Partner Organizations

Collaborations with numerous organizations are what make ICAPO unique and strong. Our dynamic and ever-adapting collaborations with organizations leads to cases where ICAPO plays a supporting role in the design, oversight and fund-raising of projects, instances where ICAPO is directly in charge of the implementation of conservation projects, and occasions where ICAPO simply represents a regional link for organizations to share their information on hawksbill turtles.


Akazul: Community and Conservation Ecology

Akazul is a British NGO registered in the year 2010. Based along the eastern Pacific coast of Guatemala, on the border with El Salvador, Akazul manages a hatchery project focused for the conservation of sea turtles. Project activities include montirong the nesting beach, research, education and training. These activities are designed to involve the community, preserve important coastal hábitats and species, and promote sustainable use of natural resources on which they depend. Our wide range of community projects seek to balance human and environmental needs and ensure a more sustainable and prosperous future for both. Akazul also works at the national level with government and non-governmental organizations to implement and strengthen the national strategy for the conservation of sea turtles.



Asociación de Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS)

ARCAS is a non-profit Guatemalan NGO formed in 1989 by a group of Guatemalan citizens who became concerned as they saw their precious natural heritage – especially their wildlife – rapidly disappearing before their eyes. ARCAS was originally created for a very specific and urgent purpose: to build a rescue center to care for and rehabilitate wild animals that were being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government. Since its establishment, the ARCAS Rescue Center has grown into one of the largest and most complex rescue centers in the world, receiving between 300 and 600 animals of more than 40 species per year.



Centro Intercultural de Estudios de Desiertos y Océanos (CEDO)

The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) is a private non-profit organization that began operations in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico in 1980. CEDO’s mission is to empower communities in the coastal region of the northern Gulf of California with the knowledge and tools to create sustainable livelihoods that act in harmony with the surrounding natural and cultural environment. To meet its objectives, CEDO has developed three programs: Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Conservation Program; Coastal Conservation Program; Environmental Education Program. CEDO also operates a field station, which is used by researchers and academic groups, and a Visitors Center with exhibits on the flora and fauna of the region, as well as a Gift Shop. CEDO also conducts field trips and provides lecutres to a variety of audiences.


Unidad Sinaloa

CIIDIR-IPN Sinaloa Wildlife Protection and Conservation Program

The Wildlife Protection and Conservation Program is part of the Department of Environment of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Integrated Regional Development in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico (SINALOA CIIDIR-IPN), which is part of the National Polytechnic Institute. The Program works on issues of conservation medicine, marine ecology, wildlife protection and conservation, disease diagnosis and environmental education. Program activities began on May 31, 2005. The program’s mission is to conduct basic and applied research for the protection and conservation of sea turtles and other wildlife species, as well as to provide capacity training of individuals and contribute to high-level integrated and sustainable development of natural resources of the region.



Centro de Investigación para el Manejo Ambiental y el Desarrollo (CIMAD)

CIMAD is a Colombian non-profit NGO created in 2003. Its mission is the promotion, dissemination and exchange of knowledge resulting from scientific and technological research aimed at social participation with management of natural resources. CIMAD’s work focuses on the planning and implementation of projects with local communities, government agencies, NGOs and national and foreign academic institutions, to promote the appropriate use of biodiversity and its conservation to achieve sustainable human development, with a specific focus on the research and conservation of sea turtles in Colombia. CIMAD relies on the support of a multidisciplinary team that implements projects in topics and areas identified as priorities for the management and sustainable development of biological and cultural diversity of Colombia.



Centro de Protección y Conservación de Tortugas Marinas Playa Teopa (CPyCTMPT)

The CPyCTMPT commenced actions to protect sea turtles in 1983 and is the second oldest camp on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico. Currently, the area has the status of an Natural Protected Area and Sanctuary for the protection and preservation of sea turtles, which was declared in 2002 (DOF, 16 – VII – 2002). Since its inception we have had the full support of the companies Punta Farallón S. A. de C. V. and Opertur S.A. de C.V. and since 2013 the “?! Careyes Foundation”, ” has supported the actions carried out by CPyCTMPT. Within the protected area nest the following species: Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), Black or turtle (Chelonia m. agassizii ) And sporadically turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata).

Website: Playa Teopa Facebook



ecOceánica is a Peruvian non-profit organization established in 2009 whose mission is to promote and contribute to the conservation and sustainability of marine ecosystems in the Southeast Pacific, with a special emphasis on Peru, through scientific research, management , environmental education, and inter-institutional collaboration. ecOceánica leads projects focusing on endangered species such as sharks, turtles and rays, ecological studies of benthic communities, sustainable fisheries and conservation genetics, among others. In addition to research projects, ecOceánica develops education programs focused on marine issues and conducts outreach activities, both individually and in collaboration with other institutions.



Equilibrio Azul

Equilibrio Azul is a nonprofit organization that was legally registered in December 2004 in the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment. The organization was born in response to the urgent need for information to conserve ecosystems and marine resources of Ecuador, which Equilibrio Azul does in collaborating with the ocean’s main users and governing entities. Equilibrio Azul works on various topics related to marine conservation, including projects focused on sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, and seabirds.



Fauna & Flora International – Nicaragua

Fauna & Flora International’s Nicaragua Program is a non-governmental organization with scientific strengths that contribute to the conservation, management and sustainable use of priority species and ecosystems for the conservation of biodiversity in Nicaragua. This is achieved through capacity building and partnerships with local, national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations. Our mission is “to conserve threatened and priority species and ecosystems around the world, by strengthening local and national capacity for sustainable management of the resources, based on sound science and taking into account human needs.” FFI was founded in 1903 and is present in over 40 countries, with more than 140 projects worldwide. The Nicaragua Program was created 1998, when it began contributing to the conservation of biodiversity on a national scale. The Sea Turtle Program component was initiated in 2002 and works to contribute to national and international efforts to conserve sea turtles along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.



Fundación Agua y Tierra

Fundación Agua y Tierra is a Panamanian nonprofit organization that was legally established in 2011, with the purpose of executing and implementing actions for the protection, restoration and maintenance of biodiversity. This is done via practical, efficient and sustainable strategic alliances with public and private entities, strengthening awareness on environmental issues, and providing technical assistance and advisory services to communities and companies that require our services. We have members that focus on academic áreas and we specialize in Agriculture, Biology, Management of Marine and Coastal Resources, Administration and Accounting. For us is very important the participation and integration of community actors in the different projects we conduct, since they are a fundamental part in achieving the strategic plans and tracking them over time. We are committed to the welfare of communities and the proper management of their natural resources. Currently our Foundation is developing a volunteer program for the conservation of sea turtles on beaches, doing work to support community groups in monitoring of nesting, nest relocation and rescue, training and environmental education. These programs are focused on one of the most important áreas for sea turtle nesting along Pacific Panama, the Azuero Peninsula.



Fundación Zoológica de El Salvador (FUNZEL)

FUNZEL is a Salvadoran NGO, founded in 1991, dedicated to the conservation of wildlife. Its mission is to administer programs that contribute to the conservation of wildlife, with a particular emphasis on marine turtles nesting in El Salvador, while promoting better socio-economic conditions. We are involved in various species conservation programs; but mainly focus on the issue of wildlife rescue, coastal-marine conservation and development of eco-tourism alternatives. Our tools are the economic and social development of the people who live with endangered wildlife; public disclosure; and strengthening local organizations to better manage wildlife.



Galapagos Science Center (GSC)

The GSC is a joint effort between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador. These two universities built these facilities to advance the common goal of promoting science and education, which will help protect the fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos islands and improve the lives of its inhabitants. The GSC is a leading research center and is located on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos archipelago. The GSC site is adjacent to the university extension USFQ (GAIAS) located in Playa Mann, Isla San Cristobal. The facility is being used by professors and researchers from UNC and USFQ, by students performing their final research papers, and by North Carolina students participating in scientific study abroad programs. The facilities consist of 11,000 square feet, which house four laboratories, each with a specific research focus: terrestrial ecology, oceanography & marine ecology, geospatial technologies (remote sensing & GIS) and microbiology. The building also has office space for physical, social, and scientific visits and a multipurpose space that is used for events and community education.



Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias, A.C. (GTC)

Grupo Tortuguero de Las Californias A.C. ( GTC ) is a nonprofit organization based in the city of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. GTC is a network for the conservation, protection and research of sea turtles along the Mexican Pacific. The network is made up of individuals, communities, students, scientists, fishermen, civil society and government institutions. We have links and collaborations with other countries that comply with the principles of our mission “To empower individuals and communities to conserve sea turtles and their environment”. Our network connects, strengthens and promotes collaboration, systematization of information, training and the management necessary to ensure the protection of sea turtles.



ICAPO – El Salvador

ICAPO-El Salvador is a country-specific component of the regional network that strives to advance the slow process of hawksbill recovery in the eastern Pacific Ocean by protecting hawksbills at key nesting and foraging sites in El Salvador, namely Bahia de Jiquilisco Biosphere Reserve, Los Cobanos Reef Marine Protected Area, and Punta Amapala. Another primary activity is the collaboration with local lobster gillnet fishemen in Punta Amapala to reduce hawksbill bycatch and mortality in fishing gear. Our success is achieved through close collaboration with a number of local community and conservation organizations. Created in 2008, ICAPO-El Salvador’s activities center on hawksbill research, conservation, and responsible turtle-oriented tourism, with emphasis on coastal community involvement and improved human wellbeing via collaboration with local, national, and international stakeholders.



Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE)

IMARPE’s mission is to generate scientific and technological knowledge for the sustainable use of marine and inland water ecosystems, particularly fisheries and aquaculture; conservation of biodiversity, prevention of the impacts of climactic events and the protection of the aquatic environment. The Coastal Laboratory of Pisco, IMARPE, is located about 230 km south of Lima. The laboratory is dedicated to various topics, including the investigation of environmental variability on inter-annual and inter-decadal scales and its influence on the spatiotemporal distribution of jellyfish in the south east Pacific. Bio-ecological aspects of marine turtles in Peru and its relation to environmental variability in foraging areas of the country is also investigated. The lab also works on the identification and reporting of coastal and oceanic seabirds during research cruises of pelagic waters in the southeast Pacific and Antarctica, as well as in coastal areas of the Peru. We also work on analysis and reporting of stranded marine mammals.




Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas (ITBB)

The Instituto Tecnológico de Bahía de Banderas (ITBB) is a higher education institution whose mission is to provide an quality, comprehensive and relevant educational service to form ethical, honest, creative and innovative professionals that are able to influence social development and improvement the quality of life in the areas of influence. ITBB was established in August 1994 and offers Bachelor Degree level in four areas: Marine Biology, Nature and Adventure Tourism, Environmental Engineering and Business Administration. The Ecology Laboratory at ITBB works on issues related to research and conservation of protected species such as sea turtles, crocodiles, marine mammals and waterfowl and priority ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves and the intertidal zone.



JUSTSEA Foundation

The JUSTSEA Foundation is a Latin American nonprofit organization based in Colombia founded in 2015. Its objectives are to generate scientific information that meets the needs of conservation and management of species and marine/coastal ecosystems in the region; in turn, through work with coastal communities, universities, NGOs and government agencies, JUSTSEA supports the implementation of agreements and regional/international policies for the protection of species and marine/coastal systems that are vulnerable to anthropogenic activities. The team is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of professionals in the fields of biology, ecology, communication and law. One of the priorities of the Foundation is to generate and strengthen inter-institutional ties to thereby ensure awareness and conservation that is both real and sustainable. With this in mind, JUSTSEA leads an analysis on the population status and habitat use of marine turtles in Colombian waters.



Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST)

The LAST Association, formerly known as Association WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Association for the Conservation of Sea Turtles) is a small non-profit NGO, established in 2007 to manage the WIDECAST office in Costa Rica and Latin American Program of the same organization. The LAST Association is continuing efforts of Association ANAI, which was established in Costa Rica in 1983 and developed sea turtle programs from 1986 to 2007. In 1997 ANAI and WIDECAST joined forces and worked together until 2007, when the WIDECAST Association was created, eventually changing its name LAST in 2013. Our mission is to conserve the populations of sea turtles in Costa Rica and Latin America, together with the conservation of critical habitat and the full involvement of coastal communities. We work internationally with WIDECAST partners in Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. In Costa Rica we have developed conservation efforts on the Caribbean coast at Playa Pacuare, Moin, Cahuita, while also working in the Pacific in the Golfo Dulce where we conduct in-water monitoring of green and hawksbill turtles. Our work is divided into five approaches: sea turtle monitoring at both nesting beaches and feeding sites; environmental education; conservation and research; protection of critical habitats and creating alternative livelihoods for coastal inhabitants.



Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de El Salvador (MARN)

MARN was created on May 16, 1997 by Executive Decree No. 27, which was published in the Official Journal No. 88, Vol No.335 of the same date, to reverse environmental degradation and to lead an energetic, articulate, inclusive, accountable and transparent order to unify all efforts to protect, preserve, enhance and restore the natural resources of El Salvador. To deal successfully and comprehensively with environmental problems and to provide the country with environmental legislation that is consistent with the principles of sustainable economic and social development, the Environment Act was published in the Official Journal No. 79, Book No.339 on May 4, 1998. On June 7, 2001 the Law of Conservation and Wildlife was reformed and the powers originally held by the Ministry of Agriculture were transferred to MARN. The Law of Natural Protected Areas was issued by Legislative Decree No. 579 dated January 13, 2005 and published in the Official Gazette No. 32 Vol 366 February 15 of the same year, in which the legal regime for the administration was established, enabling management and increased Protected of Natural Areas.



Marine Turtle Ecology & Assessment Program, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA-NMFS

The Marine Turtle Ecology & Assessment Program conducts research on sea turtles to enhance our understanding of the ecology, demography, human threats, and conservation status.  We provide scientific advice and practical support to those who study, manage and conserve sea turtles. We are involved in research and conservation of turtles worldwide, with an emphasis on the Pacific Ocean. SWFSC biologists have been involved with sea turtle research in Latin America since the late 1980s. The program has a focus on the Eastern Pacific and our team is involved in sea turtle projects throughout the region, from the USA to Chile. We also work in many other areas of the world, including West Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, the Caribbean and Brazil. Our work includes demographic research of sea turtles, population trend analysis, modeling the interactions between fisheries-turtles, carrying out field work at foraging areas and promoting the conservation of nesting beaches.



Paso Pacifico

Founded in 2005, Paso Pacifico’s mission is to restore and preserve the ecosystems of the Pacific slope of Central America, working with landowners, local communities and organizations involved in promoting the conservation of ecosystems. Currently, Paso Pacifico focuses on dry forests and coastal marine areas in the South Pacific of Nicaragua, working on various issues including forest restoration, socio-economic alternatives for local communities, agro-ecological issues, research and protection of key wildlife such as sea ​​turtles, including the hawksbill turtles that nest on the beaches of the Pacific Nicaragua.




ProDelphinus is a Peruvian non-profit organization, founded in 1995, based in Lima, Peru. ProDelphinus participated actively in 1995, along with the Peruvian Center for Cetacean Research (CEPEC), in the campaign to ban the capture and consumption of dolphins in Peru. ProDelphinus is currently running research and conservation projects of threatened marine species such as turtles, seabirds, otters, whales and sharks. These species inhabit the Peruvian sea permanently or as temporary visitors during their migratory journey. ProDelphinus studies are related to the interactions that these species may have with fishing communities along the Peruvian coast, and ways to prevent the death of these marine species.



Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas (PRETOMA)

PRETOMA is a Costa Rican Civil Association founded in September 1997. Our mission is to protect and restore populations of sea turtles, sharks and other endangered marine species through scientific research, advocacy, awareness, and strategic litigation, with a vision of sustainable fishing practices in partnership with coastal communities. PRETOMA is currently working on the protection of 5 sea turtle nesting beaches, and conducts studies on the migration of turtles and sharks in Cocos Island and the Guanacaste region using satellite and acoustic telemetry. More recently, PRETOMA has begun focusing on the creation of marine protected areas and obtaining certifications for sustainable artisanal fisheries targeting spotted snapper. PRETOMA is an active member of the IUCN and WSPA.



Protective Turtle Ecology Center for Training, Outreach and Research (ProTECTOR)

ProTECTOR was created in 2007 with the express purpose of addressing the lack of research of sea turtles in Honduras. Our mission is to ensure the conservation, protection and management of all species of sea turtles found in the waters of Central and North America, with a special emphasis on Honduras, through educational outreach, continuing education and scientific research. Our research efforts are focused on the coastal areas of Honduras, working on the southern and northern coasts, as well as the Bay Islands. We conduct research on sea turtle ecology, behavior, development and genetics. We also emphasize community participation and compensate local communities we work with through medical/dental support, as well as training and capacity building. Outreach Education is also an important aspect of our conservation efforts.



Red Integral de Tortugas Marinas (RITMA)

RITMA was created in august of 2013, under the framework of the project “Thematic Research Network Support” of the University of Costa Rica. RITMA is a multidisciplinary project that aims to unite the work of academic institutions with NGOs and other scientific organizations in Costa Rica. RITMA also seeks to fill gaps in baseline knowledge of hawksbill and green turtles, using an integrated combination of nesting beach investigations and in-water foraging ground studies for conservation purposes. Our work is focused on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica (North Pacific mainly): Bahia Santa Elena, Punta Coyote, Cabo Blanco and Gulf of Nicoya. We have also visited South Pacific Nicaragua due to the connections between the turtles in both countries. RITMA research focuses primarily on Population demographics, 2) Foraging grounds/feeding ecology, 3) Nesting beaches, and 4) Genetic characterization.



Red Tortuguera, A.C. (RETO)

Red Tortuguera A.C. (RETO) is a private non-profit legally registered in Mexico. It was formed by turtle camps from Jalisco and Nayarit who sought to be consolidated through a network, working together for the sake of sea turtles. Each turtle camp is committed to protecting an area of ​​coast where sea turtles nest and/or forage and are working to educate the local community about the importance of these charismatic animals. RETO is a relatively young NGO, with rapid growth thanks to the existing projects in the region who have joined the network and are helping us discover new information about the turtles in our region. To date 14 conservation projects have joined and participate in RETO.



SEE Turtles

SEE Turtles was launched in 2008 as the world’s first effort to protect these species through ecotourism. Since then, we have expanded to include educational programs and our Billion Baby Turtles project. We recently joined forces with Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation. Our mission is to protect endangered turtles throughout Latin America and the world by supporting community-based conservation efforts through ecotourismeducation, and Billion Baby Turtles.



SOS Nicaragua

SOS Nicaragua is a social company that places people and the environment at the center of its business model, and is committed to the principles of conservation tourism, a balanced socio-environmental economy and sustainable development. We support conservation projects throughout Nicaragua, from monitoring threatened marine turtles to environmental education programs, with the objective of creating sustainable employment alternatives and generating support for conservation of species and habitats, as well as to promote models of tourism that foster healthy communities and healthy ecosystems. Our organization is bridging the gap between ethical, local and positive tourism initiatives in Nicaragua and discerning travelers worldwide. Through the inspiring lens of travel we want to guide as many people as possible towards the cause of conservation. As an ICAPO partner, we are particularly committed to strengthen conservation efforts in Nicaragua with the Eastern Pacific hawksbill population, which we achieve by raising awareness, spreading conservation achievements and promoting financial sustainability for the Hawksbill Project led by Fauna & Flora International in Estero Padre Ramos.  



World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

WWF’s mission is to stop environmental degradation and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Established in 1961, WWF works locally and globally, combining a scientific basis with an interdisciplinary perspective, working with communities, NGOs, the private sector, among other actors to: conserve global biological diversity; ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and promote the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF has two primary focal areas: 1. Biodiversity; Ensure that all life on our planet remains healthy for future generations. We focus on the conservation of sites and species of “critical” importance to the conservation of the planet; 2. Ecological Footprint; Reduce the negative impacts of human activity. We are working to ensure that the natural resources needed for life (earth, water, air) are used in a sustainable and equitable manner.