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Love Volunteers

Turtle Conservation Helper

Monterrico, Guatemala show on map

Help with the research and conservation of turtles and their nests on the Pacific coast.

The program


This program plays an essential role in conserving the sea turtle population on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast, which through decades of indiscriminate human plundering, has been drastically reduced in number to a point where it is now on the endangered species list. Sadly, without the help of widespread conservation efforts, including environmental, research and re-education programs, the great sea turtle could be lost forever. Working with several of the main species of sea turtles to inhabit the Pacific, the main focus of this project is to protect and nurture the clutches of eggs laid across vital beach nesting grounds. Volunteers will provide support to local biologists and staff on this dedicated sea turtle program, helping on any number of tasks required to help these amazing creatures. Along with hands on work assisting turtles who may be injured or in need of help, volunteers will also play a huge role in the hatchery. There are many tasks associated with this work and volunteer help is greatly needed and appreciated. The turtle season runs from June – December, and shuts down from mid December – early January. Volunteers can still assist at other times, however this work will be with iguana and alligators.

Goals of this Project:

  • To save the sea turtle from extinction
  • Work on projects to improve the environment for nests and to make the hatchlings journey to the Pacific Ocean safer
  • Research these wonderful creatures so a greater understanding of how to save them can be gained
  • Enable inter-cultural exchange between international volunteers and locals.
How you can help

Volunteers will find this program to be an amazing experience and will learn a huge amount about sea turtles, conservation programs and about Guatemalan people and culture. This program is dedicated to the preservation of these magnificent creatures and requires volunteers who love the marine environment, working outdoors and with animals. The work may at times be dirty, so be prepared to get stuck in!  A medium level of Spanish language is required to participate in this program.  Lessons may be obtained in Guatemala before undertaking this program if required. This is a wonderful program that has a direct impact on the safety of sea turtle populations on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Like many conservation programs, funds are greatly lacking, and a willing volunteer labor force is essential to its success. By volunteering their time, participants on this program and making a direct and tangible difference to the sea turtle population and truly play their part in this endangered species protection.

Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:

  • Collecting and reburying eggs in safer locations
  • Relocating nests to the hatchery
  • Counting eggs and turtles
  • Beach clean-ups
  • Preparing the turtles for release and releasing them
  • General maintenance of the hatchery and museum
  • Feeding and cleaning the iguana and alligator areas.

Typical day

A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:

7:00am Breakfast in the communal area

8:15am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

8:30am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START

A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.

4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END

4:00pm Debrief with project supervisor

Evenings Free time to simply relax, hang out with your fellow volunteers, have dinner together, then relax some more!

Details on Arrival

This project is available year-round and programs typically start every 1st and 3rd SUNDAY of each month. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

Free-time activities

Antigua Guatemala is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. Antigua Guatemala means "Ancient Guatemala" and was the third capital of Guatemala. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua is a growing tourist destination in Guatemala as it is close to Guatemala City but is much calmer and safer, with more tourist oriented activities. Central Park (Parque Central) is the heart of the city and is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. It is also possible to take buses from Antigua to many parts of Guatemala, many travel agencies offer shuttles to the main touristic places: Monterrico beach, Atitlan Lake, Coban, Lanquin (Semuc Champey), Tikal or even Copan in Honduras.
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

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 English (basic level)
Required Documents
Emergency Contact
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Love Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Love Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Love Volunteers
  • Dedicated pre-departure support
  • Exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner! 
  • Airport pick-up on arrival 
  • Orientation & full safety briefing on arrival
  • Accommodation (as specified above)
  • Food & Meals (as specified above)
  • 24/7 local support network 
  • Project placement & onsite supervision
  • Lifetime LV Alumni Membership
  • The opportunity to make a REAL difference!
  • Certificate of Completion (on request)
  • Registration Fee included
Airport Pickup at La Aurora International Airport

Upon your arrival in Guatemala, you will collected at the airport (or bus station) by a member of the local project team and taken to your accommodation. Here you will be welcomed by your host family and settled into your new surroundings. 

On Monday morning you will be collected and taken to the local team offices where you will receive a full project and safety orientation. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your projects site where you will be introduced to the onsite project team, ready to start work. Easy!

  • Project Arrival Day: SUNDAY
  • Project Departure Day: SATURDAY
  • Arrival Airport: La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala (Code: GUA)

Accommodation

The project is based in the beautiful seaside village of Monterrico on the Pacific Coast with volunteer accommodation provided onsite within the communal volunteer house located just a few meters from the beach, and surrounded by tropical forest filled with monkeys and other exotic animals. Whilst the accommodation is basic, with shared dorm-style mixed gender rooms, three delicious home-cooked meals are served each day and there is always plenty of interaction with other volunteer’s onsite. This is a fun and relaxed environment set in a tropical paradise!

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
Breakfast and dinner will be provided throughout the placement, including weekends. Guatemalan food typically centers on the key ingredients of corn, chillies and beans. A traditional dish is tamale which consists of a starchy corn-based dough wrapped in a leaf and steamed. The sweets made in Guatemala are well known, containing condensed milk, nuts, fruit and honey, they are considered a delicacy. Volunteers in Guatemala have the opportunity to savor these and other delights in the homes of ordinary local people famed for their friendly dispositions.
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.
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.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Guatemala you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guatemala.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,018.00
4 weeks
$1,478.00
5 weeks
$1,668.00
6 weeks
$1,858.00
7 weeks
$2,048.00
8 weeks
$2,238.00
9 weeks
$2,418.00
10 weeks
$2,598.00
11 weeks
$2,758.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,918.00
Average fees
$376.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Monterrico/Guatemala between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Love Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Guatemala.
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 Love Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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