Patrolling for Sea Turtles

For the past several days we have been on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica working with a local group to help save the endangered sea turtle nesting habitat! Each night, we patrolled for several hours with local guides, looking for nesting turtles. With only the stars as our light, we walked the beach. Last night, a complete downpour shortened our nightly vigil, but what an adventure it was trekking through the tropical rain to our dry and warm beds at the lodge!

The other day, one of our hosts Jerry, showed us all of the amazing fruits and plants growing on and around the property, as well as showing us iguanas and sloths! One afternoon, we even swam in a lagoon, howled back at calling howler monkeys, and spent some time cleaning the beach by picking up the plastic trash which had washed ashore.

Perhaps our greatest surprise came on our first night in Parismina, when one of our hosts, Jason, caught a caiman (South American alligator) to remove from his fish pond and relocate later. Once the mouth was tied shut, we all took turns holding it like a big dog! And we saw turtles!! We saw mother turtles coming to the beach to “scout” areas to lay eggs during our night patrols, and got incredibly lucky to see rare Hawksbill turtle babies hatch at the hatchery and be released into the ocean!

It had been a truly “wild” few days in the small beach community of Parismina, and we are all looking forward to our final celebration feast in San Jose before returning home!