Volunteer in sea turtle conservation in Guatemala

Sealife is 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.

The projects handle species such as Olive Ridley, Leatherback, and Eastern Pacific Green turtles, depending on the season. 

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.

Arrival to the program is most Sundays.

On arrival you are greeted by our friendly coordinators and taken to your accommodation. Next day you meet with all the volunteers and interns that came the previous days for orientation.

In orientation we cover topics like:
-Do’s and dont’s in the country

-How to get around and weekend travel

-Your projects

-Communication, SIM cards , and currency.

-Social meet ups with other participants.

Spanish classes are available at an extra cost in 20 hour blocks. Monday to Friday , 4 hours per day.
See our costs section for more information.

There are no requirements for this program other than being able to communicate at the project and work well in teams.

Visit our reviews section to see what past volunteers have to say about our programs.

We encourage all of our participants in our programs to travel as much as they can during the weekends. Volunteers and interns usually travel together during the weekends. Our coordinators can assist you to make travels plans

During the weekdays volunteers and interns usually spend time together after their assignments.

Project overview

  • Minimum commitment: 2 weeks
  • Location: Pacific Coast in Guatemala.
  • Accommodation: Host family with 2 meals per day included.
  • Available: Year round, although turtle Season is from July to December. During non-turtle season, work is focused on education, maintenance, and habitat conservation.
  • Requirements: Attracts an extra fee of $60 per week to cover extra costs of logistics, materials, and lodging.

Ready to join?