Turtle Sanctuary Capacity Building Coordinator



Start Date


Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Long-Term (6 months-1 year)


Carretera Zihuatanejo



La Tortuga Viva, a sea turtle sanctuary located on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, seeks a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer to help coordinate and manage its conservation and community engagement activities. Since 2010, La Tortuga Viva has hatched and freed more than 300,000 baby sea turtles through the support of fourteen volunteers from the local community who diligently patrol 35 km of beach every night. La Tortuga Viva is a subsidiary of the off-grid, sustainable boutique hotel Playa Viva, which is dedicated to social and environmental sustainability.

The sanctuary coordinator is a multifaceted role, involving in capacity building, community engagement, environmental education, and management. S/he will work under the guidance of and report to Playa Viva’s Social and Environmental Impact (SEI) Officer. S/he will assist and oversee conservation work, coordinate and help manage turtle volunteers, organize sanctuary visits and hatchling releases (for hotel guests), write quarterly reports, and engage in fundraising and social media. Ideal candidate will have experience working in sea turtle conservation, have a background in conservation management, fluency in Spanish, strong interpersonal communication skills, experience working in developing country contexts, community engagement, and ecotourism. This is a great opportunity for a budding young professional to gain experience on the ground in community-based conservation and management.

Tasks and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee sea turtle conservation program (coordinating and monitoring Tortuga Viva volunteers);
  • Manage and coordinate LTV activities and volunteer, provide support and capacity building for volunteers, and assist with turtle preservation work, including but not limited to:
  • Providing technical assistance for permit application submission to SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment),
  • Ensuring turtle volunteers are performing their duties,
  • Acting as a link between hotel and turtle camp,
  • Ensuring turtle volunteers are providing accurate and consistent data monthly and on time,
  • Identifying new resources for training of volunteers;
  • Research and ensure best practices for nest relocation, sea turtle monitoring, and sea turtle ecotourism are up to date and being applied;
  • Organize and hold monthly meetings with turtle volunteers;
  • Liaise with SEI Officer and Hotel Activities manager to coordinate hatchling release and visits to turtle sanctuary (for hotel guests);
  • Liaise with SEI to organize and conduct small presentations on sea turtle protection in local schools (preschool, elementary, and high school), as well as for hotel staff and guests;
  • Liaise with SEI Officer to leverage and foster new and existing partnerships with conservation actors locally and internationally;
  • Develop quarterly report (to feed into Annual Report for our fiscal sponsor, The Ocean Foundation);
  • Fundraising;
  • Social media engagement to communicate sea turtle work via various social media platforms (Playa Viva blog, Facebook, & Instagram).


  • BA/BS in marine conservation, natural resource management or a related field from an accredited university;
  • Strong knowledge of and passion for conservation issues;
  • Knowledge of or willingness to learn about sea turtle conservation;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to exercise sensitivity among cultural differences;
  • Excellent research, writing, and organizational skills;
  • Fluency in Spanish;
  • Fluency in English (reading, writing, and speaking);
  • Experiencing or willingness to work in remote communities in a tropical, humid environment;
  • 3-6 month commitment.


In exchange for your service, we provide a shared house (with other volunteers) in the neighboring town of Juluchuca, a small traditional Mexican town of about 400 people. You will also receive 2 meals per day at the hotel, 6 days per week. We do not provide transportation to and from Mexico, but will arrange for airport/bus station pick up when you arrive/depart. Coordinators are welcome to fundraise for their position to provide themselves with a living stipend to cover additional costs (note: cost of living outside position's benefits run 100-200 USD per month). Relocation OR a small stipend may be available depending on length of service.

Start date

Ideal start date is early July 2018. Deadline to apply is May 15th, 2018.


  • Stipend Provided
  • Housing Available


  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


Please send a 1-page cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in the position and a copy of your CV/resume to mluna@playaviva.com by MAY 15th, 2018. Additionally, please indicate your level of Spanish fluency and the date you are available to start the position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.