Pure sea! Vanessa with the turtles in Mexico
“My tip is to stay relaxed and calm and let it come to you. No expectations, just let it happen. It will be much better than you think. See the sea every day and do what you want, free from your heart.”
Vanessa volunteered for one month at the Turtle Protection Project in Bajos de Chila, Mexico. While volunteering at the project, the beautiful beaches and living with the other participants made her stay unforgettable.
I booked the project 4 months before it started. My thoughts before departure were how this trip will change me from my mindset and how I will tick afterward. I watched various YouTube videos and read blog posts. Especially the Instagram profile of WanderWorld helped me.
MY FIRST DAYS
The first days were interesting and I had to settle in first. My first impression was that people are very open and helpful. I got to know other volunteers directly and spent everyday life and activities with them. So I could quickly get used to everything because everyone was very warm.
A NORMAL DAY IN THE PROJECT
First we started the early shift. There we cleaned the nests of the turtles and if there were many turtles in one day, we already released some turtles. All the staff were nice and always answered all my questions.
Afterwards we had free time, which we mostly spent on the beach. After that was in the afternoon, the Turtle Release with the tourists and in the evening the night shift, where we patrolled the beach and looked out for the turtles.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CULTURE
The helpfulness was what struck me the most. People were always there and had an open ear for me. I learned to be more open with friends. People always made you feel comfortable. I especially enjoyed meeting new people. The food was also different, like grasshoppers with lime and chili salt.
MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT
My favorite part was spending time with the other volunteers. We all came from different places around the world, were all the same age, and were therefore able to exchange ideas on a wide variety of topics. We spent our free time together in the city, in restaurants, at cooking nights, at the beach, and on day trips. I enjoyed cooking dishes from home on cooking nights together and the same the other way around. That’s how we volunteers got to know each other and our home countries.
MY FAVORITE PLACE
I found all the beaches and bays around Puerto Escondido the most beautiful. Everywhere there were different delicious food stalls. A feeling of pure freedom and no responsibility around you. Just you and the sound of the sea. For me it was special to have good weather every day. Even a little rain shower in the evening doesn’t ruin it. Also feeling the salt water in your hair and the sun on your skin.
What I liked most was a lagoon near the project at night, where the bio-luminescence was visible.
SAFETY ON SITE
I have never felt unsafe. Even in the evening in the city I have always felt safe. However, it must also be said that I was never alone, but was always on the road with at least one other person and additionally in tourist and busy places.
THIS IS HOW THE JOURNEY HAS CHANGED ME
The trip has shown me to be open to new things. Not to plan everything, because it always comes differently. You appreciate the smallest things, like freshly washed laundry. You experience life in a whole new way.
Every person in the world should experience a trip like this. It is so unique to come to a foreign community and get to know the people so closely. On this trip, everyone will change.