Katherine Espin: The Former Miss Earth Talks Climate Change, Her Role as a Tourism Ambassador and Empowering Young Women

Katherine Espin is a lawyer by profession and a dream chaser. As a Tourism Ambassador, she documents all of her trips along with her experiences. She is spiritual and strives to live every single day of her life to the fullest. As an environmentalist, she is passionate about creating awareness for climate change and encourages the younger generation to take extra care of the world we call home. Dedicated to empowering women and encouraging them to follow their dreams she is one to watch as her Miss Earth reign comes to an end. We sat down with the inspiring beauty queen to find out just what she has planned for her future and what it was like to be Miss Earth 2016.

LATM: Tell us about the process of becoming Miss Earth, what was it like?
As an environmentalist, was very passionate about the Miss Earth pageant and it’s cause. I represented my country Ecuador in the Philippines in 2016. My dream of becoming Miss Earth became a reality when winning the title. It has been a very rewarding experience as the Almighty has given me the chance to flourish and pursue my dreams of giving back to the world and my dreams of empowering young women to keep moving forward and to keep the faith regardless of all their trials and tribulations.

LATM: Speaking not just as a beauty queen, but as a woman. What do you want this world to do more of and less of?
I always stand by the five “R’s” – Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Rethink, Respect. I stand for what is fair and just. I may not be able to save the world on my own but I can encourage others to do it with me. Sadly, we live in a world that has lost it’s values. We all have the power to heal if we only look deep within. I would love to be in a world where there is compassion and respect for all life forms. We can definitely do less damage to our environment and to each other. “If you cannot help at least do not hurt.”

LATM: How did it make you feel when you were first crowned? How did you react to the title of “ Beauty Queen”?
Surreal is how I would describe it. I got the crown! Somehow I knew that with the glory comes great responsibility. I not only became a world renowned beauty queen but I instantly became a public figure and as my reign began I knew I was ready to take on the world.

LATM: Tell us some of the achievements you made as Miss Earth 2016? What were the challenges you’ve faced?
I acquired a number of recognitions as Miss Earth. I am currently an Eco Tourism Ambassador, an Honorary member in the League of Vice Governors in Asia, and a member of the Liter of Light Foundation worldwide. I have also been awarded a recognition as “Honorable Citizen” in Ecuador for all my efforts as Miss Earth. Doors have recently opened for me in the U.S. and I have been exploring the fashion and entertainment industry.

I have battled many challenges during my reign, most specifically “cyber bullying.” However I am confident in my own skin and have come to terms that these challenges come with the territory as a public figure.

LATM: Is being Miss Earth a difficult task? What did you enjoy most about being Miss Earth? 
It has been quite a challenge as my hectic schedule kept me apart from my family. However, the most rewarding part of this journey is the amazing people I have met along the way from all walks of life along with the most fulfilling experiences that came with it. I feel a sense of worth and value as all these experiences have inspired me to become a better version of myself. I have learned a great deal and with that I am truly grateful.

LATM: Who are your favorite fashion icons?
I have always loved the glamorous Elizabeth Taylor not only for her beauty but her incredible taste in fashion and above all her amazing collection of fine jewels.

LATM: What made you decide to join the Miss Earth pageant? What were you hoping to achieve?
I was inspired by the first Ecuadorian beauty queen and her achievements. I hoped to one day share with the world my vision and commitment to inspiring young girls like myself that anything is possible. So dream big because your passion and determination will take you far.

LATM: Who do you look up to as a role model and why?
I have always admired Princess Diana for her compassion, her tenacity and dedication to help the less fortunate and her commitment to making a difference in the world.

LATM: What more shall we expect to see from you now that your Miss Earth reign has ended?
My reign may be over soon but it will only be the beginning of a new chapter of a very meaningful journey in my life. It will be a chapter filled with new goals as I enter the world of politics as an international lawyer hoping to empower the future role models of the world. I would like to get more involved in charitable foundations that I feel passionate about and continue to tackle environmental issues and support the cause that will make our world a better place to live in.

Photography by Noel Daganta & Reinhardt Kenneth

MUA: Maxitone & Jaquelyn Huerta/Styled by Horacio Aguilar & Joey Galón