Living on an Island with Sea Turtles: Conservation in Tortuguero


One night after dinner, I put on black clothes from head to toe. I met up with a guide and we headed along the beach in the pitch black night, with only the dim light from our headlamps to guide us. The sound of waves and frog calls surrounded us as we walked to our destination, which was a site with a couple benches with a roof above them in the midst of the forest. There, we sat and waited for a researcher to let us know when it was time to watch a mama sea turtle lay her eggs in the sand.

It was a beautiful experience! We watched as the sea turtle put about 150 eggs into a hole in the sand, covered up the hole and headed back into the ocean. It is likely that only one of the eggs she laid will survive to become an adult. The ocean is dangerous for a baby turtle! 

I even cried a bit when the mama slipped back into the waves. It is so powerful to see such a large creature work so hard and survive so much. With pollution and human activity, sea turtles are in a lot of danger right now all around the world.

What makes this environment special or different?:

Tortuguero is technically a sandbar--imagine a long, thin island sandwiched between a river and the ocean. The only way to get there is by boat or by plane. I opted for a boat.