One of the Bolivian national flag carriers, the state owned Boliviana de Aviacion (also known as simply “BoA”) has sponsored Andrea Cornejo Vargas and her mother to fly to Europe to participate in the finals of the Miss Colours International 2014 wheel chaired beauty contest.
The Miss Colours Beauty Contest was organized as an international event for the first time in 2014 (previously known as Miss Colours Hungary) with the help of the Rotary Club Budapest-Center. There were more than 50 applications received from around the world, from Mexico to Ukraine and from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Bolivia. From the semi-finals (with 16 participants) Andrea (28) has advanced to the finals as one of the only 8 finalists! She lives in La Paz with her family and does graphic and creative design. She chose to participate in the contest as she believes that accessibility is not a wide-spread idea or concept that is followed or applied in Bolivia – and also because her dream was to visit Europe, and Hungary! After sharing the news in her native Bolivia that she advanced to the finals of the contest, Boliviana de Aviacion stepped up and gave her and her mother a return ticket from La Paz to Madrid. Reportedly these tickets were given to her in a live TV show!
The flight to Madrid is the longest route served by the Bolivian airline currently, that operates an all Boeing fleet of 11 737’s and a single long-haul Boeing 767 – which they deploy on the flights to Madrid as well. This Boeing 767-200 first flew in 2001, and was operated by US Continental Airlines for 10 years. After a year of being stored, it was used by Omni Air International, which then leased it to BoA in 2013. It has 174 seats total, 25 in business class, and 149 in economy.
Back to the competition: The finals were held in Budapest – the capital of EU Member Hungary – where the finalists spent a week together in a preparation camp at the Expo Hotel. 8 girls in wheelchairs, together for 7 days from 6 countries – getting to know each other, becoming friends and sharing their problems, their happiness, their tears during the preparations and rehearsals for the big show, their experiences about beauty, life and accessibility around the world.
Among many other programs during the week, Andrea also had the chance to take a lap in a super-fast Jaguar XFR (courtesy of Business Lease) around the world famous Hungarian Formula-1 circuit: the Hungaroring which will probably remain a memorable moment from her week long European trip. This was probably the second quickest moment of her whole trip after the flights sponsored by BoA and the Rotary Club of Chuquiago Marka – who sponsored her onward European flights from Madrid to Budapest (via Münich).
We are always very happy to hear about such generous sponsorships from airlines, where they stand up for a good cause! We were also very happy to hear her personal experiences of an accessible flight itinerary, where she was taken care by BoA at the airport and during the flight as well! We are hoping that Andrea’s experiences in Hungary and on such a beauty contest will bring benefits to Bolivia, to Bolivians in wheelchairs across the country and to her own personal life as well!