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 www.amigoslink.org/photocontest.

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