Miss Mexican Heritage pageant queen Cami Gonzales set to represent culture, so much more – Port Arthur News

Cami Gonzales, queen of the Miss Mexican Heritage pageant, ready to represent culture, much more

Posted at 12:32 a.m. on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Cami Gonzales learned a lot about the Mexican state of Chiapas and its culture during her journey as a contestant in the Miss Mexican Heritage pageant.

And now Gonzales will spread that knowledge as the Miss Mexican Heritage queen.

Chiapas, she said, has strong ties to the Mayans and is home to many Mayan ruins. Her black satin pageant dress with flowers of different colors represents the flora of the state.

Miss Mexican Heritage Queen Cami Gonzales and her father Robert Gonzales. (Courtesy picture)

Part of the contest requires contests to perform a dance representative of the state they represent. As a lifelong dance student, she was careful to do it right so as not to disrespect the state and the culture.

“I was nervous, but all the girls in my category were super helpful and nice. It made me feel calmer,” Gonzales said.

In high school, Gonzales was a cheerleader and was on the track team competing in the high jump. She chose not to continue dancing in college so she could focus on her career.

It was the second time she had entered the pageant, she said. The first time was when I was 11 years old.

“I didn’t do it again (after that) because I was hesitant,” Gonzales said. “Spanish is not my first language.”

Zulema Escobedo, president of the Port Arthur Mexican Heritage Society, said Gonzales is beautiful and very active in the community. Being involved in the community is what leaders seek to represent the organization.

Winners of the recent Mexican Heritage Pageant include: Young Miss Mexican Heritage Carmela Castaneda, left, Tiny Miss Mexican Heritage Emery Vargas, Mr. Jovencito Aiden Zepeda and Miss Precoisa Colette Guidry. In the back are Little Miss Sophia Simon, Miss Mexican Heritage Cami Gonzales, Junior Miss Mexican Heritage Ava Peña and Little Miss Mexican Heritage Chandler Chaisson. (Courtesy picture)

The competition and the annual Fiesta took place earlier this month.

Other contest winners include:

• Mr. Jovencito, Aiden Zepeda

• Miss Précoisa, Colette Guidry

• Little Miss, Emery Vargas

• Little Miss, Chandler Chaisson

• Young Miss, Carmela Castaneda

• Little Miss, Sophia Simon

• Miss Junior, Ava Pena

The duties of the queens are to keep the culture alive and to go out into the community and spread the knowledge.

The recent Fiesta saw record attendance with around 2,000 people, Escobedo said.

“We also sold out food and vendor stalls,” Escobedo said. “We had seven food stalls, and they all sold out by 8 p.m.”

The Queen

Gonzales graduated from Nederland High School in 2020 and junior at Lamar University majoring in accounting.

At first, Gonzales considered a career in dentistry, but learned that she wasn’t as confident in biology. Mathematics, she says, is her strength.

As a sophomore in college, she took a financial accounting course and earned an A, which caused her instructor to take notice. It was her instructor who helped her make the decision to go to info-accounting.

Five to 10 years later, Gonzales would love to work with a big company in Houston, and she’s well on her way to getting there.

This week, Gonzales is interviewing companies for an internship. About 20 companies will interview students, including the “big four,” as she called it. Although not named, the big four are big companies she hopes to work with.

Cami Gonzales knows she has a lot of work ahead of her as queen where she will be Mexican culture. Combined with that is her work as a student and she is ready to tackle whatever is needed.

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