VOLUNTEERING FOR A SEA TURTLE PROTECTION CHARITY (and having a ball doing it)

Letter 139

Walking the sandy beaches of the Greek coastline at sunrise protecting nests, watching the hatchlings meander their way to the sea and raising awareness of the dangers to sea turtles to locals and tourists is a rewarding, fun and relaxing way to spend a few weeks of your summer.

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The 5am beach surveys were my favourite parts of volunteering. It’s so beautiful and quiet and finding the eggs within the deep nests is so exhilarating!

ARCHELON NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

In summer 2015 I spend 6 weeks in the beautiful town of Koroni volunteering for Archelon and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I recently received an email from the charity which stated they are in need of volunteers. As the charity grows and the projects increase in numbers, more volunteers are needed, so I thought I’d share it on here in case anyone might be interested in taking part.

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If you would like to, please share this poster to make people aware of the charity!

MY EXPERIENCE OF THE PROJECT

Archelon have projects all over Greece, and I can only speak for the one I did, but if you have a few weeks to spare and want to spend your days finding turtle nests with new friends, protecting the mothers and babies, sunbathing and swimming, exploring the area and getting to know locals and tourists, then this could be for you.

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The handmade ‘runways’ for the babies. Although tourism is great for the locals, it’s not great for the turtles. Night clubs, restaurants and people on the beach confuse the hatchlings and they will often head up the beach instead of down to the sea, which inevitably kills them. These runways lead them safely in the right direction.

I have a detailed post about what you can expect from the volunteering project, so please have a read if you’re interested:

I volunteered for sea turtles: all the info

Unlike many travel volunteering experiences, this is an actual charity, so you avoid paying a company to then give your time for free. By taking part you are helping to keep the charity running throughout the year, and also helping to keep nests safe and increase the number of hatchlings that will survive to adulthood.

 

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Koroni is the smallest project and we were proud of our nest numbers at the end of summer 2015 (some projects have thousands of nests). Last year they had a massive increase! Strong year for the turtles.

HAVING A BALL

Although helping to save sea turtles is the ultimate goal of your time volunteering, you also get time off to spend time with your fellow volunteers and get to know the area, get a fab tan and enjoy lazy days swimming, eating and playing games (I got very good at bat and ball). We spent our evenings with locals our age sampling the local ouzo and demolishing gyros after gyros. We took weekly trips to the fresh food market and chatted to our favourite farmers before walking back to the campsite and cooking up a storm for the group. You get to know people very well and experience a simple life of camping, cooking fresh food and chatting about every topic on the planet. I can’t recommend this experience enough.

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If you’re lucky you might even get a glimpse of a mumma turtle making her nest!

ASK ME ANYTHING

If you are interested and have any questions at all about Archelon, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help in any way I can. In the meantime, check out their website which has a lot of information about the different project areas. You must volunteer for a minimum of 4 weeks, but I would recommend longer anyway. I convinced my friend to do it in 2016 and she ended up extending her stay to 2 months and returning again the next year.

ARCHELON’S WEBSITE

Trust me on this one, you’ll love it.

Even if you are not interested in volunteering, I would love it if you could spread the word about Archelon as they need volunteers. If you know someone travelling around the area, they might be interested to stay cheaply in one place for a while, whilst doing something rewarding and fun. If you know people who want to get away for an alternative holiday this summer, make them aware of this! If you think you might have some time to give to Archelon in the future then bookmark their page. It’s a great thing to do, so thank you for taking the time to read this and learn a bit more about them.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a happy week!

From Lou

About Me

 

 

9 thoughts on “VOLUNTEERING FOR A SEA TURTLE PROTECTION CHARITY (and having a ball doing it)

  1. lovetravelc says:

    I love,love,love sea turtles. I swim with them all the time where I live. I never touch them but I get so close I just want to hug them. I have never ever seen sea turtles hatch or seen a sea turtle on a beach so that was very cool that you did. I have only seen them when I am swimming. I loved your post
    Check out my blog when you get the chance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • aletterfromlou says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Sea turtles are so wonderful and i loved seeing them on the beach and helping protect the nests. Would love to swim with them too!! I will definitely check out your blog!

      Like

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