AMIGOS and United Airlines Announce Ninth Annual Latin America Photo Contest Winner

Oct 22, 2013, 09:21 ET from United Airlines

HOUSTON, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines and Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS) today announced the winners of the 2013 Latin America Photo Contest. Mary Sturgis, 19, of Gambier, Ohio, took the grand-prize-winning photo titled "Aventuras en Pillachiquir" in Azuay, Ecuador, in summer 2013.  Sturgis, an AMIGOS project supervisor in Cañar, Ecuador, when she took the photo, will receive one round-trip coach ticket from the U.S. to a United destination of her choice in Latin America.*


"You learn something really special about yourself when you are totally outside your comfort zone," Sturgis said.  "I'm very excited to have this opportunity to go back to Latin America." 

A student at Kenyon College, Sturgis also was a volunteer with AMIGOS in Cusco, Peru, in 2011 and in Anton, Panama, in 2012.

Austin Groen, 18, of Scottsdale, Ariz., took second place with his photo titled "Mystery Beneath," taken in Santa María Mixistlán, Mexico, where he was an AMIGOS volunteer in summer 2013. Third-place honors went to Carmen Lugo, 17, of Carlsbad, Calif., whose untitled photo was taken in Tierra Blanca, Mexico, where she volunteered with AMIGOS in summer 2013.

Professional and amateur photographers from around the world submitted more than 200 photographs for the 2013 competition. Photos had to be original and taken in countries served by both United and AMIGOS: Colombia, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.  A team of judges from the AMIGOS program and United selected the winners.

"We are thrilled to sponsor this photography contest, which highlights the amazing beauty and diversity of the people and landscapes of Latin America," said Maria Cristina Osorio, United's director of communications - Latin America.  

United operates more than 700 nonstop flights a week to 62 destinations in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information and to view the winning photo, visit


AMIGOS is an international non-profit organization with headquarters in Houston. The organization inspires and builds young leaders through collaborative community development and immersion in cross-cultural experiences. Through 50 years of projects, AMIGOS has facilitated transformational community service projects involving more than 25,000 youth Volunteers and thousands of communities in Latin America.  AMIGOS will have projects this year in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. For more information, visit

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,341 flights a day to more than 360 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 28 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit or follow United on Twitter and 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