Amigos and United Airlines Announce 10th Annual Latin America Photo Contest Winner

Mill Valley, Calif., woman takes prize-winning photo, "Mujeres Inti Raymi," in Ecuador

United Airlines and Amigos de las Américas (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.*

Sandrena Frischer’s image “Mujeres Inti Raymi” taken in Ecuador was selected as the 2014 Amigos and United Airlines photo contest winner. (Photo: Business Wire)

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

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.

*Ticket is valid only on flights operated by United and winner is responsible for applicable taxes and fees. Other restrictions, including blackout dates, apply.