Two Historic Prisons:San Lucas and Alcatraz Are Now “Sister Islands”

    Alcatraz is a famous island because it inspired many films and whose fame lay in the inhuman conditions of overcrowding and that it was practically impossible to escape from the prison that was for a time (1859-1963)

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    The governments of the United States and Costa Rica signed a cooperation agreement that unites two protected national parks of both countries and that were historical prisons that produced literature, cinema and many artistic manifestations.

    Alcatraz Island is a National Historic Landmark of the United States, is located in the San Francisco Bay and belongs to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, while San Lucas Island was recently declared a “National Park”, it is located in the Gulf of Nicoya and is part of the Central Pacific Conservation Area.

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    The most widely read novel in the literary history of Costa Rica speaks of this place, “The island of lonely men”, written by José León Sánchez, winner of the Magón Prize for Culture and the most international of Costa Rican writers.

    Alcatraz is a famous island because it inspired many films and whose fame lay in the inhuman conditions of overcrowding and that it was practically impossible to escape from the prison that was for a time (1859-1963). Similarly, San Lucas was a prison of inhumane treatment (1873-1991) whose escape had an unhappy end in the vast majority of opportunities.

    San Lucas has been going through a renovation process that includes restoration of heritage areas, trails, the pier and other constructions to improve it, after it was a victim of vandalism and looting years ago.


    “With this Twinning Agreement (…) it is intended to enrich the experiences and capacities of the personnel who work in these sites, through projects and other cooperation initiatives, through the exchange of technical and professional knowledge, information, data, technology, training and experience”, reported the Costa Rican government.

    The effort, according to Claudia Dobles, the first lady of the Republic, seeks to “position the park as a sustainable tourist attraction and a focus for economic reactivation, thanks to its link with productive chains both in the Gulf of Nicoya and in Puntarenas.”

    Cultural, historical and ecological tourism

    Both islands share valuable resources of cultural, historical and ecological tourism, in aspects such as “the conservation of ecosystems in good condition, the restoration of degraded areas, the promotion and support of research, inventory and monitoring programs, and the development of educational programs.”, it was informed. The agreement establishes an exchange of technical, professional and personnel knowledge, information, data, technology, training and experience.

    The island has scenic beauty

    “Our countries have a long history of collaboration between parks, such as the two existing relationships between the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Park and the St. Croix River National Scenic Riverway with the Corcovado National Park” Gloria Berbena, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, ​​declared at the signing ceremony.

    The agreement was signed today virtually with the presence of the First Lady of Costa Rica and promoter of the San Lucas Island Reactivation Route, Claudia Dobles; the Vice Minister of the Environment, Franklin Paniagua; the executive director of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), Rafael Gutiérrez, the Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Costa Rica, Gloria Berbena, and the general superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Laura Joss.

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