Is a conservation group volunteer trip to Mexico right for me?
If you have a strong interest in working with marine life on land, and you want a more adventurous experience outdoors, this is the project for you. It’s one of our Team Trips, where we run a project on fixed dates so individuals from around the world can come together to form a group. This means that conservation volunteering with a group in Mexico lets you travel with the assurance of constant companionship. You’ll also have Projects Abroad staff with you every step of the way.
Our Conservation Team Trip in Mexico runs over fixed dates throughout the year. You choose the dates that best fit your schedule. Everything is organised for you from the moment you step off the plane in Guadalajara.
Besides having a tangible impact on ongoing conservation programmes, you’ll also gain practical experience. You’ll be able to learn a lot from our team, who are all conservation experts with years of experience in the field. This could help you if you’re planning on pursuing a career in conservation, or working on a dissertation for a major like biology or zoology.
You don’t need previous experience to join. You’ll be supervised by experts, and our staff are always available to provide guidance and advice.
What will I do on this project?
There’s always a lot to be done at Cuyutlan! Here are some of the activities you can get involved in:
- Search for and relocate turtle eggs and safeguard turtle nests
- Clean and maintain turtle tanks and care for sea turtles at the ecological centre
- Study the area’s biodiversity as part of important research initiatives
- Participate on beach clean-ups during the afternoons
- Support staff at a crocodile park
- Explore Mexico and learn more about the culture with your group
Your project will be divided into the following ways:
Help safeguard turtle nests
Coastal erosion is a big problem affecting turtles in Mexico. However, poachers have proven to be an even bigger problem. Once a turtle has laid eggs, poachers dig up the eggs to sell at local markets. To protect the nests, we do beach patrols everyday. When we find a nest, we move it to a safe location at the ecological centre we work with. This is a protected area, and the eggs will incubate in peace here. Once the eggs hatch, we release hatchlings into the ocean.
Care for turtles at the ecological centre
At the ecological centre, the government has given them permission to keep turtles, especially those who have been injured and cannot be released back into the wild. They need your help to look after all the turtles living here. Your group will help clean the tanks, and make sure turtles are fed and cared for. Each turtle is also weighed and measured once a month.
You will be required to monitor the presence and condition of wildlife in the Palo Verde estuary and El Chupadero lagoon. Here, you’ll:
- Maintain a register through direct observation and trap cameras for night surveillance
- Monitor and collect data on the state of nearby mangrove forests
- Grow mangrove seedlings in a greenhouse
- Reforest areas where the mangrove forest has been damaged or removed
Working with mangroves is especially important. Mangroves provide a habitat for marine life, they protect coastlines from soil erosion, and they help in the fight against climate change. We need your team’s help to plant as many as possible!
Community beach clean-ups
Reducing litter in our oceans is vital for keeping marine life safe. Rubbish, particularly non-biodegradable plastic, is hazardous. The sea turtles that nest here can get caught in the discarded plastic. Or, they may mistake it for food, which can hurt and even kill them.
Your group will work together to keep the beach as clean as possible. With this many hands involved, you’ll be able to remove a lot of rubbish from the environment.
Work with crocodiles
You will visit La Colorada Crocodile Centre, in Cofradia de Morelos, once a week. Here, you’ll help to clean and maintain the pens and the centre’s facilities. You will also be involved in taking biometric data and marking the crocodiles in nearby lagoons.
Finally, this project is also an opportunity for you to travel, learn, and grow in a safe environment with a group of volunteers. On the weekend, we’ll take you on a trip to a local beach resort to experience more of Mexico. Make the most of the opportunity to have some fun in the sun with your fellow volunteers.
Where will I work in Mexico?
During your time in Mexico, you’ll be based in Cuyutlan. With its black-sand beaches, gentle waves, and laid-back attitude, Cuyutlan feels a world away from everywhere.
You’ll spend most of your time working at El Tortugario Centro Ecológico de Cuyutlan, and working directly on the beach or in a nearby lagoon. You’ll also work at La Colorada Crocodile Centre once a week.
You'll be accommodated in a shared house close to both the town centre and the beach. The accommodation is close to the ecological centre, making for an easy commute to work. The house has several single and same-sex shared bedrooms, as well as a communal kitchen and a swimming pool. You’ll all pitch in to help with some basic maintenance and cleaning at the house.
What are the aims of this project?
The aim of this project is to bring like-minded people together to protect endangered sea turtles, and preserve the ecological well-being of the area.
The endangered turtles we work with can only lay their eggs on the beach. Unfortunately, these nesting areas are disappearing rapidly. This is because of climate change and increased human development. Poachers also take the eggs to sell at local markets. This is why we are working to protect as many of these nests as possible. We need the help of volunteers like you to do it.
We’re working with specific endangered turtle breeds in Mexico. These include green sea turtles, Olive Ridley sea turtles, and the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles. Statistics about the leatherback turtle are especially frightening. There are only 2,300 female adult Pacific Leatherback turtles left in the wild.
In addition to protecting turtles, we’re helping preserve the area’s ecological well-being. We monitor the wildlife population, and collect scientific data for scientists and the local government. We’re also working to address coastal erosion by growing and planting mangroves. Not only do mangroves protect coastlines from soil erosion, they also provide a habitat for marine life, and help in the fight against climate change.
Join our Conservation Team Trip in Mexico today, and work together to protect and preserve Mexico’s ecology.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food And Accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay in Cuyutlan. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Safety And Staff Support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Mexico
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