VERIZON AND MEXICAN GOVERNMENT PRESENT 2003 NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ART

CONTEST ‘ESTE ES MI MEXICO’

Grand Prize Winners Will Win Trip to Mexico City

Irving, TX- April 8, 2003—To educate children about Mexican culture and encourage them to develop their artistic expression, Verizon and the Mexican Government are calling for entries to the 7th Annual Éste Es Mi México national children’s art contest. The contest encourages children to use art to express their views of Mexico’s culture, history and traditions.

Children, ages 7-11, in the United States and Canada are invited to submit artwork based on this year’s theme, Ay! Fiesta Bonita, (Wow! Great Party!) for the opportunity to win a five-day, four-night trip to Mexico City with a parent or guardian.

“The Mexican government and Verizon share a passion to educate our children about Mexico’s rich heritage and traditions,” said Angela Ruiz of Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs. “Continuing this contest again this year is wonderful for the children and for our international relations.”

The theme, Ay! Fiesta Bonita, suggests young artists focus on the festive and unique traditions of Mexico’s celebrations or fiestas.

Fiestas represent an important folklore that brings together groups of people and families to celebrate special events, such as Independence

Day, Children’s Day, weddings and birthdays.

A distinguished panel of judges from the National Fine Arts Institute (Palacio de Bellas Artes) will select a total of fourteen grand prize winners and twelve additional drawings that will be included in the 2004 Éste Es Mi México calendar.

The grand prize winners will visit the historical Pyramids of Teotihuacan, the impressive Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de

Chapultepec) and the inspiring national children’s museum, Museo del Papalote, among others.

How to Enter:

—Visit your nearest Verizon Plus Store or Mexican consulate to get entry forms.

—Submit a drawing, 12 inches by 12 inches or 9 inches by 12- inches, in any medium: crayon, marker, colored pencil, etc.

—Include the title of the work of art, name, age, birth place, address and phone number of the child; and name and birth place of the parents on the back of the drawing.

—Children aged 7-11 can participate.

—Entries will be accepted by mail at all Mexican Consulates, Institutes and Centers in the United States and Canada; and at the Los Angeles offices of La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados, 11620 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025.

—Entries must be postmarked by midnight, May 31, 2003.

Winners will be notified June 30, 2003, and the Mexico trip is scheduled for October 2003.

Over the past 6 years, the contest received over 40,000 entries, many from children of non-Mexican origin, demonstrating a growing interest in Mexican culture among children of all backgrounds.