Mari Pepin, the Bachelor in Paradise season 7 fan-favorite contestant, announced that she placed in the Top 7 in the Miss Mundo Puerto Rico pageant on June 30, representing her hometown of Luquillo, where she was born. Mari moved to Maryland as a teenager. Her parents were in the United States Armed Forces, and she has also lived in Germany and Hawaii. Mari’s current residence is in Chicago, where she lives with Kenny Braasch, to whom she got engaged on the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise.
Mari first began her work with pageants in 2014, when she won the Miss Maryland Teen USA 2014 title on her first attempt. She then represented Maryland at Miss Teen USA 2014. In 2017, she competed for America’s Miss World 2017. She later placed as 2nd runner-up in the Miss Maryland USA 2018 pageant. Mari returned to the pageant the following year and won the Miss Maryland USA 2019 title and the opportunity to represent Maryland on the national stage. In March 2022, Mari announced her candidacy for the Miss Mundo Puerto Rico pageant, which she entered with the encouragement of her fiancé, Kenny. She has been preparing for the moment ever since, updating her fans through social media.
In an Instagram post, Mari announced that she placed in the Top 7 at the Miss Mundo Puerto Rico pageant on June 30. She wrote, “THANK YOU. Team Luquillo, last night we placed in the Top 7 at Miss Mundo Puerto Rico! Although I didn’t walk away w the crown… I am SO FREAKING PROUD of myself for making it as far as I did, for accomplishing so many other goals along the way, and for proving to myself that I could do it!” Mari admitted that it was “a long and often stressful journey,” but she pushed herself to stay “committed and focused,” and “kept my dream of carrying Puerto Rico across my chest as motivation.” Mari went on to say that she has grown in so many ways because of the pageant and “gained a few new sisters for life” during the experience. She added that she learned so much about herself and “embraced living in my beautiful Puerto Rico for the longest amount of time since I was a baby!!! Lol.” Mari sent words of love to her birthplace, writing, “Luquillo AND Puerto Rico, I will always be you and you will always be within me.”
Mari then thanked her family, friends, and supporters for all the love, saying that they mean so much to her. Mari gave special recognition to Kenny for convincing her to compete, but “also for supporting me, encouraging me, motivating me and keeping up with everything this journey threw our way! I love you always.” Mari also thanked her mom for making the trip all the way from Germany to cheer her on, and her dad for doing whatever possible to her help her during the last five months. Mari concluded her post by saying, “I’m incredibly happy for our new Miss Mundo PR, Elena [Rivera], and wish you the most amazing year! The judges made the right choice.”
Anyone who has followed Mari’s journey since she decided to enter the Miss Mundo Puerto Rico pageant knows how hard she worked during the last few months. She traveled back and forth from Puerto Rico and gave her all to the competition. If she had won the competition, Mari said that she and Kenny would not have been able to get married for a year because the title holder may not be married. It will be interesting and exciting to see what their wedding plans are now that the pageant is over. Whatever the future holds, Bachelor in Paradise fans know that Mari is a beautiful person inside and out, and she deserves all good things.
Next: Bachelor In Paradise Season 8: Cast Members That Fans Want To See
Bachelor in Paradise premieres Tuesday, September 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Source: Mari Pepin/Instagram