Valeria Rees, the first runner-up in last year’s Miss Costa Rica, has been appointed as Miss Costa Rica 2021, the organization announced on August 30.

The 28-year-old law student and model will represent the nation at the 70th Miss Universe competition in Eilat, Israel in December. She suceeded 2020 titleholder Ivonne Cerdas, who finished in the Top 10 of the 69th Miss Universe pageant.

“I have had many dreams throughout my life, and this is the first one that comes true but the one I wanted the most,” Rees posted on Instagram.

This marks the second time the Miss Costa Rica organization selected its titleholder without a national contest. The first time was in 2017 with Elena Correa.

“After a rigorous evaluation and for her excellence in the participation of the previous contest, in which she achieved the position of first finalist, it is that today Miss Valeria Rees is awarded the title of Miss Costa Rica, 2021,” the organization said.

Costa Rica has yet to win the Miss Universe crown. The country currently ranks 47th in Missosology Big5 Ranking. Missosology.Org; Photos from Miss Costa Rica