A talented law student from Cundinamarca demonstrated her skills in traditional folk dance to win the title of Colombia’s 25th National Bambuco Queen.
Thousands turned up to watch the coronation of 18-year-old Ana Maria Hernandez Romero, winner of the competition which seeks to find the nation’s most talented – and beautiful – performer of Bambuco, a type of folk dance native to Huila, south-west Colombia.
The beauty pageant is part of an extremely popular folk festival, now in its 50th year, which marks the Festivals of San Juan and San Pedro with non-stop parades, floats, dancing and finally, the coronation of a Bambuco Queen.
As well as scooping the prestigious title, Miss Romero is now the proud owner of a brand new red Renault Twingo. She was also awarded a trip to Orlando, Florida, copious beauty products and free flights for a year.
Runners-up included 22-year-old Jenny Maritza Guzman Tamayo, a human rights lawyer and extreme sports enthusiast and Ingrid Salina Lorena Gualteros, a 21-year-old student and keen golfer who scored one of the highest marks in the competition for her Sanjuanero performance. Both runners-up received cash prizes and a sizeable supply of make-up.
El Espectador reports, however, that the crowning event of the evening was a performance by The Baranoa Band, a touring troupe of young Cumbia performers. All previous 24 Bambuco queens turned out to applaud Miss Romero’s success and celebrate the festival’s Golden Jubilee.