Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)
Short-Term (few weeks/months)
Mexico is the Central American heartland that epitomises the best of Latin fiesta spirit and an endless fascination of the legacy of the Mayan civilization. In Mexico you will discover stunningly elegant colonial towns surrounded by rainforest cloaked mountains, heavenly beaches where Mayan ruins tumble down to the pristine shores, and markets humming with a hundred street vendors selling everything from pungent leather handbags to magic spells from shamans!
Mexicans are said to be the happiest people in the world and it’s not hard to see why! Mexican culture is an exotic and heady mix of dark magic and a strong sense of celebrating life and death. Look out for the "diá de los muertos", or the 'Day of the Dead' to see colourful skeletons and huge processions filling the streets of every town!
Join our sea turtle conservation project along the sparkling blue Pacific coast and help protect this beautiful environment and its enigmatic marine life for future generations whilst enjoying all this exotic country has to offer the adventurous traveller.
The work you carry out will be rewarding, challenging, and hugely beneficial to conservation efforts, as well as being amazing fun! At the end of the day you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped to save this precious marine wilderness.
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
As a popular tourist destination, Mexico’s environment is under great threat from human influences including the development of the coastline and recreational activities which result in disturbances and habitat loss for marine life. The main conservation project has been running since 1985 in cooperation with the University Department for Sustainable Development of Coastal Zones, having been set up by members of the local community to help preserve their local culture, land resources and coral reefs.
Turtles are slow to adapt to changing environmental conditions and many baby turtles are eaten by predators in the first few months, snarled up by nets or choked by litter and pollution while still juveniles.
The sea turtle project offers a hands on, sustainable solution for the ever declining sea turtle population. Out of the seven species of sea turtle alive today, four species make their home along the beaches and wetlands of Mexico, all of which are listed on the IUCN redlist as threatened or endangered species. This project helps to save tens of thousands of sea turtles a year from ever increasing threats, increasing survival rates for all four species.
By increasing the numbers of turtles in the sea we can attempt to help them adapt to changing conditions and sustain populations by reducing their vulnerability through juvenile protection until they can be released back into the wild.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
As a volunteer you will be working to rehabilitate the weaker juvenile sea turtles in a natural enclosure until they are ready for release. We aim to get volunteers involved in a range of hands-on training experiences. Your day to day duties will be dependent upon the season and the current focus of the project at the time of your visit and detailed work programmes will be agreed with your project leader upon arrival. Tasks could typically involve enclosure maintenance and monitoring juvenile growth and activity. You will join the team to provide around the clock assistance and learn about the greater aims of the conservation project, your days will be long but certainly rewarding.
Other activities could include beach patrols during the day or night, and the opportunity to learn about the other marine education, research, and restoration programmes organised by the project.