Miami-Dade County Eighth Graders Invited to Participate in ZoolensSM Photograhy Project at Zoo Miami

Mercantil Commercebank’s ZoolensSM Photograhy Project partners with Zoo Miami for exciting month-long photo contest, with winners receiving awards of up to $2,000


Coral Gables, FL September 29, 2011

Mercantil Commercebank, one of the largest banks headquartered in Florida, in partnership with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida, today launched the 2011 ZoolensSM Photography Project, a photo contest designed to help build awareness for the world’s wildlife among Miami-Dade County public, private and home-schooled eighth graders.

The month-long project runs from October 15 through November 15, with a formal kick-off event at Zoo Miami on Saturday, October 15, from noon to 2 pm, featuring a live remote, free giveaways and Zoo Miami’s own Ron Magill.

Participating students will be asked to take a photograph of an animal from Zoo Miami, any time during the contest period, and submit their photo either through their teacher or at a Mercantil Commercebank banking center.

A panel of distinguished judges will choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, along with 10 honorable mentions. The first place winner will receive a $2,000 savings account and other prizes; second place will receive $1,500 and third place $1,000. First, second and third place winners will receive a camera. All 10 honorable mentions will receive a $100 savings account, and the first, second and third place winners’ schools will each receive a donation.

Information on how to participate in the 2011 ZoolensSM Photography Project can be found on or on Facebook/Zoolens.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Zoo Miami and the Zoological Society of Florida on the Zoolens Photography Project,” said Millar Wilson, President & CEO of Mercantil Commercebank. “Zoolens provides students with a program to express their creativity through photography at one of the world’s great zoos, while supporting their artistic endeavors and strengthening education. It is a true win/win.”

“The Bank’s support of the photographic arts is fantastic,” adds Zoological Society of Florida President & CEO, Benjamin H. Pingree. “Expanding awareness of the world’s wildlife through different mediums and educating children about these extraordinary creatures is a key initiative we share with Mercantil Commercebank.”

This year’s panel of judges includes internationally acclaimed photo-artist María Martínez-Cañas; New World School of the Arts Visual Arts professor and curator Rosario Martínez-Cañas; Zoo Miami’s Director of Communications and well-known photographer and wildlife expert Ron Magill; renowned Miami Herald photographer Carl Juste; and Zoological Society board member Grizzel Gonzalez.

For additional information, visit or on Facebook/Zoolens.


Mercantil Commercebank N.A. is one of the largest banks in South Florida serving its community for over 30 years. Mercantil Servicios Financieros (MSF), a Venezuelan company, beneficially owns the Bank through U.S. bank holding companies. MSF is the largest provider of financial services in Venezuela with more than 85 years of experience. Mercantil Commercebank has assets of $6.6 billion. The Bank is headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida and has 17 Banking Centers - 15 located in South Florida; one in Manhattan, New York; and one in Houston, Texas. The Bank offers a wide variety of domestic, international, personal and commercial banking services, including investment, trust, and estate planning through its subsidiaries, Mercantil Commercebank Investment Services, Inc. and Mercantil Commercebank Trust Company, N.A. For more information, please visit


The Zoological Society of Florida is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services and financial support for the construction of new exhibits. Visit for additional information.

Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. General Zoo Admission is: $15.95 per Adult and $11.95 per Child (3-12), plus tax. Children under two, Zoo members and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 9:30 am – 5:30 pm; ticket booths close at 4 pm. For more information please visit