Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter

Volunteer to help us conserve one of the most endangered sea turtle populations on the planet.

About the Program

ICAPO is a hawksbill turtle conservation nonprofit collaborating with a network of like-minded organizations in the Pacific coastal region of the Americas. Here, hawksbills are considered to be one of the most endangered sea turtle populations in the world.
This volunteer program is initiated with the aim to extend the unique opportunity of volunteers participating in the protection of hawksbill turtles. The projects objective is to examine the population dynamics of the hawksbill turtle on the most important hawksbill nesting beaches of the eastern Pacific coast. This unique volunteer program is one of the best opportunities to participate in a small-scale based conservation project. We strongly believe that communities are fundamental to the long-term conservation of sea turtles. By working closely with local community members who depend economically on the conservation of turtles, we harness their knowledge and maximize conservation efforts. The sea turtle monitoring program has been running since 2008. ICAPOs staff members have coordinated more than eight international volunteering programs in various Latin American countries, counting for a total of more than 15 years’ worth of experience.

During the first days of your stay, you will receive a full training in biology of sea turtles and field methodology. We are looking for people who are self-motivated, conservation-minded, and who are able to get along well with others. A positive and hard-working attitude and a love for the outdoors are a must. 

Work time range is about 8 hours day but not every day and they could be in the morning or at night. Depend on the period of the season as our activities are changing every month. 

Volunteer Activities

-          Beach patrols to encounter, measure and tag nesting hawksbill turtles.

-          Egg collection for relocation to project hatcheries.

-          Monitoring of project hatcheries: Nest relocation, hatchling release and post-hatching nest excavations.

-          Maintain construction and infrastructure of site.

-          Early morning boat patrols of the estuary to document hawksbill nesting.

-          Community Interaction (optional): English lessons, environmental education, Art programs, local tours.

Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter Volunteer station Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter volunteers going to the nesting turtle beach La Pirraya village Night patrol with volunteers Rodeo capture activity Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter Volunteer Training Course Sea Turtle Conservation Supporter

Suitable for


Typical day

Usual working days are Monday - Saturday for 8 hours and involve the following tasks.

    • Patrolling beaches
    • Hawksbill egg collection
    • Monitoring of hatcheries
    • Maintaining construction and infrastructure
    • Morning boat patrols
    • Interacting with the community which is optional

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (basic level)
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, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Any questions? Just ask. We at ICAPO are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

Our project station is located in a very small fishermen community. It is an island in the core zone of Bahia de Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve. It is a Ramsar site as well and the biodiversity is impressive. Mangroves, pristine channels with lots of species of birds, reptiles, molluscs and crustaceans. Have a walk and admire the lovely landscape formed by the estuary and the surrounding nature is a must. Birding, hiking the tropical dry forest, climb an active volcano like Chaparrastique, not too far from our location, horseback riding or practice artisanal fishery with local people are some spare time activities. Otherwise a good option is to just relax and dream the day away in a hammock.

Water Sports


What's included?
  • Pre-departure orientation (information package)
  • Welcome meeting and arrival orientation at the project office
  • Three full meals a day 
  • Housing (a safe and comfortable volunteer house) 
  • In-country orientation/Training (turtle biology and conservation) by experienced staff members 
  • In-country team & 24 hour emergency support 
  • Registration fee
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

We also have travel packages available. This may be good option for you to arrive safe and quick at the project site.
It includes:

  • Airport Pickup
  • Delivery from hotel/airport to the project site*.
  • Pickup from project site on last day and transport to the hotel/airport**.
  • Transport to the airport the following day**.

* Depend on the arrival flight.
** Depend on the flight departure.

For more information you can contact us.


  • Private and shared rooms
  • Independent cabins in our project field station
  • It includes mosquito net, bed sheets and fan

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Camping
Food & Beverages

  • Three full meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) included
  • Pure water/coffee/tea included
  • Vegetarian menu available

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in La Pirraya/El Salvador between 1 week and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. ICAPO will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 ICAPO during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in El Salvador

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for El Salvador. Please check the visa regulations for El Salvador.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in El Salvador.

What's next?

The nearest airport is El Salvador International (SAL) in San Salvador. We assist you to find cheap flights to El Salvador.
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 El Salvador provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in El Salvador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for El Salvador.
Depart. Usulután, munic. San Dionisio, Cantón Isla San Sebastián, , La Pirraya, El Salvador

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