Saving Sea Turtles in El Salvador

This unique volunteer program is one of the best opportunities to participate in a small-scale based conservation project. We strongly believe that communities are fundamental to the long-term conservation of sea turtles. By working closely with local community members who depend economically on the conservation of turtles, we harness their knowledge and maximize conservation efforts.

This volunteer program is initiated with the aim to extend the unique opportunity of volunteers participating in the protection of hawksbill turtles. The projects objective is to examine the population dynamics of the hawksbill turtle on the most important hawksbill nesting beaches of the eastern Pacific Coast. Volunteer to help us conserve one of the most endangered sea turtle populations on the planet. There truly is not a more rewarding sea turtle conservation program opportunity than this!

Expect costs in around $280 for 1 week; $525 for 2 weeks, $750 for 3 weeks, and $200 for every week thereafter.  Prices are in USD. Please appreciate that costs help cover the following expenses and inclusions:

Pre-departure orientation (information package)
 and co-ordination

Welcome meeting & arrival orientation at the project office

Three full meals a day

Accommodation (at a safe and comfortable volunteer house)

In-country orientation/Training (turtle biology and conservation) by experienced staff members and biologists

24 hour emergency support

Registration fee that assists organizational expenses, such as staff and operations

*Transportation packages are available at a fee.

Pre-Apply Now

What to Expect?

Volunteers are asked for 8 hours work a day/night with a minimum of one day off per week. The main duties expected of volunteers includes: night patrols (walking) to encounter hawksbills and their nests, hatchery shifts to monitor nests and release hatchlings, morning boat patrols to quantify nesting in areas around the program area, and community activities related to community activities (educational, clean-ups, etc).

Detailed duties description (rotating over the week):

Sunrise surveys by boat are conducted to count and recover nests not encountered during night patrols. During the trip staff visit all the remarkable places where nesting activity occurs around the program area to ensure all events have been quantified. Typical length: 1-2 hours. This is a optional activity for volunteers were patrolling the night before.

Breakfast. Delicious local dishes prepared by community members participating with the program. Typical length: 1 hour
Cleaning the equipment used during the night patrol and preparing the bags for the next shift. Typical length: 1 hour.

Morning/Afternoon Hatchery shift: 8 hours. Three shifts per day. People involved in hatchery shifts during the day will have the option participate in night patrols as well.

Lunch. Delicious local dishes prepared by community members participating with the program. Typical length: 1 hour
-Time off

Work Meeting (30 min before dinner)

Dinner. Delicious local dishes prepared by community members participating with the program. Typical length: 1 hour

Night Patrol: 4-6 hours walking the beach. The monitoring is focused on encountering the nesting females to gather scientific information and to protect eggs. Nests are usually transported to the program hatchery for protection, although nests in certain areas are left in their natural state.

First shift: after dinner till noon. Volunteers then return to the volunteer station.

Second shift: from noon-to sunrise. Volunteers stay in the hatchery house.

Note: Volunteers are always teamed up with program staff and/or other volunteers.

  • Program ID: # 2188
  • duration:
    1 to 2 Weeks
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
    1 to 3 Months
  • location:
    San Sebastian Island
    Bahia de Jiquilisco
    La Pirraya
    El Salvador
    13° 11' 16.098" N, 88° 26' 28.734" W
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    San Salvador (SAL)
  • Costs From:
    Less than $500
    $500 to $1000
  • Program Type:
    Community Development Projects
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
    Learn Abroad
  • Click Here for More Info

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