Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS) and Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) have announced the Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 Continental Latin American Photo Contest. Katie Zolkowski of Raleigh, N.C., won with „Pineapple parade at La Guelaguetza,“ a colorful silhouette shot of Mexican women dressed in decorative costumes.
HOUSTON — Zolkowski was an AMIGOS Volunteer in the Community Nutrition project in Oaxaca for eight weeks during summer 2006.
The pineapple dance is part of a Oaxacan festival called Guelaguetza, which includes dances, crafts, costumes, food, parades and music from the seven regions of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The pineapple dance is from the Papaloapan region.
„My whole pueblo went to the festival, and I was the only one there with a camera,“ Zolkowski said. „The thing that I love most about this picture is the color.“
Zolkowski will receive two round-trip Continental Airlines tickets to Latin America. Nearly 400 photographers submitted their photos for the contest, and the top 20 were posted for online voting. Thousands voted for their top pick. Zolkowski, an avid photographer who has won several photo contests, said her father encouraged her to start taking photos at a young age.
„I love to travel and capture special moments and interesting angles of the everyday things I see,“ Zolowski said. „My dream job would be to work for a magazine and travel — taking photos all over the world.“
Zolkowski graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2006. She is currently a human resources coordinator at a construction company in North Carolina.
Zolkowski said she learned a lot from her AMIGOS experience.
„The people in my community touched my life in ways that I can’t thank them enough for,“ she said. „It really widened my world view and gave me an appreciation for what other cultures go through.“
Continental is the official airline of AMIGOS. Founded in 1965, AMIGOS is an international non-profit organization that provides opportunities for young people to simultaneously develop leadership and decision-making skills while making a positive difference in the health and well being of communities. For more information visit http://www.amigoslink.org or call 1-800-231-7796.
Continental Airlines, the world’s fifth-largest airline, offers nonstop service to 77 destinations in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Continental offers service to more destinations in Mexico (31) from the U.S. and has more flights from the U.S. to Mexico than any other airline. Continental also serves more cities in Central America (10) than any other U.S. carrier. Continental Airlines offers a number of Spanish-language services, including bilingual flight attendants on many flights to Latin America; and bilingual airport personnel, reservations agents and signage. Spanish-language functions on the continental.com Web site include flight booking, check-in, seat selection, flight and gate information, and OnePass frequent flyer program enrollment. (En espanol: http://www.continental.com/espanol). Passengers also may make reservations in Spanish at 1-800-537-9222. Continental Airlines has been named to Hispanic Magazine’s list of „100 Best Companies for Hispanics“ every year since 1998.