In a unanimous vote Tuesday, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly passed a bill naming the manatee as the country’s national marine symbol. The sea cow — as the creature is also known — will be Costa Rica’s first-ever marine symbol and also the first national symbol for the province of Limón.
The bill was introduced in 2011 by two children from the Barrio Limoncito School in Limón, Aldeir Cortés and Fabiola Salas, now 12- and 13-years-old. The students and their teacher, Yvette Ibarra, fought for the bill for years before it finally made it through a first vote in the Legislative Assembly last week.
“I feel really proud,” Cortés told The Tico Times. “It has been a lot of time and a lot of work.” Salas added, “Now the children of Costa Rica can see that their dreams can become realities.”