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VOLUNTEER WORK MEXICO

TURTLE PROTECTION

Are you passionate about sea turtles and interested in species conservation? Did you know that by protecting sea turtles, we are protecting an entire ecosystem? Yes, sea turtles are a key species for maintaining the marine ecosystem. In this project, you can get close to nature in a unique way, learn about marine life and its importance, support conservation and environmental education, and advocate for the environment. In our Turtle Protection Project, you will ensure that the turtle eggs do not fall prey to predators or animals and that the hatched babies are safely released into the sea. Assist the team with evening patrols on the beach and bring the turtle eggs safely to the hatchery. Not only can you do something good for nature, but you can explore exciting Mexico at the same time. Work on dream beaches near Puerto Escondido and enjoy your free time at the beach.

QUICK FACTS

Type of program

Program location

Working time

Program start

Duration

Minimum age

Language

Requirements

Accommodation

Catering

Support

Internet

Price

Turtle Sanctuary

Bajos de Chila, Mexico

8h per day, 5 days per week

Every 1st Saturday of the month

1-6 months

18 years

English or Spanish

Animal lover and nature lover

Shared room in volunteer house

Not included

Contact person on site

Mobile internet with sim card from WanderWorld Travel

From 1.090,00 €

QUICK FACTS

Type of program: Turtle sanctuary

Program location: Bajos de Chila, Mexico

Working hours: 8h a day, 5 days a week

Program start: Every 1st Saturday of the month

Duration: 1-6 months

Minimum age: 18 years

Language: Spanish, basic knowledge desirable

Requirements: Animal lover, nature lover

Accommodation: shared room in volunteer house

Meals: not included

Support: Contact person on site

Internet: Mobile internet with sim card from WanderWorld Travel

Price: from 1.090,00 €

Baby Schildkröten in Kokosschale mit Freiwilligen am Sandstrand in Mexiko
Baby Schildkröten am Sandstrand auf dem Weg zum Meer in Mexiko
Freiwillige hält Baby Schildkröte in Schale am Sandstrand in Mexiko

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Baby turtle in shell in Mexico
Group of young people sitting on beach in Mexico

Are you interested in the great sea creatures? Do you want to get your hands dirty digging the nests? For all turtle fans and nature enthusiasts, our Turtle Protection project in Mexico is the place to be.

The Turtle Protection Organization is an NGO that has been protecting thousands of turtles in the Puerto Escondido region every year for over 20 years. The mission of the organization is to protect and conserve the sea turtle species that nest on the shores of this paradisiacal place.

Currently, there are 8 species of sea turtles, all of which are threatened with extinction. The population in the sea is constantly decreasing and fewer and fewer turtles come to the beaches. This is partly because the valuable turtle eggs are being stolen and sold, or dug up and eaten by animals. On the other hand, their natural habitat is becoming smaller and smaller or they die from plastic waste and fishing nets in the sea. Especially crowded beaches with many lights at night, drive away the marine life.

Our partner organization needs the support of volunteers to protect the turtles from theft and pollution and to increase their population again. Your help is needed during the daily control walks on the beach. This involves documenting the turtles that come ashore and checking them for health. The turtle nests are carefully opened and the eggs taken to the hatchery at camp until the little babies hatch and are safely released into the sea.

Mexico is the country with the most sea turtle visits, as 7 of the 8 species nest on Mexico’s beaches and 4 different species are found on the coasts of Oaxaca. Sea turtles play a very important role in the ecological balance of the ocean. This is because the turtles eat jellyfish, for example, and thus regulate their population. By maintaining the jellyfish population, the PH of the ocean remains in balance so that phytoplankton can photosynthesize well and provide us with 70% of the oxygen we breathe. So maintaining the ecological balance in the ocean is essential for a sustainable future.

Therefore, environmental education is also a fundamental pillar of the project. Creating environmental awareness among locals and also tourists is crucial, as this is the way to bring about real change. Get involved and contribute your new ideas. School groups also regularly visit the project, which is a unique opportunity to educate children about conservation and show them how they can protect nature themselves. Likewise, the staff visit schools in the area and give lectures. Working with the locals is great fun and you can learn a lot about the flora and fauna of Mexico yourself. In addition, the project works on various programs for the conservation and protection of wildlife and participates in beach cleaning and environmental protection activities.

In this project you can learn about the beauty of Oaxaca’s beaches, experience Mexican culture first hand and make a huge contribution to conservation and the climate.

Kind spielt mit Kokosschale am Sandstrand in Mexiko
Baby Schildkröten erreich das Meer und wird von der Welle erfasst in Mexiko
Freiwilliger hilft Baby Schildkröte am Sandstrand in Mexiko

TASKS

In the Turtle Camp you will have many different tasks. The main task is of course the protection of the turtles. In addition, good teamwork and a lot of fun are always on the agenda.

Get your hands dirty digging up the eggs. You have no problem with physical activity and like to be in nature? Help in the project with the evening control walks on the beach and document the turtles that have come ashore. This is because the sea turtles only come to the beaches at dusk or at night to lay their eggs. This nocturnal activity involves checking a total of 27 km of beach each night using quads or all-terrain vehicles. The main working time is considered to be during the night from about 21:00 to 06:00 in the morning. During this time there are three different shifts, from 21:00 – 00:00, 00:00 – 03:00 and 03:00 – 6:00. The shifts are divided among the staff and volunteers.

Meanwhile, it is not uncommon to run into wildlife or even be lucky enough to observe the rare phenomenon of bioluminescence in the Manialtepec lagoon.

When you find eggs, you let the team in camp know that they are preparing a new nest in the hatchery. Now you make sure that the eggs get safely to the camp. Also, make sure the animals are in good health and report any injured turtles.

Be there when the babies hatch. The nests in the hatchery will be watched constantly from now on. Also, there is always something to do around the nests. Digging the deep holes in the sand is real teamwork and the eggs must always be well secured so that no other animals can get to them. Now the time has finally come! The babies are hatching and you can be there up close! In the project, new turtles hatch almost every day during turtle season. Now it is your job to give the turtles a safe way into their natural habitat. Many tourists come to the so-called “Turtle Release” every day to watch the spectacle. The Turtle Release always takes place at sunset from about 6 pm. Here you receive the tourists on the beach, give a speech about the project and explain to them the correct handling of the babies at the release.

In the morning, when the sun is not yet so strong, the volunteers take care of the nests. The nests of the hatched turtles have to be cleaned and new holes are dug in the sand for the next eggs.

Get creative and get involved in environmental protection actions. The team is constantly organizing new campaigns to draw attention to species conservation and educate locals. Help make materials and posters and support the regular beach cleanups. You can also guide school groups and tourists through the camp and educate them about your important work.

From about 12pm to 6pm you will have free time to relax. You also have two days off per week.

große Schildkröte sonnt sich am Strand und wird von der Welle nass gemacht in Mexiko
Baby turtle in hand in Mexico
Kinder lernen Anatomie von Schildkröten in Mexiko

Bajos de Chila

The small village of Bajos de Chila is about 15 minutes by cab from Puerto Escondido. If you love the sea and like it more relaxed than turbulent, the beautiful beaches at Bajos de Chila are just right for you. There you will find the cleanest and most paradisiacal beaches in the region. Among them is a practically untouched beach, where the giant leatherback turtle likes to come to nest. You will not find any paved roads or supermarkets, but you will be able to experience authentic Mexico. The volunteer house is located in a quiet and secluded area, as there are only a few houses in the surrounding area. In the village you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and spend time with them instead of just tourists. This way you can get to know the Mexican culture, improve your Spanish and socialize. If you want to go to Puerto Escondido in your free time, you have to plan half an hour each way.

The city of Puerto Escondido is perfect for an unforgettable weekend adventure. Puerto is one of the hottest places among young Mexicans and backpackers from all over the world for a reason. Downtown there are many hostels and hotels and from there you can quickly reach the surrounding beaches and be surrounded by bars, restaurants and supermarkets. At the end of the long beach of Puerto Escondido is the beautiful district of La Punta. There are no paved roads here, but there are nice restaurants and a great surf spot for beginners and pros. Surfers, globetrotters and adventurers from all over the world meet here.

Besides your work in the project, you can book lessons at the many local surf schools, learn Spanish or just relax on the beach with cool people. The beaches of Oaxaca are among the best surf spots in the country. At the time of the surf contests, it therefore becomes turbulent, because the international surf elite meets in Puerto.

wide road with palm trees in Mexico
Woman walking on sandy beach with high waves in Mexico
Street with VW bus in La Punta, Puerto Esconidido
Surfing waves Puerto Escondido, Mexico

REQUIREMENTS

Prerequisite is not only to love turtles, but also to be enthusiastic about environmental protection. You should be motivated to learn a lot of new things and also be physically involved. Working 8 hours a day can be quite exhausting, but the team supports each other and it is always a lot of fun. You should like to be in nature and like it quiet, because you will live away from the hustle and bustle in a small village in the middle of nature.

You should also have a certain degree of independence, as volunteers are expected to perform tasks without the guidance of staff. On site, you will take care of the grocery shopping and cooking on your own.

LANGUAGE

The national language in Mexico is Spanish. Since you will have a lot of contact with locals, a basic knowledge of Spanish is required. In the project not all employees speak English, so every word of Spanish is an advantage. If you don’t have any knowledge of Spanish yet, we will gladly organize a 1-week language course for you before the start of the project. You can do the language course directly in Puerto Escondido at the coolest and best language school in town. The Mexican teachers put a lot of emphasis on speaking freely from the beginning so that you can communicate with the locals as quickly as possible. Your knowledge will improve effortlessly.

ACCOMODATION

During your time in the Turtle Protection Program you will sleep together with the other international volunteers in a shared room. There is an extra volunteer house on a street about 2 km from the small village of Bajos de Chila. The project staff does not live in the volunteer house, but the supervisor lives only 10 minutes walk from the accommodation. There are only a few houses in the village, so it is very quiet and away from the hustle and bustle. In the house you will have access to an equipped communal kitchen and a large outdoor communal area. The house is very simply furnished and the standard is not comparable to Germany. However, you will quickly get used to it and get to know the authentic Mexico. Food is not included, but the volunteers like to cook together and in the kitchen you will find everything you need.

The accommodation is about 1.5 kilometers from the beach. You will find small shops in the center of the village about 1 – 2 km from the accommodation and a few cheap Mexican restaurants. Large supermarkets and ATMs are available in Puerto Escondido.

Blick auf die Unterkunft im Dschungel in Mexiko
Außenbereich von Unterkunft in Mexiko
Mehrbettzimmer in Unterkunft in Mexiko
Außenbereich von Unterkunft in Mexiko

YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN MEXICO

Bianca is Mexican herself and originally from Cancún. She has traveled a lot and lived in many different places in Mexico. Currently she lives in the dream destination Playa del Carmen. Bianca has already worked in tourism during her studies in Central Mexico, so she knows the country and the people very well and can answer all your questions. She has also worked on cruise ships for several years and has traveled around the world and therefore knows people from all over the world. Despite the many other impressions, Bianca loves her country and the culture of Latin America very much and is happy to show you around her home country. For Bianca, the diversity of countries makes Latin America an exciting travel destination and she especially likes the culture and history of the peoples.

WanderWorld Mitarbeiter lächelt

SERVICES AND PRICES

Prices:

Single room:

  • 1st month in start package: 1.360,00 €
  • Extension month: 1.360,00 €
  • As 2nd or 3rd program: 860,00 €

Shared room:

  • 1st month in starting package: 1.090,00 €
  • Extension month: 700,00 €
  • As 2nd or 3rd program: 1.060,00 €

Benefits:

Learn more about our benefits here.

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