Sea turtle sanctuary Akumal
Watch our video about this placement!
Worldwide exist seven species of marine turtles all of which are either threatened or endangered. Mexico alone is home to six of these species of which again two nest at the beaches of Akumal: the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta Caretta) and the Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas).
Since 1993, the “Centro Ecológico Akumal“ (CEA) is in charge of the protection and research of the marine turtles at four of Akumal’s beaches. In 2006, the CEA started monitoring juvenile turtles at the Akumal Bay every other month. For this reason, they catch turtles about twice a week during the daytime in order to mark, measure, weigh and examine them. This way, a CEA team of biologists tries to determine the impacts of tourism and general pollution on the turtles’ health.
During the nesting season from Mai to September, volunteers and interns patrol together with CEA staff the beaches during night in search of and in order to protect female turtles, their nests and hatchlings. As awareness-raising for tourists and locals is a main objective of CEA, the volunteers and interns will also be asked to help arranging educational events and the so-called Turtle Talk, an informative session for tourists. Volunteers and inters are required to speak at least two languages, among them should be Spanish and/or English.
As the patrolling work at night can be strenuous, volunteers and interns should be in good physical and mental condition in order to carry it out on several consecutive days. Furthermore, participants should be good swimmers and not suffer from seasickness. Previous knowledge in marine biology or particularly about turtles is of advantage, but not required. Participants should have a strong interest in wildlife and generally in conservation. Of course, interns and volunteers are in addition expected to be of adventurous mind, respectful of other cultures and able to work as part of a team.
Location: Akumal, Mexico
Duration: Minimum 2 months, only between May and September
Costs: free of charge (trouble-free package
Accommodation: Not included
Included: Placement in the project; if you opt for the
trouble-free package the whole range of services which is part of the
trouble-free package is included
Not included: Travel, health
insurance, visa, work permit
Book this placement