LAST (Latin American Sea Turtles) is dedicated to protecting and conserving endangered sea turtles on the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts of Costa Rica.
LAST (Latin American Sea Turtles) Association (formerly WIDECAST-Costa Rica) is a Costa Rican group with 11 members and a directive board of 5, working together to make a change in sea turtle conservation. We are member of WIDECAST, an international scientific network with country coordinators resident in more than 40 countries and territories of the Wider Caribbean Region. Our field teams are integrated by local assistants with unparalleled experience in sea turtle research and conservation, people with vast experience working with volunteers and environmental enthusiasts developing creative strategies to avoid the extinction of these species.
In our effort to create environments where humans and sea turtles can live together in balance, we have developed different projects. The first, a group of conservation and research programs both on the Caribbean and Southern Pacific coasts of Costa Rica. The Caribbean program is located in Cahuita, Moin and Pacuare beaches, where we focus on the nesting of leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles, while the South Pacific project is located in Osa Peninsular, where we work in the recovery of mangrove forests and sea grass beds as well as the studies of the rare Eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles.
We have also generated a voluntourism project to create alternative livelihoods by training local partners on how to receive volunteers and tourism in community homestays. This increases strongly their local opportunities to have a better income and reduces the pressure over the turtles, their eggs and their critical habitats.
Besides that, we initiated projects to monitor reefs, train the park rangers in monitoring turtle nesting and educate hundreds of local students on the importance of marine and coastal conservation. Finally we also advise the government on marine environments, participate in several local, national and international networks and publish articles to improve the knowledge about the ocean and its life.
LAST protects nesting and foraging sea turtles and their eggs from illegal poaching thus increasing the survival ship of these endangered species. LAST works together with local communities and fishermen providing them with alternative livelihoods to poaching. Its research and educational program allows national and international students to work hands on with these amazing animals - raising awareness to their perilous situation and changing attitudes towards their conservation.