Posted by admin | 02.13.2018 | Sea Turtle Camp News
La Tortuga Feliz: Why Sea Turtle Camp travels to them in Costa Rica
I would like to introduce you to La Tortuga Feliz which is a big part of our Sea Turtle Costa Rica Adventure camp. Join us and you will a get to experience this unique place and have a real firsthand experience seeing what it’s like to be in the field as a marine biologist.
La Tortuga Feliz is a nonprofit organization, based in Costa Rica that aims to protect sea turtles with the help of volunteers. The participation of volunteers contributes to the improvement of the living conditions and education of the local inhabitants.
These local inhabitants guard/patrol the beach (Caribbean coast of Costa Rica) together with volunteers, collect the turtle eggs and bring these eggs to a hatchery which is manned by volunteers on a 24 hours basis. Volunteers also participate in the care for and study of recuperating adult turtles in the turtle rescue and rehabilitation centre.
By helping to generate an income for the locals, we hope to take away the necessity for them to poach the turtles and their eggs. The partnership between the locals and the volunteers helps create an ideal environment for the turtles to lay their eggs.
The project is situated on an isolated Caribbean beach in Costa Rica, 1 km north of the mouth of the Pacuare River. It has a total surface of 800 hectares. The beach is between Tortuguero National Park and the harbor of Limón. The area is not only unique in every way, but is also famous as being the nesting site for many Leatherback and Green Sea Turtles who come to lay their eggs here.
The late Paul Lepoutre had the idea to establish an ecotourism project for observing the sea turtles in this area. The ecotourism idea was transferred into a nonprofit volunteer project. The lease at the beach was organized and Paul started the building of the first cabins. The approach was rather unique and has the special attention and support of various organizations around the world, most notably the World Wildlife Fund.
La Tortuga Feliz is managed by Robert Adeva and his team of enthusiastic international volunteer managers. Since 2006 Robert was the operational manager and after Paul passed away Robert became the president of the foundation.
In support of getting closer to achieving its long term goals La Tortuga Feliz partnered and have fully handed over the administration of the turtle program to the Latin American Sea Turtles in 2011.
LAST is an international scientific network comprised of volunteer Country Co-ordinators. They seek to bring the best available science to legislation and policy; to education, training and outreach; to conservation and advocacy and to in situ research and population monitoring.
The collective vision is to realize a future where all inhabitants of the Wider Caribbean Region, human and sea turtle alike, can live together in balance; where healthy populations of sea turtles fulfil their ecological roles and economic potential; and critically natural habitats are sustainably managed.
January 2012 saw the opening of the turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. Volunteers will be involved with the behavioral study and care of rescued adult turtles as they recuperate in tanks with the guidance of an on-site vet.