Protect Sea Turtles

founded in 2003
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Coordinator | Marion
Coordinator | Marion
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Learn more about Guatemala's exotic wildlife
Boost your CV with international volunteer experience
Grow as a person by improving your intercultural skills
Make new friends from around the world while sharing with other international volunteers
Visit amazing places throughout a country that is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and historic sites
Help save sea turtles by patrolling beaches, securing sea turtle nests, and assisting with environmental education. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The NGO that host this volunteer project carries out various projects to protect the environment and biodiversity. It maintains a sea turtle project, raising caimans and iguanas, and a project to reforest mangrove forests. From time to time and as needed, the project will also rescue other animals, such as exotic birds or tortoises.

The Pacific coast of Guatemala stretches over 250 km between Mexico and El Salvador. There are primarily volcanic area and huge agricultural regions. Due to this fact, the region has lost much of its original biodiversity and natural environment. Nonetheless, the coastal area, with its river channels, lagoons, lakes and mangrove forests, still has a relatively intact ecosystem and is home to many marine animals and various species of birds.

The conservation programs were launched in 1993 to stopped the decline of the sea turtle population. Massive hunting, the loss of their natural habitat, the dangers of industrial deep-sea fishing put the sea turtles in danger. The eggs of the turtles are considered a delicacy and the excessive collection of the laid eggs has greatly damaged the sea turtle population. The eggs are sold in restaurants and on markets. They are also still popular here as aphrodisiacs. Although it is questionable with an annual population growth of 3%, whether Guatemala's population really needs it.

The protected area calls 3 hectares its own. It is located 2.5 kilometers west of the city of Hawaii and near the seaside resort of Monterrico. In general, this area is naturally characterized by mangroves, but also by rainforest and beautiful beaches. The climate in the region around Hawaii is pleasantly warm year-round and the rainy season is between June and September. It can be quite hot during the day, but there is always a nice breeze from the sea.

The sea turtle protection program has been very successful for years. Every year, several thousand eggs are collected and secured. The hatchery is the most successful in Guatemala. Research projects are also being conducted to learn more about these largely unexplored giant tortoises. After a breeding season of about 50 days, the small turtles are released under supervision in the sea.

There is also a caiman and iguana conservation project. After successful breeding, the young are released into freedom in the mangrove forests.

The mangrove forests, wetlands and lagoons of this area are the last natural areas on the coast of Guatemala and must be protected. Protection programs also include monitoring and stopping the illegal logging of mangrove forests and reforestation efforts, as well as developing environmental education programs.

Typical day

The volunteer project in the Natural Park has two main objectives: to protect the flora and fauna and to create additional sources of income for the local population in order to improve their quality of life.

In addition to various educational projects, development projects have been carried out, such as the construction of toilets and wells. In addition, courses in eco-tourism and the preparation of fish products are offered. Volunteers have actively supported these projects in the past.

The volunteers in Guatemala support various projects:

1. Protection of turtles (collecting eggs and hatchery)
2. Repair and build
3. Environmental education
4. Reforestation of mangrove forests
5. Rearing caimans and iguanas
6. Community project

Although the turtle laytime is between June and November, and this is certainly the most labor-intensive and amazing period, volunteers are needed throughout the year to support the multitude of projects. The main season for the reforestation project is from December to February. For those interested in education programs, we point out that the school year in Guatemala is from January to November.

In addition to volunteers from all disciplines, there is always a particularly strong need for participants with knowledge of marine biology, ecology or experience in environmental protection or education.

Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.

We would like to point out that nature is unpredictable, and we cannot guarantee the number of sea turtles for a certain period of participation.

Free-time activities

In your spare time, there are many different activities to choose from, such as hiking around the center, getting your tan on at the beaches, or swimming in the ocean. There are also bars and internet cafes in the nearby town of Monterrico.

For weekend trips or for the time after your volunteer work program we recommend the following things to do:

  1. Visit to the historic and picturesque city of Antigua
  2. Handicraft markets from indigenous people
  3. Lake Atitlan
  4. Archeological sites (e.g. Park of Copan)
  5. Tour to National Parks and and Volcano
  6. Thermal baths of Kawilal
  7. Tradicional market of Chichicastenango
  8. Visit to museums of indigenous cultures like the Maya
  9. Bird watching tours
  10. Outdoor sports like climbing, hiking, canopy, biking, 4x4 tours, etc.
  11. Visits to Chocolate and Coffe productions sites
  12. Tikal, the biggest Maya ruins

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level) or English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV and Volunteer Questionnaire
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

What's Included

Services by South America Inside
  1. Accommodation in volunteer house
  2. Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  3. Consultation from our experienced staff
  4. Translation of application profile
  5. Volunteer work placement
  6. Advice regarding travel insurance
  7. Advice on local travels
  8. Orientation session upon arrival
  9. Orientation kit
  10. Country handbook
  11. Local support
  12. 24/7 Emergency Number
  13. Certificate of Participation

During this project, volunteers will live in a dorm-style volunteer houses. The houses has a fully equipped kitchen and modern bathroom. It also has a living area with hammocks where volunteers can relax. Staying at the house is a wonderful way to meet new people from all over the world.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. We assist you to find cheap flights to Guatemala.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Guatemala provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Guatemala you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guatemala.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningfull volunteer project.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$299 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

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Protect Sea Turtles

Help save sea turtles by patrolling beaches, securing sea turtle nests, and assisting with environmental education.


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