888-266-2209 toll free
Sea Turtles Rescue and Recovery Volunteer
A fabulous option in the Fall months to any itinerary in Cozumel!
The beautiful island of Cozumel is the natural birthing place for Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles with an average of 3000-4000 nests laid each year. While this may sound like an enormous amount, in recent years turtle populations have plummeted towards extinction and are in serious danger. According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy as well as other authorities, it is estimated that only one in 1,000 to 10,000 will survive to adulthood due to a combination of natural obstacles and human threats.
A non-profit organization commissioned by the Mexican Government, tirelessly monitors and protects the islands turtles from lay to hatch, however with little money and even less manpower, they rely on the assistance of volunteers to help save as many turtles as possible and give them a greater chance of survival during the beginning stages of their lives.
As a volunteer you will begin your afternoon with a brief introduction to nesting turtles’ habits and behavior, and the importance of the work you are about to participate in. Followed by instruction on how to clear a nest, you will then be taken to recently hatched nesting grounds on the pristine beaches on the backside of Cozumel with breathtaking views as your backdrop.
Digging down in the sand, you will retrieve and count hatched nests and provide a report on any eggs you find which is part of critical data collected by the government and contributes to the research and protection of Cozumel’s turtles.
Invariably you will find yourself an instrumental part of a rescue, locating hatchlings that have been left behind and unable to leave the nest without assistance. You will personally get to release these hatchlings into the sea, protecting them from land and air predators as they make their natural journey towards the ocean under your guidance.
As the sun begins to set, your day ends with a turtle release. Any hatchlings healthy enough to make the journey but were unable to be released when they were first found will make their way to the sea at this time to join their siblings. Many find this a spiritual experience and very few are left untouched at witnessing such a small yet monumental feat, especially when knowing you played an integral part.
You may choose to fully participate in the clearing of nests or simply observe depending on your comfort and physical level.
Full participation: $50
Observer only: $40
Includes presentation, afternoon experience, release and T-shirt. 95% of your contribution is given directly to the non-profit organization conducting the volunteer program
Transportation is not included