Payengaxa Lor is the first ever Miss Universe Laos who hails from the Hmong ethnic group. She is 21 years old and and defeated 19 other contestants in a pageant held at Mekong Riverside Hotel in Vientiane. She is currently teaching English and she is the co-founder of Hmong Women Network which is an organization that aims to empower Hmong women. She is also pursuing a degree in Business Management at the Lao-American College.
Hmong people originally came from China and are currently living in the highlands of Vietnam and Laos. Due to the civil war in these countries during the 1960s and 1970s, many Hmong people have fled to Thailand and the United States as refugees.