TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERING IN PANAMA

TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAMME

In order to execute and implement activities aimed at protecting, maintaining and promoting the growth of aquatic biodiversity, the turtle conservation volunteer programme was created in Panama. In this sense, it seeks to raise awareness among the population near the beaches about the conservation and protection of endangered species.

The work carried out in the turtle conservation volunteer programme in Panama, since its inception, has been done with the help of students, residents and volunteers in Panama, promoting through this project, the proper management and conservation of natural resources.

All our actions are implemented and strengthened by cause-specific projects, donations, volunteer support and visitors.

OBJECTIVES OF VOLUNTEERING

  • The turtle conservation programme in Panama seeks to improve and reduce the negative impact created by the lack of awareness of the care of this species and the environment that surrounds them.
  • To encourage the social responsibility of the people with whom we have contact and work.

We invite you to know the necessary details for you to be part of one of the most interesting turtle conservation volunteer programmes in the Panamanian Pacific. You will have the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of turtles. In addition, you will be able to enrich your knowledge about nesting beach monitoring, scientific data collection and turtle nesting habits.


WHAT WILL I DO IN THE TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER?

In the Panamanian Pacific, most turtle nesting is observed from mid-June to February. With the largest populations of olive ridley turtles, hawksbill turtles, green turtles, channel turtles and three-edged turtles also nest.

The coordinator or person in charge (biologist) will indicate the activities or tasks that are being carried out, according to the existing and priority needs of turtle conservation volunteers in Panama:

  • Preparation of the sand for the creation of the nurseries.
  • Night work such as: Patrols on the beach where turtles nest.
  • Protection of the female turtles. When patrols are carried out and you see a turtle arriving on the beach, the patrolling group must wait without making as little noise as possible for the turtle to begin the process of laying its eggs and then proceed to take measurements, identify the type of turtle species and relocate the eggs to the hatchery.
  • Both volunteers and local staff must monitor and care for the nests in the hatchery.
  • In case of hatching, the hatchlings are released on the beach.
  • During the day, all volunteers and local staff carry out activities and maintenance tasks on the beach, in the village and in the area where the project takes place.
  • Talks in the schools and in the village about environmental care and the importance of turtles.
  • Support classes in the village school. If you indicate your interest.

During the day-to-day work of the turtle conservation volunteer, environmental education and outreach activities are programmed in the school of the community where the project is located. In addition, activities are carried out with daily visitors to the beach where the volunteer must support the project coordination team.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERING?

To volunteer in turtle conservation in Panama you must be of legal age and in good physical condition, as the routes are long distances and in places with loose sand. You must also have the following qualities:

  • Respect nature.
  • Maintain appropriate behaviour during the volunteer period.
  • Good communication with programme staff and community members.
  • It is not a requirement to have previous experience in turtle handling, the necessary explanations will be given during the first day of activity and if necessary during the following days.
  • Interest in getting involved in turtle protection and conservation activities.
  • No alcoholic beverages or intoxicating substances in the project areas (including nesting beach and trails). It is prohibited in all areas of the project.
  • Smoking is prohibited on turtle nesting beaches and in all project areas.
  • Do not litter or throw any pollutants on the project areas and beaches.
  • Respect the wildlife in the area.

WHEN CAN I VOLUNTEER AS A TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER?

ARRIVALS

  • The turtle conservation volunteer project is open from the second week of June until the end of February.
  • You should arrive in the country on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, as it facilitates the integration of your project and the orientation of the place and activities to be carried out.

WHERE WILL I BE VOLUNTEERING FOR TURTLE CONSERVATION?

  • The volunteer turtle conservation project in Panama takes place on the Pacific beaches of Panama.
  • The temperature is generally very warm (between 25 and 34 degrees Celsius during the day), although at night it is usually cooler.
  • Rainfall is frequent between May and December, and from mid-December to March there is very little rain and it is the ideal time for camping.

It operates from Monday to Friday. Night tours tend to start between 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., depending on the tide.

During the day, at around 9:00 a.m., maintenance, cleaning and community talks are carried out.

PROJECT COORDINATION

During your turtle conservation volunteer programme, you will have a general coordinator to guide you in your daily activities, apart from the coordinators of each programme, including the biologist. In the case of the turtle programme in Panama your main coordinator will be Evelin.

coordinadora panama

Senior Project Coordinator Panama


WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE IN CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERING?

The spaces available for volunteers are as follows:

  • Basic bunk beds, where you share a room with other volunteers.
  • Common areas.
  • Laundry area and kitchen.
  • Communal bathrooms.

WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE PROJECT?

  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages, illicit substances or hallucinogenic psychotropic substances is prohibited.
  • No smoking on the beach or in the project areas.
  • No bathing on the beach where the project is being developed.
  • No littering.
  • Respect for the local culture.
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the common areas and dormitories.
  • Be responsible for the cleanliness of the utensils used.
  • Maintain respectful behaviour, tolerance and moderate vocabulary with staff, visitors, local people and other volunteers.
  • In case of leaving the project premises, inform those in charge.

WHAT TO BRING TO TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERING?

  • Comfortable, light, dark-coloured clothing for night work.
  • Suitable footwear (beach shoes, sandals or neoprene boots).
  • Light torch (preferably head torch) with red and white light (not essential).
  • Bring a mackintosh (not essential)
  • Water bottle to carry water.
  • Insect repellent and sun block (do not use during monitoring).
  • In case you require any special medication, you must carry it.
  • Backpack, the access is not asphalt and the wheels of the suitcase break.
  • Clothing with long sleeves and trousers, for school activities or other events while you are on the project.
  • Adapter for electrical connection.