A Del Rio student who said the power and majesty of the eagle evoked for her the strong bonds of love and friendship between the U.S. and Mexico has been named the winner of the 2019 International Good Neighbor Council (IGNC) annual art competition.

Kassandra Alfaro’s design, featuring an eagle holding a U.S. flag and a Mexico flag with a yellow heart in the background, was awarded a first place certificate and a check for $300 during an awards ceremony for the art competition participants Wednesday at the Casa de la Cultura.

Angela Rivas won second place and a $200 check, and Jorge Garcia earned third place and a $100 check.

Dora Alcalá, chair of the IGNC art competition, welcomed IGNC members, art contest participants, sponsors and judges to the ceremony.

Alcalá began her presentation with a short history of the Fiesta de la Amistad celebration, which she said began 59 years ago when U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mexico President Aldolfo López Mateos met here to sign a treaty for the construction of the Amistad Dam.

Alcalá also thanked all of the students who submitted artwork for the contest: Zubdiel Antu, Diamond Castillo, Brandon Cervantez, Odalys Jardon, Mia Mendoza and Angel Victorino.

“It was very difficult to make a decision. All of the artwork was wonderful,” Alcalá said.

She also thanked Del Rio artist Cris Escobar, who helped organize the contest, and introduced IGNC President Elsa Reyes.

Alcalá recognized the judges: David Bond, Val Verde County librarian; Lupita De La Paz, executive director of the Casa de la Cultura; and Luis Leyva, art teacher for the public school district; and thanked the event’s sponsors, the IGNC, the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the San Felipe Exes.

Alfaro was also given the opportunity to speak about the inspiration for her winning design.

“When I was creating my Fiesta Amistad poster, I was thinking of an animal that both the United States of America and the United States of Mexico share, the mighty eagle,” Alfaro said in a short essay she wrote about her piece.

She said although the eagles are different species, both are still eagles, “just like the people of the U.S. and the people of Mexico are still people.”“Since the Fiesta de la Amistad is about the friendship between the two countries, I decided to put a big yellow heart behind the eagle, because the color yellow signifies friendship, and the heart signifies love,” Alfaro said. “Ultimately, I want my poster to symbolize the friendship between the two countries.”

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