Our main mission at Tortugas de Pacuare is to protect endangered sea turtles such as the Leatherback sea turtle, Hawksbill sea turtle and the Green sea turtle. With the support of the local community and of the the international volunteers, we aim at conserving the environment. By working with sea turtles and communal and environmental education programs, we will be able to educate people on the importance of caring about and protecting such a valuable part of the maritime ecosystem.
Leatherback season from the last week of February to the end of June
Green turtle from July to September
Hawksbill from April to August
Working with Turtles
Working with the turtles means that you will be doing night patrols on the beach. With local guides and a group of people you will patrol on the beach to collect turtle eggs and relocate them to a turtle hatchery where they will be safe from poachers. Furthermore, you will be working at the hatchery, take care of the turtle eggs and the freshly hatched turtles and make sure that they are well prepared for their dangerous journey back into the sea.
The Leatherback Turtle - Leatherbacks are the largest turtles on Earth, growing up to seven feet (two meters) long and exceeding 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). These reptilian relics are the only remaining representatives of a family of turtles that traces its evolutionary roots back more than 100 million years. Once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the leatherback population has rapidly declined in many parts of the world. This is partly becaus of their shell. While all other sea turtles have hard, bony shells, the inky-blue carapace of the leatherback is somewhat flexible and almost rubbery to the touch. This makes it more vulnerable to predators and poachers. Furthermore, their eggs are often taken by humans from nests to be consumed for subsistence or as aphrodisiacs.
The Green sea Turtle - The green turtle is a large, weighty sea turtle with a wide, smooth carapace, or shell. It is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. Weighing up to 700 pounds (317.5 kilograms) green turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world. While most sea turtles warm themselves by swimming close to the surface of shallow waters, the Eastern Pacific green turtle will reach the land to bask in the sun. This habit makes them extremley vulnerable to predators and poachers, looking for their meat and eggs.
But there is communal work as well. You, the volunteers, will work in the maintenance of the camp or in our recycling program. We spend our time doing community service work and helping to maintain community facilities, local schools, sports fields, and execute beach cleanups in conjunction with the Blue Flag committee. In addition, we help the local population with construction of gardens.
Our program is a communal initiative and we work closely with the people from Barra de Pacuare. You will …
Your schedule as a volunteer can vary each day, but mostly it will look like this one:
8:30 am: breakfast
12:30 am: lunch
9:30 am: communal work
2:30 pm: communal work
The total communal work during the day is approx. 2 hours
The turtle hatchery has to be protected 24/7. These are the timetables that have to be respected. Of course, you won't work the whole day there.
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
10:00 pm to 4:00 am
4:00 am to 8:00 am
The most important time to patrol on the beaches is at night. This is when the turtles usually come ashore to lay their eggs and thus, the most dangerous moment for them.
8:00 pm to 12:00 am
12:00 am to 4:00 am
"I have to say a huge thanks to Luis who was very kind and helpful writing me tips on places to visit and how to arrive there! I also have to thanks so much Minor, Charly, Mita, and then Roberto, Jammy, and so on. You Ticos have a great heart, dedicating your life to this special place!"
Luca Gabby volunteered in 2018
"The amazing starts since you take the first bus to Pacuare, just look out the window and see beautiful h landscapes full of all kinds of vegetetion. Luis kept in touch through out my entire way to the Project, you get to go on boat threw this river taken straight out of a movie or something."
Melissa Rodríguez volunteered in 2018
"Such an amazing experience. Brought my 15 year old daughter and she loved it (despite the hard work!) Like a one week Peace Corps sampler trip! Gorgeous location, wonderful people. Made friends from around the world."