Award Ceremony Gabriela Mistral 

The award ceremony of the Poetry Contest “Gabriela Mistral” took place in La Serena, Chile on April 14 (the Pan American Day). The contest winners and the authorities from the government of Chile and from the Organization of American States (OAS) were present at the event.

Yanni Romero (Mexico) received first place for his poem “Mi América” (My America); second place went to Eduardo Flores (Chile) with the same work title; and Anaissa Moreira (Ecuador) received third place with “La luz que viene” (The Light that Comes).Laura Moreno (Colombia) and Melany Villacorta (Chile) received honorable mentions for their poems “Frondosa Latinoamérica(Lush Latin America) and Si fuéramos flores(If We Were Flowers), respectively.

The central theme of the contest was “America” and the prize consisted of a three day trip with one guest to ElquiValley, the homeland of the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral,as well as a limited edition of her book of poems “Desolación” (Desolation).

The contest was organized by the National Commission for Culture and Arts of Chile, and framed in the Inter-American Year of Culture – an initiative of the Member states of the OAS to “promote the central role that culture plays in the economic, social and human development of all communities” (Resolution 2468 XXXIX-O/09). It was financially supported by the OAS through its Special Multilateral Fund of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (FEMCIDI).

The jury, composed of poets Thiago de Mello (Brazil, representative of Portuguese language), Carmen Berenguer (Chile, representative of Spanish language), Emmilie Prophete (Haiti, representative of French language), María Inés Zaldivar (Chile, representative of English language), and Soledad Fariña (Chile, Executive Coordinator of jury), met in Washington, DC in November, 2010. A total of 359 young people, ages 10-15 from 9 American countries participated in the contest.

The Minister of Culture of Chile Luciano Cruz-Coke, presided the award ceremony in the Centro Mistraliano, along with the Regional Governor Sergio Gahona, and the OAS representative in Uruguay, John Biehl.

The Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza sent a personal letter where he congratulated the contest winners, recognized the high level of participation of the children and young people in this initiative, urged to expand and deepen the joint work of the fields of education and culture, and highlighted the organization and successful culmination of the project whose purpose was to pay tribute to Gabriela Mistral, remembered by the OAS as “America’s Poet.”

To access the full version of the letter (available only in Spanish) please click here.