This month’s recipient of Sayulita Life’s $5,000 donation is Sayulita’s Campamento Tortuguero, or the turtle camp. Campamento Tortuguero in Sayulita is a voluntary community project in its new location on the north end of the beach across the street from the Pajaro de Fuego condominium complex. The goal of this Sayulita organization is to relocate sea turtle nests in order to keep them safe, as well as to educate locals and visitors on how to protect them from poaching. For the last seven years, the Sayulita turtle camp has been dedicated to preserving the native sea turtles that come every year in large numbers to Sayulita’s beaches to make their nests and lay their eggs.
The donation from Sayulita Life will help the camp by purchasing materials needed for the creation / reinforcement of the nests, such as mesh-metal pieces and wooden stakes. Furthermore, the donation will go towards helping to purchase materials (such as wood planks) needed to re-enforce the nesting camp from the back area in order to better protect the nests; when Sayulita experiences heavy rains, sand can get trapped on top of the nest camp, putting the nests in danger.
The turtle that comes to Sayulita most often is called “Tortuga Golfina.” It is a migratory species, given that every year it moves to the beaches to nest. This turtle likes to sunbathe, and usually mates near the coast. Between June and December is when the turtles go through their nesting season. In the Sayulita and San Pancho areas, they usually synchronize in such a way that hundreds of females can arrive at the same time to find a suitable place to each lay about 100 eggs. In a single season, each female is able to make two or three nests, which is usually done overnight. To do this, the camp must dig holes up to 55 centimeters deep in the sand, which constitutes the nest, along with adding mesh pieces and wooden stakes to keep the nest-hole in- tact and protected, as well as to write and document the turtles’ information. After 50-60 days of incubation, the young baby turtles break their shells and emerge into the world. The mother turtles do not provide care for small turtles in an environment full of predators, so the babies are assisted by the camp when they are ready to migrate to the sea. The camp often has “turtle release” events where anyone can come and help release the baby turtles to the sea, or even adopt a nest.
If you would like to get involved or help by volunteering, Sayulita turtle camp invites you through its conservation program to live the experience of adopting a nest and helping more turtles reach the sea. Adopting a nest is a way to help turtles and help the sea turtle conservation program in Sayulita. If you would like to adopt a nest (you do not have to live in Sayulita to do so), or make a donation to the turtle camp, please email the camp director, Alejandra. For more information about Campamento Tortuguero and their mission, please visit their Sayulita Life Web Page.
*Since its founding in 2004, SayulitaLife.com has been dedicated to giving back to the community of Sayulita. In our 15th year as a company, Sayulita Life has created the “Giving Fund”, where we have pledged to donate $5,000 pesos EVERY MONTH to a local charity or cause. Read more at https://www.sayulitalife.com/giving-back.
Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri