Meet Cayman’s New Queen

Here’s an individual who needs no introduction. On Aug. 13, 2018, Caitlin Tyson took up the well-deserved crown of Miss Cayman. As the new voice of the Cayman Islands, the model and aspiring actress has numerous plans in store both exciting and noble, not least of which includes representing her country at the Miss Universe pageant in Thailand.

Pink Duck Publishing’s writer and researcher, Ian Swaby, found the opportunity to ask her a few questions to help Cayman get to know her, her plans for her reign, and her advice to others on achieving their dreams.

Photo Credits: Christopher Tobutt (left) and Naomi Johnatty (right)

What do you love most about Cayman?

“Our beaches are hands-down the most beautiful beaches in the world and I am constantly blown away by Cayman’s natural beauty. But, what I love the most about Cayman is being close to my family. All of my family that I grew up with live here and I didn’t realize just how special it is to have your family close by and have that support until I went to study in New York city.”

How does it feel to be Miss Cayman?

“It feels amazing! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it - I am just so honoured to hold this position and have this opportunity to be a positive role model in my community.”

What do you hope to achieve during your reign?

“So many things! I have a vision for my reign and I’m excited to begin the work. My main focus right now is to make a big impact at the Miss Universe pageant and represent my country to the best of my ability! I want to show the world just how dynamic and capable the people of the Cayman Islands are, and I hope to inspire more Caymanians to chase their dreams and embrace their beauty and God-given talents!”

What causes are you passionate about?

“I am a huge advocate for self- love and self-- care. As a young black woman, I was not taught by society that what I was born with was beautiful, even growing up in such a melting pot of different cultures. As I’ve grown to recognise my worth and embrace my natural beauty and that which makes me who I am, I have committed myself to empowering those around me to do the same.

“I am very passionate about the arts and providing more opportunities to upskill our youth and create safe spaces for self- expression. I have a degree in performing arts and it is my passion and my craft; the arts not only contribute to our community and cultural heritage as a people but also help with confidence building, public speaking, creating a community and becoming a team player, just to name a few.

“The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Association of the Cayman Islands is a fantastic non-profit organisation that gives back to and raises the voices of those individuals suffering with this disease, while educating our community and offering much needed assistance to caregivers. I have a personal connection to this organisation and I wish to continue to do my part to help end the stigma towards and raise awareness of mental illnesses and mental health issues in the Cayman Islands.”

What is your favourite restaurant in Cayman and why?

“My favourite restaurant in Cayman is definitely Eagle Rays Dive Bar & Grill! Because it’s right there on the water, it’s located in East End where it’s quiet and peaceful, and they have the best conch fritters and lion fish tacos.”

What’s your favourite beach in Cayman and why?

“My favourite beach is Spotts Beach because it is untouched and has a very authentic Cayman beach vibe. It’s one of the few beaches where everyone can just go, relax, and feel comfortable. 30-feet from the shore you can swim with sea turtles and the snorkelling in that area is simply amazing.”

What is the best way to spend a day in Cayman?

“Cayman has amazing food! Start the day with some fried fish or any other local cuisine and spend the day on the beach with your friends and family.”

How do you feel about the chance to represent your country at Miss Universe?

“It’s the greatest honour to be an ambassador with the opportunity to showcase my little jewel in the Caribbean as the beautiful and amazing paradise that we get to call home.”

What makes Miss Cayman such an important title?

“As Miss Cayman Islands I will be very active within the community, bringing awareness and assistance to many charitable organisations and encouraging the community to get involved and voice their concerns. This is a vital role to play, and in this position I have the opportunity to inspire Caymanians to be the best that they can be, to practice self-love and acceptance and to push our society forward towards an even more loving and tolerant Cayman.”

What’s your advice to other young women trying to achieve their dreams?

“Dream fearlessly, believe in yourself and never give -up. The things worth having in life are never easy, so push yourself outside of your comfort zone because that’s where the real growth happens. Visualise what you want and take the necessary steps to make it happen; nothing is impossible unless you say it is!”