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Join an active trip with SEE Turtles and researchers from Fauna and Flora International (FFI) which participates in research of endangered Eastern Pacific Hawksbill turtles.
As part of the program, you will patrol nesting beaches, explore the estuary, discover mangroves and pass through the forest on foot, horseback and kayak.
This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a volunteer vacation in a remote area of Nicaragua. After a week of helping critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles, you’ll explore a gorgeous mangrove sanctuary. You’ll work hands-on with local conservationists to study and learn how to protect these sea turtles.
Photo Credit: Brad Nahill
We'll pick you up at Sandino International Airport near Managua and take you to a simple guesthouse in a safe part of the city.
Dinner at the guesthouse is included.
After breakfast, hop on our private van and head to the northwest corner of the country to the Padre Ramos Estuary (5 hour drive), home to one of the most important hawksbill turtle nesting beaches in America's. Along the way, you'll stop in the historic colonial town of Leon for lunch.
After lunch, complete the drive to Padre Ramos and arrive in time for an orientation and a swim in the beautiful estuary to cool off. That evening, head out to the beach to look for hawksbills and olive ridley sea turtles. You'll be staying at the Fauna & Flora Nicaragua research station, a house on the estuary, where you will share a room with up to 3 people (of the same sex). Private rooms are available for couples.
This morning, head out into the estuary to capture and study juvenile hawksbills and then release them. Later, you’ll meet with local researchers to learn about the project and be trained how to do the data collection.
Then visit to one of the hawksbill hatcheries; with luck there will be some hatchlings to release to the water. That evening, you will head out with researchers to patrol one of the nesting beaches around the estuary.
A local guide will take you out for an optional kayaking tour this morning around the estuary to look for birds, flying fish, and turtle heads popping up out of the water (* tour not included in trip price).
After lunch, you’ll attend a presentation on mangroves and participate in a reforestation project. That evening, you’ll head out again to patrol the beaches and study the hawksbills.
Learn about the threats facing sea turtles on this day. First, you’ll see a presentation about how plastic affects turtles and a workshop on how to recycle plastic bags into souvenirs.
Later, you’ll participate in a beach clean-up. Tonight’s turtle patrol will be optional, to allow a break for those who need it.
In the morning, our partners will organize a community volunteer activity (specific activity TBD depending on the current needs of the community).
The afternoon will be free to explore, swim, or relax and get ready to head home. Following a final celebratory dinner, head out for your final night patrol to look for hawksbills.
On your final morning in Padre Ramos, you'll head out to learn fishing from a local fisherman.
After lunch, board the van to head back to Managua, staying at the guesthouse. If time allows, you'll take a driving tour of the capital.
Return home with a new appreciation for the hard work of conservation and to share your experiences.
|Population||6,071,045 (2012 census)|
|Climate(s)||Equatorial, Monsoon, Tropical savanna|
|Major Airport(s):||Managua International Airport (MGA)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Agriculture, Tourism|
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Length of Trip: 2 weeks