AA photographer wins award for Peru pilgrim images

AA's Sebastian Castaneda wins 'Award of Excellence' for his 'Refuge of the Soul' collection

An Anadolu Agency photojournalist inPeru has won an “Award of Excellence” at the Pictures of the Year International Competition, one of the world's most prominent photo contests.

The award-winning collection of pictures entitled "Refuge of the Soul" was taken by Sebastian Castaneda and show pilgrims visiting the Captive Christ Sanctuary in Ayabaca, Peru.

The stunning images show the trip to the Senor Cautivo de Ayabaca sanctuary, believed to have witnessed miracles or healing.

Hundreds of pilgrims from Peru and neighboring countries visit Ayabaca every year, walking nearly 80 kilometers for days on end to seek miracles.

Some visitors who call themselves "sinners" reach the sanctuary by crawling in mud.

The contest has been organized annually since 1944 by the Journalism Institute of Missouri University.

Pictures of the Year promotes the works of documentary photographers and magazine, newspaper and freelance photojournalists.

The awards are granted in various categories, like World Understanding Award, Community Awareness Award and Best Photography Book after an expert team of jury evaluates the contesters' works in a panel discussion over three weeks.

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