Hi! My name is Amanda and my handle is 'Ecotigress', to show how much of a fierce fighter I am for the environment! I am finally fulfilling one of my life-long dreams: to go do sea turtle conservation and help with protecting some of the most endangered sea turtles in the world. While in Trinidad in 2008, I got to see the leatherback turtles, and have always wanted to do my part and help with their conservation efforts.
This time, I am travelling to Costa Rica for a 3 week stint to offer my time and skills with a local organization called Asociación de Voluntarios para el Servicio en Áreas Protegidas de Costa Rica (AVSO). The reason they need volunteers, from their words:
There are currently 4 species of sea turtle that frequent the beaches of the lateral pacific of Costa Rica. (Olive Ridley - Lepidochelys olivácea, Black Turtle - Chelonia mydas agassiss, Hawksbill - Eretmochelys imbricatta, and Leatherback - Dermochelys coriacea). All of these species are in danger of extinction due to various human activities – such as the development of coastal areas, unnecessary lighting, the transit of vehicles and people on nesting beaches, the poaching and predation of nests, and the incidental fishing of adult male and female turtles, by fishing fleets, shrimp trawlers, and oceanic long lines.
AVSO's fundamental objective is to support the local effort to establish a Biological station at Montezuma, where they can protect the different species of sea turtles that come to nest on this beach. It is also our objective that this project benefits the neighbouring communities, offering an alternative to tourism that is in harmony with nature, a tourism that is controlled and developed in an environmentally friendly way; which will help in the low season when there are not many visitors to the area. We count on the support of the Municipalty of Cobano and the Tempisque Conservation Area.
Volunteer tasks may include the following:
- Night patrols to protect the marine turtles
- Assist in cleaning the immediate surrounds of nesting zones
- General infrastructure maintenance
- Hatchery building
- Counting baby turtles and releasing them
- Making Information signs
- Environmental education
- Beach cleaning
I'm told it will be hard work for 6 days a week, and I believe it will be rewarding as well. Our accommodations are rustic so as to lower our footprint on the environment.
I thank you whole-heartedly for any an all donations. By contributing, you are helping protect these amazing creatures and provide them a better chance at survival. My fees have included the cost of volunteering, which is a donation to the organization to host, feed and house me for the time I am there and for supporting the work they do there year-round. I also have other costs which include flight, vaccines, travel insurance and equipment. I will be there for most of November, 2016. If you donate before I return (early December) and meet the rewards level, I have offered to bring you back a Costa Rican souvenir!