Turtle Camp Zihuatanejo, Guerrero

A-VIMEX 17/03
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PROJECT DETAILS: VIMEX and Ayotlcalli organization have the aim to contribute to the recovery and conservation of 3 species of sea turtles on the verge of extinction that visit Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo (Guerrero): Golfina Turtle (Olive Lepidochelys), Blackish Turtle (Chelonia Agassizi) and Lute Turtle (Dermochelys Coracea). The efforts to preserve these species consist of two ways:

> Night vigilance to avoid the plunder of nests and the slaughter of the mother turtles in the most extensive beach in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

> Environmental Education for the sustain-ability and conservation of the natural resources in the zone of influence.

Problems of the marine turtles in the zone are: In spite of the fact that the marine turtles are important for its ecological role inside the aquatic and coastal ecosystems and contribute to the health of the reefs, meadows of marine pastures as well as of the estuaries and sandy beaches worldwide, the populations of the different species of marine turtles are limited. In the beach of monitoring, the consumption and utilization of the derivate of the species, which are meat, fat, skin (leather) and turtle-shell, are deeply culturally rooted.

WORK: The turtles will be protected by means of night vigilance in order to avoid the plunder of nests and the slaughter of the mother turtles as well as by means of environmental education for the sustainability and conservation of the natural resources in the zone of influence.

In detail the tasks will be:

  • Learning the biology, ecology and conservation of the marine turtles, as well as the problematic of its conservation in the community.
  • Nocturnal patrol that aims at the collection of nests and turtle eggs as well activities of monitoring nests and liberation of marine turtle babies.
  • Cleaning the beach.
  • Elaboration of handcrafts of marine turtles for collection of funds.
  • Improvement of the camp’s facilities.
  • On Saturdays working at the “Eco-tianguis”, an ecological market where funds for Ayotlcalli will be raised (9 am -2 pm).

Please be prepared that the patrolling work will be at night, starting at 12 pm/1 am until 5/6 am, normally in 1-2 shifts depending on how many volunteers participate in the camp and hoy many egg nests you find. THE PATROLLING WORK WILL BE EVERY NIGHT FROM MONDAY TO SUNDAY. THIS PROJECT IS IDEAL FOR NATURE LOVERS.

ACCOMODATION: The project provides a zone to camp, there is a bath, kitchen and a place to wash your clothes.

FOOD: Meals will be prepared by the volunteers. The camp provides everything you need to cook and prepare food.

LANGUAGE: The camp leader speaks English but local volunteers and the hosts mostly speak Spanish so basic Spanish will be welcomed in order to be in touch with native people and to provide a more intense experience.

LOCATION: The Turtle Camp is located in Playa Blanca, 40 min away from Zihuatanejo. Travelling to Zihuatanejo from Mexico City, you can use a bus (8 hours trip).

MONEY: There are all different kinds of banks in Zihuatanejo where you can withdraw money.

WEATHER: The temperature is around 27–32°C. In the rainy season, please bring appropriate clothes with you.

FREE TIME: In the free time you will be able to visit Zihuatanejo, Barra de Potosí (Barr of Fortune), Ixtapa, the “Soledad de Maciel” pyramids and lots more! On Saturdays you will have free time after the “Eco-tianguis”, on Sundays you will have the morning at your free disposal.       

REQUIREMENTS: Good disposal of team work, dedication, responsibility and enthusiasm regarding the work, positive energy, interest in learning and enjoying oneself, flexibility.

BRING WITH YOU: We suggest to wear light clothes during the day like shorts, T-shirts, comfortable shoes and long clothes during the night. In addition, you should bring a sleeping bag, working clothes, a hat or cap, suncream (SPF 60-80), sunglasses, table games, your favorite music, a camera, your personal hygiene items and all medicine you may need during this time. Please bring your own insurance. You can bring your own tent if you like - we provide tents but if you prefer to bring your own you are welcome to do so.

Please do not bring big backpacks or suitcases - it is difficult to handle them in taxis, the subway or in a truck!