Protect and track turtle nests

Antigua, Guatemala

Turtle conservation projects are located in rural beach areas, often alongside impoverished communities. Volunteers provide support to biologists, biology interns, project staff, and locals involved in protecting turtle eggs and maintaining the turtle nesting grounds. Please note that the activities asked of volunteers depend on the time of year and typically involve a variety of tasks on a rotational basis. While the areas may be remote, the location is beautiful and there is plenty to do! There is surfing, snorkeling, mangrove tours, and other ocean activities such as whale and dolphin watching. Typically, local hotels allow restaurant or bar patrons to use the swimming pool even if they are not guests. Additionally, try out the cozy local restaurants for some fresh, home-cooked seafood.

  • Do beach patrols (day or night) to search for nesting turtles, move nests into hatcheries
  • Tag turtles, count eggs and turtles, and record observations in a log
  • Join community outreach programs, accept egg donations from local collectors
  • Release hatched baby turtles
  • Help construct hatcheries, or do general project upkeep and maintenance
  • Clean and maintain the beach
  • Minimum age of 17 years

    In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.

  • A background check

    Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.

  • Airport pick-up

    Please notе that the closest airport is in Guatemala City. We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or at nearby accommodations instead of the airport.

  • Accommodations

    In Antigua, you will stay with a pre-approved middle-class Guatemalan family or in a student residence in a room shared with 1-3 other people of the same gender. At Turtle Projects, you will stay in dorm-style accommodations, just 50 meters from the beach, in shared rooms with capacity for up to 6 people.

  • Food

    Breakfast and dinner are included in Antigua and at the project site.

  • Orientation

    The Turtle Conservation program begins with a mandatory orientation session in Antigua, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site

  • Transportation to and from the project site

    A private shuttle will transport you to and from the project site at both the beginning and end of your program. If you wish to go back and forth to Antigua, the shuttle is $20.

  • Airfare

    To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to Guatemala City well in advance.

  • Travel insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.

  • Physical shape

    Beach patrols require a lot of walking in the sand. You should be physically fit and prepared for this.

  • Water

    Tap water in Guatemala is not potable. Drinking water is provided for you in your accommodations, and bottled water is easily purchased throughout Antigua and the rest of Guatemala. Tap water is safe to use for showers and brushing your teeth. Hot water is available 24 hours a day, however Guatemala sometimes experiences water shortages so please be as considerate as possible and opt for short showers.

  • Getting around

    Local transportation is limited and walking is the best way to get around. Everything you need is within walking distance!

  • WiFi and electricity

    Depending on your location and accommodations, WiFi may not be available. All accommodations have electricity available.

  • ATMs

    ATM's are not easily accessible, if at all. You should take the cash you need with you when you leave Antigua – our local team can help you to budget for the duration of your stay.

  • Medical services

    Medical treatment at the project site is provided by local doctors, however there is a larger hospital within a 30 minute drive.

  • Arrival (Sunday)

    Airport pick up, accommodations and basic orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.

  • Orientation (Day 2)

    The Turtle Conservation program begins with a mandatory orientation session in Antigua, where you receive vital information about your project and your trip to the project site.

  • Transfer to project site (Day 3)

    Turtle conservation project sites and accommodations are located 2-3 hours outside the city of Antigua.

  • Working hours

    Your working hours are split into shifts, and you should be prepared to sometimes work late at night or very early morning when patrolling the beach.

  • Weekends

    You have one free day a week. Please notify the project director if you plan to leave the site.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants

    Make sure you do not mind getting them dirty or even ruining

  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking boots or crocs

    These will make beach patrols much more comfortable

  • Gloves
  • Flashlight or headlamp

    You might have a night shift, so we strongly encourage you to bring one or the other.

Price: $1045 / 2 weeks

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