Our Central American partners have powerful lessons to teach us. They teach us about collaboration and resilience in the face of adversity. EcoViva connects those leaders and lessons from El Salvador with allies in the U.S. Last fall, we connected a marine conservation student, Emily Parker, with community members who lead turtle conservation in the region of Isla Montecristo. Read below to hear more about her experience:
My incredible journey in El Salvador started in the Isla Montecristo, a small-town way off the beaten path. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to meet some of the most incredible people I have ever met. The community of Isla Montecristo has been protecting sea turtle eggs and providing income to local egg collectors, known as tortugueros, for over ten years. I spoke to local tortugueros to gain their insights, better understand the effects the hatchery program has had and how sustainable the program will be in the future.
While interviewing, filming and participating in sea turtle egg collection and hatchling releases in El Salvador, I realized how special this community is. When I learned that this hatchery had lost one of its funding sources to open this nesting season, I was so disappointed.
Despite this news, the community has already decided to open their hatchery on volunteer work alone. But without funding, hundreds of families and thousands of turtle hatchlings are at risk. These community members have put in so much time, effort, care and love into this project, and they are so deserving of support.
Watch her documentary, “Hatching A Plan: The Story of Sea Turtle Conservation in El Salvador” below to learn about grassroots sea turtle conservation program in Isla Montecristo.
You can help us protect this invaluable species and the families that depend on them. Emily’s goal is to raise $10,000, which will protect 25,000 sea turtle hatchlings and support the opening of the sea turtle hatchery in Isla Montecristo, in time for nesting season.
You can also support the campaign by:
- $5 – Adopt a Hatchling: You will receive a personal thank you message from the organizers
- $20 – Adopt a Sea Turtle Egg Clutch: your name will be written on the tag marking the clutch of eggs and you will receive a photo of your clutch
- $50 – Adopt a Mama Turtle: You will receive a photo of a nesting sea turtle and a hand-written thank you card
- $100 – Sponsor a Hatchling Release: You will receive a personalized video of the release that you sponsored
- $150 – Sponsor a Tortuguero – You and the tortuguero that you have sponsored will receive a campaign t-shirt
Together we can raise awareness about this inspiring community and protect sea turtles for generations to come.
Interested in visiting sea turtle hatcheries in El Salvador? Sign-up for a Community Empowerment Tour, our next one is in October.