We had an amazing opportunity this past week: hands on participation in the release of endangered turtle hatchlings.
Thanks to the effort of local volunteers and a small nonprofit, Olive Ridley turtles nesting on beaches in Banderas Bay have a stunningly better chance at survival. Nestled between mega resorts outside of Puerto Vallarta, a glorified shack surrounded by chain-link fence makes a positive dent in the future of this species. Volunteers patrol the beaches at night for signes of turtles nesting. They bring the eggs back inside the fencing for safe incubation, away from predators or the innocent but harmful curiosity of people. This time of year, the nests hatch at a rate of approximately one per day. As the turtles emerge, they are placed in a large kiddie pool for safe-keeping until the sun sinks toward the horizon. Arriving about a half hour before sunset, we were treated to in
But really? This was the real treat. Watching with wonder as these tiny turtles made their way toward the crashing surf. Watching them tumble in an oncoming wave, flip back over, and immediately resume their progress toward the water. It’s hopeful, this steadfast determination to survive. Seeing joy and hope in the children’s faces as they disappeared into the bay and into their future.
It’s still only 1-2% of a given nest who are expected to reach maturity, but the numbers have improved dramatically in recent years. For us, it’s another opportunity gratefully lived to teach ourselves and our children how delicate this beautiful marble really is, and how tangibly we can each have a part in making it a better place.