VOLUNTEER WORK GUATEMALA
Do you love animals and want to save particularly endangered species from extinction? Do you have a special fascination for turtles? In El Hawaii, a paradisiacal place on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, lives the leatherback turtle, which is unfortunately threatened with extinction. You will assist in the breeding and release of the baby turtles, but also in research, organization and marketing your help will be gratefully accepted. Become part of a great project, meet volunteers from all over the world and help the cute baby turtles on their way to freedom!
Type of program
approx. 20 hours per week
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Spanish (basic knowledge)
Animal lover, close to nature
In a small village on the beach
Shared room on the project site
English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Mobile internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
From 1.580,00 €
Type of program: Turtle sanctuary
Program location: Hawaii, Guatemala
Working hours: About 20 hours per week
Program start: Every 1st Saturday of the month
Duration: 1-6 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language: Spanish (basic knowledge)
Requirements: Animal lover, nature lover
Location: In a small village on the beach
Accommodation: Shared rooms on the project site
Support: English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet: Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price: from 1.580,00 €
Are you a fan of turtles and want to help save endangered animals from extinction? Then our rescue center on the Pacific coast of Guatemala is just right for you. Our local organization is committed to protecting the Pacific leatherback turtle, which is sadly in danger of extinction. They initiated conservation activities to address the threat posed to the animals by the over-harvesting of eggs. Despite their endangered status, virtually all sea turtle nests in Guatemala are poached and the eggs sold. You can now help ensure that many baby sea turtles find their way back to the Pacific Ocean safe and sound.
The organization collects sea turtle eggs from the beach and donations from local collectors and then takes care of hatching the eggs. From now on, they are taken care of day and night. After incubation, the baby turtles are released into the sea by the rescue center. A unique experience and a very special moment, where you can be there and support. In addition, the rescue center also takes care of other animal and bird species whose offspring are born in the nearby mangrove areas and need help to survive.
Are you interested in biology? Working with students and researchers from around the world, the organization also conducts very detailed research on sea turtles, including hatchery and beach environmental conditions, hatchling success rates, temperature measurements, crawl counts, DNA studies, and population monitoring in the open ocean. It’s a very exciting part of the job where you’ll learn a lot of new things.
In addition to sea turtles, the project also works to protect the species of crocodiles, iguanas, yellow parrots, and the conservation of the mangrove ecosystem. The organization houses a breeding and rescue center for iguanas, crocodiles and parrots. Crocodiles and other animals were once abundant on the south coast, but are rapidly disappearing due to hunting and habitat loss. When the young are large enough, they are released into the nearby mangrove forests. Volunteers can also assist with feeding and caring for the animals.
The sanctuary is involved in many areas, and there are always different tasks and areas of work that you can get involved in.
Volunteers participate in night patrols to look for nests where turtles have laid their eggs. Sea turtles almost always nest and hatch at night. Once a turtle is found, you wait until it finishes laying, collect the eggs, and then bury them in the hatchery. When the nests in the hatchery begin to hatch, check on the hatchlings several times a day. They are then measured, weighed and released on the beach. Groups of children and tourists often come to participate in the release of the hatchlings. You can share your knowledge of these fascinating animals and explain sea turtle conservation and biology.
You will also help measure nest and sand temperatures, conduct daily crawl counts (counting turtle tracks), and monitor and record hatchling success rates. As a volunteer, you will also respond to stranded sea turtles and other marine animals and coordinate their rescue and treatment.
Volunteers may also give educational presentations at local schools, supervise children and tourists visiting the education center, prepare educational materials, and help maintain the rescue center.
The project is located on the gorgeous Pacific coast of Guatemala near the village of Hawaii and 7 km east of the main resort town of Monterrico. The rescue center is located in the Parque Hawaii National Park and covers a 3 hectare protected area. The drive to Hawaii takes about 2.5 hours. Fascinating nature and beautiful beaches await you here. You will be picked up by the project leaders in Antigua.
The 20 km long nature reserve with coastal and mangrove swamps is full of bird and water life. The most famous inhabitants of the reserve are the endangered leatherback and Ridley turtles, which lay their eggs on the beach in many places along the coast. The exciting mangrove swamps are a network of 25 lagoons, all connected by canals. In your free time you can take boat tours through the national park and explore the exotic mangroves and lagoons or just relax on the dream beach of Monterrico. Monterrico has grown steadily in recent years due to the increase in tourism. The infrastructure has been expanded and now includes many pedestrian paths, boat tours, restaurants and hotels.
You do not need any special prerequisites for the program. You should have a desire to work with animals and the motivation to improve the lives of animals in the long term and be committed to environmental protection. Also, openness to new cultures is especially important to us. You will meet people from all over the world, make new friends and learn a lot.
The national language in Guatemala is Spanish. Since you will be in contact with locals a lot, basic knowledge is recommended for this project. At the beginning of the program we recommend a language course. However, your knowledge will also improve on the spot.
You will live together with other volunteers in one of the 3 volunteer houses in Hawaii Park. There is always something going on here and you will quickly make friends. The accommodations are rustic and very cozy, and with the ocean breeze and the sound of the surf in the distance, they provide the ideal atmosphere to enjoy the wonders of the Pacific Ocean. You will share a shared room with 3 other volunteers. Meals are included in the price. The project has its own cook who will provide you with three meals a day. The food is typical Guatemalan. You will have mobile internet with your SIM card.
YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN GUATEMALA
Alejandro is Guatemalan and grew up in Antigua. Therefore, he knows the city, the country and its culture like no other. He has a great passion for Germany, has visited there several times and speaks the language fluently. Alejandro always has an open ear for your wishes and is happy to introduce you to his home country. He will gladly organize city tours and weekend excursions for our participants. You will never feel alone. Through his history studies, he can tell you a lot about the history of Guatemala and the ancient buildings in Antigua. Ale will take care of you during your orientation in Antigua. For questions of any kind during your stay in Latin America, an English-speaking contact person is available via WhatsApp in the same time zone.