
With no doubt I miss my hometown and Ecuador in general, but at this moment, the USA has become my permanent home. It is in fact the land of opportunities. I have been blessed enough that the education I received and gained in Ecuador; my bachelor’s and Master in Accounting and Auditing, were validated here and thanks to that I have found amazing job opportunities. When I first started living in the US, I resided in Atlanta for 4 years where I met so many wonderful people. They all made me feel like I was no stranger, they were kind and generous. They received me with extended arms and nurtured me with their love, acceptance and knowledge about their culture and traditions.
Before living in the States, I had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. The tradition behind it, and the meaning is what made this one of the biggest and most special holidays. Having the families come together, sharing and remembering what they are thankful for is one the things that I love the most about this new tradition I learnt while living here all these years.
2.- What are your hobbies? What makes you laugh a lot or does it give you a lot of joy?
I have many hobbies. I consider myself to be a creative person, but maybe a little bit introverted when alone. However, when I’m thrown to the masses, I thrive easily around. I love singing, that is definitely more than a hobby, it is something that brings me much joy. I started singing in 2012 and have had the opportunity ever since to belong to various bands, sing solo, and perform in front of many people. I love the feeling of going on stage and performing. I really do. Similar to the feeling I get while singing, I did perform as well as an actress in some plays with the drama club I joined while I was in college, I also danced, and basically did any expression of art I could.
I like to paint, to create with my hands. During the pandemic I learnt how to sew with a sewing machine and made masks, pillow covers, and even a couple clothing pieces. Although I’m not an expert, I always try to do the best I can.
The biggest source of joy to my life is my husband, he makes me laugh all the time. He is funny, smart, and very supportive. I love him very much, and as I told him once, he got me the minute he made me smile.
Kids give me joy, I love and enjoy spending time with them; playing, singing together. I helped twice as a volunteer teacher in a daycare, I did some plays with puppets I made from scratch, and I would also do face painting for them. Anything to get them to smile.
Although my husband and I don’t have children yet, we look forward to becoming parents one day.
3.- International Model , Beauty Queen, Ms Mundo Latina USA 2022 – When did you decide to take your first steps as a model and beauty pageant? What feeling do you have about achieving your dreams, your passions and being a recognized influencer woman today?
As I got married in October 2021, later during May 2022 I decided that before starting my own family I wanted to do something for myself and pursue a dream I think I had hidden inside; to participate in a pageant. I had probably dreamt to be a beauty queen back when I was in Ecuador, but I never considered myself to be “good enough” to participate and try or give myself the opportunity to shine in a pageant. So, it took me all this time to realize that we can pursue a dream no matter how we feel inside, I decided to get ready on my own, practicing how I would walk, looking for the best pose in the mirror, watching videos of former international beauty queens and one of the best Ecuador had; Constanza Baez. They were my inspiration, and I just went into the pageant with no real expectations, but to have fun and enjoy the experience and learn. During the competition I met many amazing women that were so confident of themselves and that showed the best in every step. That also motivated me. The night of the final gala, I felt like I was dreaming, I could have not imagined that I was the one to be crowned Ms Mundo Latina 2022, I was extremely happy, literally felt over the moon.
This also brought to me a feeling of belonging to something meaningful, and created in me a feeling of responsibility for my community and representation for the latino women. Modeling came up as an added opportunity after the pageant. Up to that point, I hadn’t seen myself as a model or as a woman influencing other women. For my first fashion show I practiced at home, I watched fashion shows, online classes and tried following the posture and walks of the instructors in the videos.
Once on the stage it just worked naturally, it was just like acting, or performing in a show, but this was a different audience and a different flow, everybody welcomed me with their applauses and love, and since then it didn’t stop. Being in the pageant opened the doors to meet many people, and to network with different organizations that I have had the great opportunity to work with. I’m honored to be considered an influence for women, and besides having still too much to learn I would like to remind the young ladies, and women in general reading this that no matter how small or big you think your dream is, it will depend on your work and efforts where it can drive you to.
4.- What do you think is the distinctive, unique stamp of Lucia in each activity that you carry out as a person and model?
I believe that being humble and down to earth is something very important and distinctive of my personality. I don’t think I’m better than anyone or that I deserve more or less than other people. I work hard in everything that I do to show my talent and work ethic. I like to help people, and try my best to give back. I try not to judge, instead I like to listen, I watch and then make my own conclusions.
I respect every single person I get to work with, and expect no less than that back from them. When you don’t get it back, then that means you simply don’t need that person around you.
When modeling or doing anything in general, in my professional career for example, I like to be punctual, responsible, and ask for feedback to continue to grow.
5.- What is the main virtue that any woman must have to be an internacional model?
I believe that having dignity is one of the most important virtues in this career. Not allowing anyone to take away your confidence, how proud we feel of ourselves, of our achievements, growing our self-love and respect is something that a woman working in any and specially in the modeling industry must endure. Modeling is not easy, and there would be many instances where one can get tested, but it is always important to remember our worth, and what and who we represent. We are the generation that has been given opportunities that were not offered to others before us, so it is our responsibility to give the best version of ourselves.
6.- Are you aware of being an influential woman for thousands of girls who want to be models? How important is it to you to be an idol for many girls and teenagers?
I am aware of the responsibility of being a role model from the moment that I became a representative of my community, and I live it in everything that I say and do. It is very important to me to represent my fellow latino women, to empower them and to share that self-confidence we sometimes fail to show. I want to inspire them to be better, to improve themselves, to not settle for small but for big things and dreams. We are what we believe, and I repeat that to myself as well, because sometimes it is easier to say than to do something. I always want to make and work in new things, I always aspire to get better at what I do, and to learn from the best.
7.- What was your feeling the first time you modeled in front of a video camera? What did you feel the first time at a beauty pageant?
The first time I modeled and had a videographer and photographer in front of the stage, I felt like in a movie, I felt that I was playing a role as a different person. The modeling business is very fast paced, you change from one outfit to the other in seconds. In my first international fashion show I walked for 10 designers, each of them had different styles; accessories, makeup, hair, and visuals for the runway. Going from feeling and looking glamorous, casual, sexy and classy, all at once is fun and interesting. It challenges you to give different flavors of yourself. I enjoyed it a lot.
For the pageant, I felt it to be more of a constant showcase of yourself. Of course posture is important in both, but for the pageant you are representing, not only your city or country, but you are representing yourself. They will judge what they see, how you speak, your demeanor, the way you express yourself in a social or public environment, you feel that the eyes are on you all the time. As a model, you know the eyes are on you when you get on that stage, but once you are out of it, you become yourself again. You change your clothes and return back to your own style and look.
In a pageant, the feeling of being looked at is constant, it doesn’t disappear when you are out of stage, because you are still representing yourself. Being a beauty queen is like being a beauty ambassador for your community, you want to make them feel proud. Working with integrity and humility.
8.- What do you think about the power of social media today?
It is definitely a platform for people to see you and get to know you. Social media has become a big tool for artists, businesses and of course models. Through it you can find job opportunities, get casted to be a model for a show, and used properly, it can help to boost your career.
Content is important, you want to make sure to highlight your modeling skills and talent, to showcase your photographs as your portfolio and potentially to establish partnerships with brands, designers, and organizations.
9.- How do you like to interact with your followers on social media? What’s your favorite social media?
I like to create content for them, and to ask them for feedback. I like to make videos of different activities I get to be part of as a model and as a beauty queen. I love to share my experiences and to give them advice from what I get to learn while doing something new. My favorite social media platform is Instagram. You can find me as @summer_lucita
10.- What would you advise young people who have talent but do not dare to take the next step? What would you advise parents who do not support their children’s talents?
My advice would be that if you don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for you. Besides, holding back onto doing something just brings us regret and unhappiness. We deserve to do what we love, and if you have a passion for something (a talent) and are too afraid to show it to the world, think of it as a wish you get to make true, either you succeed or not on trying, you have a sense of relief that you worked hard to go for it.
For parents that don’t support their children, I would say please give them a chance. You won’t see the potential of someone that is repressed from doing something. I can say from experience, when I started showing interest in art, especially rehearsing for plays with my drama club, my mother was reluctant about it. She thought that while I was dedicating time to go to rehearsals, and doing something I loved, that I was going to leave aside my responsibilities, and abandon my career or fail because of having extracurricular assignments. Truth be told, I graduated and became the best student of my promotion (gained 2 honorable mentions and distinctions in College), I did participate in several plays during college and never let my love for art interfere in my performance as a student. Once, after finishing college, I had the chance to participate in a production for the last time with my old drama club, and it was the first time my mom went to see me. She really loved it and congratulated me while saying ” I cannot believe you were so good! I love what you did with your character”.
11.- What important lessons have you learned from the world of fashion and beauty pageants?
Discipline is key, you have to be organized and committed to what you do or you wont get anywhere. Most importantly, you have to be able to connect with people. I love interacting with people and getting to know them. You also have to be able to communicate properly, and address people with respect and tact. Another important lesson is don’t lose your focus! and definitely don’t lose yourself for anything or anyone. At the end of the day, you have to recognize the person you see in the mirror. Situations will pass, people will pass, but you will have to live with the things you do and say, so be gentle and kind to everybody starting with yourself.
12.- Lucia, being a model for you has been easy? Were there obstacles?How did you overcome obstacles?
It’s not easy, it’s very demanding and challenging. There is a lot of competence out there, so it will never be easy to get in the industry, but it is not impossible. It is important to look for the opportunities and speak up, to get the designers to see you, to notice you. Once they see you, they will pick you.
Although there are obstacles, I think there are also more opportunities now than before. You can see more inclusion now for fashion models in terms of size, age, and height. The typical stereotypes might remain for some, but now there is more acceptance to see and spotlight different shapes of people in different versions of clothes. The fashion industry has grown a lot, and continues to do so. The obstacles will be there, but the way to overcome them is by trying again and not giving up. Rejection doesn’t feel good, but believe me, greater things will come at the end and the joy grows after achieving something that we thought impossible.
13.- Have you thought about being an actress? Do you like the entertainment industry?
I have thought of it a lot. I think we all at some point dream of receiving an Oscar for best actor/actress. I would love to get involved in the entertainment industry, I can see myself doing it, but I haven’t just tried it for real. I have gone to castings for “agencies” that could potentially help you to be seen and casted, but I’ve been afraid to get scammed in the way. I think that with a good agent and network, you can get there.
14.- Worldwide, women have acquired a greater role even though there are societies where they are still abused. What is your opinion of the role of women in the future in these societies?
Our role has been transformed through the years. Access to higher education, better job opportunities, inclusion in politics to name a few, are an example of what we have gained with time, and especially thanks to the efforts of the women that fought for those rights in the past.
I see women in the future leading the way to a better and improved society. We can do anything we dream of, I see women working in the government, see them as advisors for the law, enforcing rules, building and creating, making a change for humanity. Being the trailblazers for the future generations. We’ll continue to inspire other women as we play multiple roles in society and we are key to their growth.
15.- Lucia, what is your motivation and what do you feel grateful for every day?
My motivation is my family. I’m especially blessed to have my mother and my husband supporting everything I do, for them and all my family members having health and being here with me, I feel very grateful.
16.- Lucia, Do you like to travel? What countries do you know? What other countries would you like to visit and which places do you recommend to visit from Ecuador and the USA?
Traveling is my weakness. If I could, I would travel a lot and spend some time learning from locals their language and cultures as I did when I came to the US. However, that would take more time than I expect, I wish to visit and be at a place at least for a couple months to do so. The places would be Germany and France.
From Ecuador, I would recommend visiting Cuenca “El parque Nacional del Cajas”, and “Baños de Agua Santa”. The views are amazing, the food and touristic places to visit are the number one destination in Ecuador. From the US I can recommend Helen, GA, and the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
17.- You and I (Jaime William) are going to play ping pong, I will tell you one word and you will answer with another word that comes to your mind.
– Marriage – Commitment
– Childrens – Innocence
– Love – Forever
– Ecuador – Memories
– USA – Home
– Travel – Lifestyle
– Abortion – Pain
– Dance – Sabor
– Sing – Joy
– Europe – Dream
– America – Family
– Sport – Soccer
– Money – Clothes
– Parents – Grateful
– Dreams – Reality
– Passion – Music
– Madness Percentage -Unknown
– Character – Responsible
18.- Lucia, your last words or final tips
Education is important to me, and that is why to all of you reading this, I would like you to know that besides pursuing my dreams in the arts, modeling, and music, I treasure my career. It has taken me places too. I have visited different countries because of it (Mexico, Peru, USA, London) and when I do it I’m also passionate about it. Having a career will always be a good plan, so it is never too late to start a new path.
That is something that I like to thank my mom for, because she motivated me to build my career and be a professional. I admire her and love her deeply, she taught me a lot and made so many sacrifices for me to have a better life.
We all hear the saying of “you only live once”… to that I will say; what you decide to do with your life is your responsibility, you do what brings happiness to your heart and a piece of bread to your stomach.
Thanks for having me in this interview.
Interview conducted by Jaime William Mostacero Baca with Lucia Mendieta – Ecuador
Lucia Mendieta Contact: Instagram – Email
Interview authorized in writing by Instagram – Email : Lucia Mendieta – Perumira – Jaime William
All Rights Reserved in the name of Lucia Mendieta – Perumira – Jaime William