San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Contest Offers Trip to Isla del Coco

Poets, songwriters and other creative minds can put their talent to a cause and enter a contest to win a trip to Isla del Coco National Park, Costa Rica’s treasure island 365 miles off the Pacific coast.

As part of a campaign to create awareness about this biological wonderland, several groups are sponsoring the contest, including the environmental nonprofit Marviva, the Isla del Coco Conservation Area, the Friends of Isla del Coco Foundation, Conservation International and several private businesses.

Anyone older than 18 can enter the contest by writing a verse, rhyme or simply their thoughts on Isla del Coco and sending them via a cell phone text message to 2626 through Dec. 2 at midnight, according to Marviva spokeswoman Andrea Solano.

The message must be no longer than 160 characters with spaces included and costs ¢500 (about $1) to send. Money raised will go toward the maintenance of ships belonging to the Ministry of Energy and Environment (MINAE) that patrol the park.

“The idea is to make it fun for people to be inspired to write a short text like a verse, rhyme, thought or bomba about any aspect related to the national park. It can be about its natural riches, its importance to Costa Rica or the need to protect it from its main threats, such as illegal fishing,” explained Marviva communications director Betsy Murillo.

A jury of three specialists in literature will analyze all submitted messages. They’ll select the best two entries and award the authors with a trip for two to Isla del Coco. The winners will be announced Dec. 7.

This second phase of the three-month campaign also involves putting posters in bus stops around the San José area and advertising on radio and TV stations with the goal of motivating citizens, the private sector and the government to take responsibility to protect the park.

For more information on the campaign, visit


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