Sea Turtle Conservation in Guatemala

Volunteering on a sea turtle conservation project in Guatemala is a valuable way to help the planet while becoming immersed in the local culture. The Wildlife Center for this program is located on the beach near Monterrico on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. The Center operates the most productive of the 18-21 hatcheries in Guatemala, collecting up to 40,000 Olive Ridley and Leatherback eggs per year. Activities for our volunteers typically include:

Sea Turtle Conservation: During the egg-laying season (June-October) volunteers are formed into patrols and spend nights walking the beach in search of nesting turtles. Volunteers collect the eggs and bury them in the hatchery. Volunteers also assist in releasing mature hatchlings.

Cayman and Iguana Breeding: Crocodiles and iguanas — rapidly disappearing due to hunting and loss of habitat — are captive-bred at the Center then released into nearby mangrove forests. Volunteers assist in the feeding and care of the animals.

Mangrove Reforestation: The mangrove forests lining the Chiquimulilla Canal are under constant threat from illegal loggers and fires caused by the clearing of pastures for cattle. Volunteers plant mangrove trees in conjunction with local schools and conservation groups.

Program Overview

1. Project Length: 1 – 4 weeks
2. Project Dates: June – October. Choose any date to arrive.
3. Arrival Airport: Guatemala City (GUA)
4. Program City: Monterrico
5. Accommodations: Group dorm (same-gender) at sea turtle project
6. Meals: 3 per day Monday-Friday, 2 on Saturday, none Sunday
7. Airlines: American, Avianca, Delta, Spirit, Taca, United
8. Ages: 16+ for solo travelers; < 16 with teacher/parent only
9. Language Required: Basic Spanish
10. Vaccinations: None required. Routine Shots, Hepatitis A, Typhoid
11. Visa: None required for stays of less than 90 days

Program Schedule

1. Flight arrival in Guatemala City (GUA)
2. Airport meet and greet in Guatemala City
3. Orientation and walking tour in Monterrico
4. Volunteer work, Monday-Friday (night time especially) (30 hours/week)*
5. Weekends / mornings free for Excursions and Cultural Exploration
6. Guidance and 24/7 Support during placement
7. Program Wrap-Up and Certificate from Cosmic Volunteers
8. Airport Transfer for Departure Flight

* Many volunteers combine this volunteer program with Spanish lessons

Program Fees

  • 1 Week: $1275
  • 2 Weeks: $1405
  • 3 Weeks: $1525
  • 4 Weeks: $1635

What’s Included

  • Meals and Accommodations
  • Airport Pickup & Drop-Off in Guatemala City (GUA)
  • Volunteer Placement
  • Extra Donation to Sea Turtle Project
  • 24/7 Support from local staff and US staff
  • In-Country Orientation on arrival
  • Pre-Departure Support
  • Volunteering Handbook
  • Guidance with Excursions & Shopping
  • Cosmic Volunteers T-shirt
  • Certificate of Participation
  • An experience that will last a lifetime!

Not Included: Flights, Visa fees, Vaccinations, Daily Transport, Insurance, Mobile Internet, Personal Expenses (Restaurant Meals, Extra Sightseeing, Laundry etc.).

Language Lessons: Included only with the Language and Cultural Immersion Programs.

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