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How To Hold And Release Baby Sea Turtles In Mexico

Posted by Emily Cummings on 10/13/17 1:21 PM

ILP Mexico Volunteer

Anyone else wanna fulfill their lifelong dream and help cutie little turtles make it to the ocean? Our ILP Mexico volunteers are lucky lucky because they can cross this off their bucket lists, no problem. 

Dreamy beaches, the best tacos, jungle adventures … plus baby sea turtles? Do it all on a semester living abroad in Mexico — come fill out an application and snag your spot! 

Anyone who is teaching English in Mexico for semester with ILP can come release actual baby sea turtles in the ocean which might be one of the coolest things ever. Ummm, is this real life? We’ve talked to Kelsie G. who was a Head Teacher in Mexico over the summer to tell us all about how cool this whole experience is ( and how to do it yourself): 

*A big thanks to Kelsie and her ILP group for all of these amazing pictures!

Tell us about the cutie sea turtles!! 

“They gave you a coconut shell to hold the baby sea turtles in because they don't want you to touch it, and they drop the ‘lil thing in there and it's so surprisingly tiny! And blue! I could have just watched them forever…It was just a magical experience.” 

Volunteer in Mexico with ILP

How’d you release them?

“When I had the sea turtle in my coconut shell I wanted to run away and keep him forever but I didn't want to be THAT person. I decided to do the right thing. So after staring at my little Michael forever (my friend named hers Dwight), we decided it was time to let them go find their life in the ocean. There was a little fence around the part of the beach where we were to release them so nobody stepped on the little things. So we knelt down behind the line and gently poured out our turtles onto the sand. And we watched. None of them made a straight line to the ocean. Some of them did complete circles or just went back and forth creating beautiful patterns in the sand. 

“However, crabs were present. And crabs eat baby sea turtles. So while we were watching our babies try and make it to the ocean we saw the crabs peek out of their holes and eye the turtles. There was a couple times where the crabs would go after one of our babies and we all freaked. The yelling and screaming that was coming from the 10 of us girls was insane, people were probably thinking someone was dying. 

"But all of our baby sea turtles made it to the ocean! I had a moment when I was watching them flop towards the water where I had the thought, ‘this little creature will be on this earth longer than me.’ It was an incredible opportunity to witness it and such an honor to help these beautiful creatures start their lives."

ILP Mexico

Teach English with ILP

Where did you go? 

Kelsie and her ILP group were taking a vacation in Puerto Escondido and found out about the sea turtle release at their hostel — “We just hailed a taxi and told them to take us to the Playa Bacocho beach and he knew exactly where to go. It was just a couple minutes away by cab.” 

**If you do a quick Google search, it turns out you can do this in places like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Playa Del Carmen and along the Oaxaca coast while vacationing in Mexico… but we love Puerto Escondido because it’s a volunteer favorite (that beach is unreal) and is lots less touristy, less expensive and less crowded than other places might be. 

Teaching English Abroad with International Language Programs

How much did it cost?

“Don't be suckered in to paying a lot of money for it. For our experience it was only 50 pesos, so about $2.50 USD.”  

… Less than $3 for a total bucket list adventure? Mexico, you’ve got to be joking.

However...prices do rise during more popular times. But even at the most you shouldn't pay more than $20-$30. At. The. Most.

ILP Mexico Volunteer
The sea turtles hatch in late July  to early December, which means it’s perfect timing for all the Summer and Fall groups that head over to Mexico (just a head’s up, a summer semester with International Language Programs (or ILP)  fits in with most school schedules, so you can take your summer break as a BYU volunteer and not even need to miss any school to come live in Mexico!) 

Find more about this rad country (and what life is like there as an ILP volunteer) right here:

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Topics: Mexico, Hidden Gems

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

We've gathered our tips here for making your semester abroad a successful one.

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