HOUSTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines and Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS) today announced the winner of the 2014 Latin America Photo Contest. Sandrena Ruth Frischer, 23, of Mill Valley, Calif., took the prize-winning photo titled "Mujeres Inti Raymi" in Pesillo, Ecuador, in June 2014. She will receive two round-trip coach tickets from the U.S. to a United destination within the continental United States, Central America, or the Caribbean.*
Frischer, a former AMIGOS volunteer who currently is serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, captured the winning photo in northern Ecuador while attending Inti Raymi, the Incan Festival of the Sun, during her Peace Corps training.
"The festival was a whirlwind weekend of Ecuadorian culture," said Frischer. "I snapped the photo at a moment when Rosa (the woman on the left) and one of her sisters caved into laughter at trying to get their other sister to dance, following a day of parading through Pesillo to Andean music and sipping on peach wine."
A 2013 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Frischer is a Community Health Volunteer at the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health, where she works on a family-planning campaign and teaches classes at an all-girls orphanage. An AMIGOS volunteer in Panama in 2008 and the Dominican Republic in 2009, and a project supervisor in Oaxaca in 2013, Frischer majored in peace and conflict studies in college, with a focus on public health and development in Latin America.
"Sandrena's photo captures the charm and lively spirit that are so characteristic of the people and places of Latin America," said Maria Cristina Osorio, United's director of communications - Latin America. "Congratulations to Sandrena and all those who submitted their fantastic photos to the AMIGOS Latin America photo contest, which aligns so well with United's role in connecting cultures throughout the Americas."
To view the winning photo and runners-up, visit www.amigoslink.org/photocontest.
Professional and amateur photographers from around the world submitted more than 230 photographs for the 2014 competition. Photos submitted for the contest had to be original and taken in countries currently served by both United and the nonprofit AMIGOS youth and community development program: the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama or Peru. A team of judges from the AMIGOS program and United selected the winners.
"When I found out that I won the contest and I told Rosa that her photo had been chosen out of hundreds as best representing the beauty and character of Latin America, she was elated and couldn't wait to tell her parents," Frischer said. "I'm thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to travel to Nicaragua, the country where I first became intrigued by Latin American culture and coffee production when I was 16."
United operates more than 900 nonstop flights a week to 61 cities in 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including service to 26 Mexican cities (more than any other airline from the U.S.), 10 cities in Central America, seven cities in South America, and 18 airports in the Caribbean.
AMIGOS is an international non-profit organization with headquarters in Houston, Texas. AMIGOS works to create a world where each young person becomes a life-long catalyst for social change through experiences rooted in cultural immersion and leadership development across the Americas. Through 50 years of programming, more than 26,000 AMIGOS volunteers have gained greater social awareness, stronger leadership skills, and increased passion to be agents of change. We are proud of our alumni network of change-makers and global citizens. In 2014 AMIGOS is operating in the following countries of the Americas: Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the United States. For more information, visit www.amigoslink.org.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,100 flights a day to 374 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. With U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates more than 700 mainline aircraft. This year, the airline is taking delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 as the North American launch customer, and is welcoming 32 new Embraer 175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
*Ticket is valid only on flights operated by United and winner is responsible for applicable taxes and fees. Other restrictions, including blackout dates, apply.
SOURCE United Airlines