Diana’s Story

ICAPO Volunteer: Diana Albanes
Project Site: Bahia Jiquilisco, El Salvador, 2013

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I saw firsthand how ICAPO is conserving and providing hope for recovery of hawksbills turtles. I also saw that ICAPO is conserving and providing hope for every person who assists the project, including community residents, egg collectors, farmers, scientists and policy-makers—throughout the region, nationally and internationally.

My week with the hawksbills was more than I ever could have imagined!

… Getting up close and personal with the organization, its beginnings, achievements, struggles and its great potential and passion to protect the hawksbill turtle.

… Having hands-on experience…nightly beach patrols with my co-workers, looking for and catching turtles and unregistered nests…collecting eggs for and monitoring the hatchery where eggs are buried, temperatures are taken, nests are exhumed and hatchlings released.  I got to take measurements of the carapace’s length and width, take tissue samples, tag the turtle and return it to its habitat. I watched the nesting process, even seeing Olive Ridleys and Green Turtles! I learned about the technical and scientific methods implemented in the world of sea turtles.

Volunteering with ICAPO changed my life!

…Leaving my mark on ICAPO during the art project, I learned how I could show my admiration, captivation and commitment to the tiny hatchlings, who, with such energy and passion, set out to conquer the immense sea.

I know now that working as a team—the ICAPO way—we all can save the hawksbill from disappearing. By volunteering, I became an ICAPOera (ICAPO-girl) with full commitment and loyalty to the turtles.

Thank you, ICAPO, for the wonderful experience.

Learn how you can volunteer at a hawksbill conservation project site.

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