Monday, 30 November 2009

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are needed for 2010 turtle season

It's that time of year again... the olive ridley turtles will soon be arriving on Guatemalan beaches to lay their eggs. Proyecto Parlama are looking for volunteers to help out with sea turtle conservation activities from July to December.

Due to the unusual situation in Guatemala, the main part of Proyecto Parlama's work is helping to the government to enforce the "donation" system. Egg poaching is not banned, but the law requires poachers to hand over 12 eggs from each nest they find to their local hatchery. Proyecto Parlama have volunteer opportunities at 2 of the 25hatcheries located on Guatemala's 250 km of Pacific coast; La Barrona & El Rosario.

Typical duties include;
- collecting and burying egg donations
- recording nest temperatures (6am, 12pm, & 6pm)
- hatchery maintenence
- measuring and releasing hatchlings
- excavating and recording hatching success of hatched nests
- daily sea turtle track counts (conducted at dawn)
- night patrols (looking for nesting turtles & collecting donations off the beach)
- recording morphometric data on nesting females
- recording stranded sea turtles
- monitoring fishing activity
- community activities
- environmental education classes with local children

Other opportunities:
Very little work has been done on surveying the flora and fauna within the mangrove systems that are running parallel to the coast, and we would be very supportive of individuals wishing to carry out baseline survey work. Please get in touch for more details.
At our partner site in Hawaii there are presently opportunities in carrying out bird surveys in the mangroves, please contact us for more details.

Participation cost
Unfortunately we are unable to offer any financial support to volunteers, but we do not charge any administration or participation fee. Volunteers are expected to fund their own travel and living expenses whilst working on the project. We will however make all arrangements for the volunteer’s homestay with approved families in the local community and we will endeavour to meet all individual’s requests. We take no fee for this service and all monies go directly to the host family.
A typical homestay provides room and board (3 meals a day) for the price of approximately 80 Quetzales a day (around 10 US $ per day).

Working with Project Parlama

What is it like?
We guarantee that working with PP will be a challenging and rewarding experience. It is a three way partnership between the volunteer, project and community – and all are of equal importance. It is a unique opportunity to experience the rustic culture of Guatemala’s Pacific coast whilst contributing to conservation. We really value our volunteers because without them the important conservation work would not be possible.

What is expected?
We are by no means slave drivers, but volunteers are expected to carry out a minimum amount of work per day as these duties are the backbone of the project, and therefore we expect volunteers to have a strong work ethic. Volunteers should embark on their experience with an open mind and show respect to the culture and customs of the local community. Maintaining good relations with the community is integral to the future success of the project and will also enhance the volunteer’s cultural experience.

What is provided?
All equipment needed to carry out project duties is supplied by PP and training will be provided by a competent team member. We strongly encourage volunteers to initiate new ventures within the project, such as additional research or community activities, and we will provide support to the best of our ability. PP are strongly committed to providing both volunteers and community members with the scientific support to carry out all aspects of sea turtle conservation and research through flexible and holistic training methods. Volunteer safety and welfare is of paramount and we will not assign tasks that we feel compromise this.


Rachel (Project staff, UK):
Luke (Project staff, UK & Guatemala)

We look forward to hearing from you!

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