Happy April to all you Akazulers out there!
We are now in the down time after the 2011 season, not much turtle action at the moment but we are still just as busy making preparations for the upcoming turtle season and disseminating the last. There certainly is no rest for the wicked. Since the last post in February there is plenty of interesting and exciting news to report from the Akazul camp so keep reading for the latest...
32nd International Sea Turtle Symposium 2012, Huatulco, Mexico
This year, Sarah, Scott and Ever represented Akazul at the annual sea turtle symposium- always a great occasion and an opportunity to get up to speed with what’s what and who’s who on the international sea turtle conservation and research scene. Most importantly, it gives grass-roots projects, like ours, the chance to show the rest of the world what it is we do and the challenges we face whilst trying to conserve sea turtles. Akazul displayed three posters to represent significant areas of our work so far; the first “Mass Stranding Event of Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast”, the second “Saving Sea Turtles through Football” and the third “A Step in the Right Direction: Redefining Community-Based Sea Turtle Conservation in Guatemala”. The posters were all well received and we thank the sea turtle community for all its positive feedback.
Ever, Sarah & Scott at the symposium
ISTS Grass-roots award
A real shock came at the end of the symposium – Akazul received a very special award which we share with the amazing community of La Barrona. We were voted “Best Grass-roots Project” (in the world- no less!) by the ISTS. We can’t tell you how much this means to us, after years of perseverance trying to stay involved with Guatemala and a lot of struggling, not to mention unbelievable situations, in adverse conditions, which we have been faced with since embarking on our first official year of the project. Sarah, Scott and I have all agreed that we should write a book about it all someday. So, as I mentioned previously, this is an achievement that we share with the community of La Barrona because without such an amazing and receptive group of people none of this would have happened.
Scott & Ever receiving the award
One of our aims since day one was to try and increase the profile of sea turtle conservation in Guatemala and get current research published so there will finally be some reference material out there. Over the last month or so we have had two pieces published – click on the links below to read:
Sarah's sea turtle conservation article published in La Cuadra
Akazul's hawksbill paper in MTN
2012 Turtle Season
The time is fast approaching again when we will be looking for hardworking volunteers who aren’t shy of a challenge to come and join us in La Barrona for the sea turtle season. This year we are aiming to push the Sea Turtle Stewardship Program to the next level and get the team of local volunteers to tag more turtles than last year and get more donations. It is a great time to be involved in a relatively new project which genuinely works with and involves the local community. We will officially kick off the 2012 season on July 1st with the inauguration of the hatchery and hope to combine it with the unveiling of the Sea Turtle Education Centre (funded by SWOT). Please get in touch if you are keen to learn about this season’s volunteering opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org
That's the latest from Feb/March, come back soon and thanks for your support!