Guatemala Sea Turtle Conservation

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1. In Brief

Guatemala is an entrancing country of extremes – with its spectacular active volcanoes, dusky and diverse forests and complex historical and cultural heritage; it is an ideal gap year or year out destination. It is a place steeped in the mystique of the indigenous people that have existed here for millions of years, and its flora and fauna are as wild and untamed as its complicated history. Its forests and beaches contain some of the most intriguing wildlife found on earth, and it is known to be a place of astounding biodiversity. Its animal inhabitants include the charming sea turtles that glide through the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, and nest on Guatemala's beaches as they have done since the dawn of time. However their population numbers are tragically falling due to threats inflicted by humans, particularly as a result of the increased demand on the illegal black market. Join this incredible project and contribute to the fight to protect these charismatic creatures.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore this enchanting Central American location
  • Contribute to the fight to protect the charismatic sea turtle
  • Make lifelong friends

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years

FAST FACTS

Location Guatemala
Activities Monitoring & patrolling beaches
Conducting behavioural observation on turtles feeding
Assist nest hatching
Collecting a variety of data on the beach
Preparing materials for school education programme
Transport Volunteers must make their own way to the project site
Accommodation Shared volunteer accommodation

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country

Accommodation
Local orientation and training 
Airport pick-up
Project equipment & materials
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

PADI DIVE TRAINING

On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!

Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.

Find out more about PADI qualifications.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

Tragically, the fate of the sea turtle hangs in the balance in Guatemala, due to the ever increasing demand on the global market for eggs and hatchlings. Individuals from local communities plunder the precious eggs of the turtles when they come ashore to make their nests, in order to sell them on illegally. Because the nesting habits of these gentle reptiles are so specific, this poaching of the eggs and hatchlings causes tremendous and almost irreparable damage to the natural populations.

This project seeks to prevent further population decline from occurring, and to reverse the damage that is already been done. As well as aiding in the conservation of the magnificent sea turtles, other species such as caimans and iguanas are also protected within the programme.

Working towards sustainable conservation

Your environmental education and awareness-raising work will focus on encouraging indigenous people away from harmful practices such as harvesting turtles, and encourage marginalised communities to recognise that rational use of these resources are key to their preservation for the future. This truly is an incredible chance to make a difference to the protection of seriously endangered wildlife, whilst having an unforgettable experience and making friends for life.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The work on the project is multifaceted, combining a programme of practical conservation work with an extensive sustainable development agenda. The work involves;

  • monitoring and patrolling beaches
  • conducting behavioural observation on turtles feeding
  • assist nest hatching
  • collecting a variety of data on the beach
  • preparing materials for school education programme

If this is your first time doing conservation work, don't worry! It will only take a short while for you to feel totally at home on camp and confident with the science work. Although the work is intense you'll find that living in such a beautiful and inaccessible environment alongside friends who share your passion for conservation will be the experience of a lifetime!

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have also volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Upon arrival into Guatemala City Airport on the Monday, volunteers will be picked up by a local Frontier representative and transported to the project site.  Please arrive on the Monday.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Whilst you are volunteering on this valuable project, you will be staying in clean, comfortable, shared accommodation with your fellow volunteers. You will be in dormitories with bunk beds, and will have access to a clean, simple bathroom with flushing toilet, and a communal kitchen.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Whilst staying on the project, all meals will be provided. This is a great chance to taste some of the Guatemalan staples of hand-made corn tortillas, black beans and eggs, as well as vegetables, meats and fruits.  

4. The reviews

In the Name of Turtles!  | 8 Jul 2012
I'm Gabriele Consonni from Italy and I've been volunteering with Frontier on the Sea Turt...

Read more


Wow!  | 13 May 2010
Wow!! Snorkelling with turtles was so surreal. Seeing them in the wild is something I never thoug...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your spare time you can explore the local area and try some of the fantastic adventure activities that are available in Guatemala. These include hang-gliding, bungee jumping, diving, and horse trekking amongst many others. Alternatively, you might like to go on a guided trek through the jungle, or go shopping for unusual arts and crafts in the nearby towns. There are so many things to do that you certainly won’t have any trouble filling your time off!

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

2 weeks US$1,295

Extra week US$395

DEPARTURE DATES

Weekly, please aim to arrive on the Monday.

DURATION

From 2 weeks

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • Project equipment & materials
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Guatemala City (GUA)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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