Continental Airlines and Adelante! Fund Announce Winner of Hispanic Student Contest About Latin America

-- San Antonio college student from Brooklyn takes first place with video "essay" on Latin American influence on U.S. culture

Sep 28, 2010, 15:30 ET from Continental Airlines

HOUSTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and the Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund announce that Yajaira De La Espada, 21, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., won first place in the "Destino: Latinoamerica" (Destination: Latin America) essay/video contest for Hispanic college students.

De La Espada, a senior psychology major at the University of Texas at San Antonio, produced a three-minute video depicting the influence of Latin Americans in politics, science, sports and entertainment.

"Latin America has a huge impact on American culture and as the years go by, the impact will increase," De La Espada said. "We cannot deny the fact that the lines between Latin America and the U.S. have blended."

De La Espada won four airline tickets courtesy of Continental Airlines for travel to any destination where Continental flies in the U.S., Mexico or Central America. In addition, her video is posted on the Adelante! Fund Web site, www.Adelante!, and the Adelante! YouTube page at

"Destino: Latinoamerica helps makes a connection between today's Latino college students and their Latin American roots," said Maria Cristina Osorio, manager of public relations, Latin America and the U.S. Latino market, Continental Airlines. "We are pleased to work with Adelante! as they prepare Hispanics for leadership positions in a multicultural society."

Participants had to write a short essay or produce a three-minute video on Latin America's impact on U.S. culture. In addition to the contest, Continental also provided tickets for several Adelante! scholarship winners to attend the annual Leadership Institute.

"Adelante! is proud to partner with Continental Airlines for the Destino: Latinoamerica essay/video contest for the second year in a row," said Daniel Valenzuela, interim executive director, Adelante!  "Continental's involvement furthers Adelante!'s mission and gives our students an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and knowledge of their cultural roots."

Latin America and the Caribbean have long interested De La Espada; her father is originally from Panama, and her mother's family is from Puerto Rico. She has traveled to Panama numerous times and plans to use her tickets to visit her mother's family in Puerto Rico for the first time.  

Second-place winner Nicole Vega, a biology and zoology major at Washington State University, submitted an essay.  Vega plans to attend veterinary school and travel to Latin America to help curb stray-animal populations in low-income areas.

Continental Airlines offers nonstop flights to 72 destinations in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships and has provided career development, leadership training and internship opportunities to hundreds of Hispanic college students. Visit

SOURCE Continental Airlines