Who doesn’t love a baby? Puppies, kittens, bunnies, goats and absolutely turtles! Puerto Vallarta has been involved in turtle conservation for decades. Globally, Mexico is one of the most advanced countries in regards to environmental protection; they’ve done a wonderful job combining ecological issues with tourism. Considering how many people visit Puerto Vallarta on an annual basis, it makes sense to find a way to involve visitors; eco-tourism.
In Puerto Vallarta everyone gets involved; tour companies have been established with one priority in mind…saving the environment. Families, restaurants, beach resorts and hotels contribute to the sea turtle programs; they receive funding from the private sector as well as a huge boost from the government.
The Turtle Conservancy, operating all over the world, get lots of attention from the support they get from the likes of Ted Turner, Christopher Walken, Slash, Andy Samburg and a host of contributing comedians, Naomi Watts and many others, including politicians like Robert F Kennedy Jr. With the help of leading names such as these, a lot of attention can be drawn to the plight of sea turtles, which are classified endangered. Sea turtles deal with being caught in fishing nets and gear, as well as destruction of their habitat. Climate change is another issue causing major upheaval on breeding sites. They are massacred by the millions for their meat, shells and eggs. Oil spills, garbage and pesticides are enemies of the turtle, and boat activity is detrimental to their survival. Humans are their worst enemy and those who care are very sincere in turning this situation around.
Most tour companies get started in November and gear up for hatching and releasing from December to March. You’ll have a chance to visit makeshift camps on the beach and see baby turtles in their nests. Expect to be given lessons about the turtles so you will know the dos and don’ts. Guides are often volunteers, some of whom travel from very far to participate. Chances are you will be led by a highly educated biologist on sabbatical.
Releasing baby turtles into the sea is an emotional experience. Knowing how few actually make it once released gives one a feeling of attachment and optimism. We act as global nursemaids, getting them carefully to their natural marine environment. We highly recommend a night release program and also note this is an excellent activity for kids, including the very young, with adult supervision.
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Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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