Volunteer in Sea Turtle Conservation
Sea turtles are in constant danger of mankind who destroys their habitat, pollutes the oceans and hunts them relentlessly. Luckily the sea turtle conservation volunteer program aims to change the faith of marine wildlife through education, controlled reproduction, hatcheries and initiatives to slow down hunting, habitat loss, and pollution.
In Guatemala, poaching sea turtle eggs is not illegal, but poachers are required by law to give a certain amount of their eggs to projects that nurse those eggs into baby turtles.
In the natural world, eggs that hatch naturally on the beach are easy prey for birds and other predators. Also due to different circumstances, not all turtles hatch in time to get to the ocean or get lost and exhausted along the way.
By nursing, monitoring, and controlling the eggs in the hatchery; the sea turtle conservation project can regulate that nearly 100% of the eggs hatch at the same time. Once hatched volunteers can place them near the ocean safe from predators on the beach. Once in the ocean, sea turtles start their lives and the females that make it to reproductive adulthood return to the same beach to make a nest and lay eggs.
As a volunteer in the sea turtle conservation project, you will be working alongside other volunteers to receive egg donations and to make sure they hatch into strong and healthy baby turtles before being sent back to the ocean.
Tasks with sea turtles include: cleaning hatcheries, monitoring eggs in the hatchery, releasing newly hatched turtles, doing maintenance on the hatcheries.
The project also breeds small caimans and iguanas who are also released back into the wild with a similar approach as the sea turtles.
The sea turtle conservation project is also involved in habitat preservation, so you will have the opportunity to work in mangrove conservation with the local population.
Education plays a key role in conservation, so educational campaigns are often taught by volunteers in schools to promote conservation awareness.
The project supplements their income by letting people visit the facilities. Optionally, volunteers can show visitors the work being done, the reproductive cycle of turtles and different stages of the hatcheries.
Available: Year round, although turtle Season is from July to December. During non-turtle season, work is focused on education, maintenance, and habitat conservation.
- Program Duration: 2-6 weeks.
- Location: Pacific Coast in Guatemala.
- Schedule: The schedule is divided in early mornings and work through the morning.
- Depending on availability you may be assigned to a host family or volunteer dorms. Includes breakfast and dinner.