Sea Turtle Sanctuary Assistant (on-site) - Volunteer Internship in community conservation and ecotou
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Recruiting Organization: La Tortuga Viva
La Tortuga Viva (LTV), locally known as "Association Civil Campamento Tortuguero Playa Icacos," is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to repopulating threatened sea turtle species nesting on Playa Icacos. Since our beginning in 2010, we have released over 500,000 baby sea turtles through the leadership and participation of members of the local community of Juluchuca, Guerrero, to relocate vulnerable nests into our Sanctuary for incubation and, ultimately, release the hatchlings into the ocean. Our community conservation program includes environmental education, sustainable ecotourism and local and international volunteer options to support and complement our direct conservation work.
Find us on:
TheOceanFoundation LaTortugaViva sponsored project
Volunteers & Interns are essential to our organization. We are currently looking for motivated and skillful candidates to join our small international team in the position of Sanctuary Assistant (on-site)
Sanctuary Assistants support the local team who runs the conservation operations on the field. It is a unique opportunity to experience firsthand sea turtle conservation by working alongside the local team to relocate nests, maintain the sanctuary and lead initiatives in community and education, fundraising, communication, ecotourism and much more.
- All positions are unpaid. We do not charge any fee to volunteer with us. We do not provide insurance, transportation to and from Mexico, or cover other personal expenses. Volunteers are welcome to fundraise for their position. For on-site volunteers, accommodations and 2 meals per day are provided (note: cost of living outside position's benefits run 100-200 USD per month).
- All positions are eligible for internships and placements that offer educational credits for students and researchers who want to collaborate with us. All fields of study are welcome, though students on biological, environmental & social, tourism, communication and marketing paths are well applied.
- Volunteer roles depend on availability, location, experience, and fulfillment of basic requirements:
1) Long term commitment: minimum 5-6 months for volunteering on-site
2) Fluency in English and Spanish
3) Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
Sanctuary Assistants join our on-site team and live in the rural village of Juluchuca. It is a core position at LTV, assisting in every aspect of our work. Alongside the remarkable responsibilities that come with caring for a sea turtle Sanctuary, the Assistants will also work beyond our beachfront, becoming a strong presence in our community where they will assist social and environmental projects like community engagement, education programs, team coordination and much more. Sanctuary Assistants will work under the guidance and mentorship of the Sanctuary Coordinator, Playa Viva’s Social and Environmental Impact Manager & the President of the local NGO, whom they will also report to.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Support La Tortuga Viva activities and the local volunteer team, train and coach local volunteers, research and ensure the best conservation practices for nest relocation during the nightly patrols of the beach, sea turtle monitoring and ecotourism. Attend night patrols, oversee and help in nest relocation, data collection in the field and data entry, maintenance and improvements of the hatcheries, campsite and facilities.
- Organize and conduct educational activities such as workshops, classes, or small presentations for the local schools (preschool, elementary, and high school), as well as for visitors and tourists, hotel staff, guests, and the local team. Provide support training for the local team and help to develop educational materials, programs and new activities.
- Facilitate the coordination of activities for Playa Viva guests and other visitors such as hatchling releases, guided tours to the Sanctuary, night patrol excursions, and interactions with sponsors, donors, and group visits.
Fundraising, Marketing, and Grant Writing
- Lead face to face interactions with Playa Viva guests and visitors, help to raise donations for the Sanctuary and tips for the local volunteers, help to raise funds through the program of Adopt a sea turtle nest program. Help to develop online marketing, assist scouting for funding opportunities and sponsors, writing grant proposals.
- Organize and conduct community outreach activities, public releases of baby sea turtles, clean-ups, projections of documentaries, and other public events and strategies to engage the local communities.
Management and administration
- Help with answering enquiries, conducting inventories of supplies and equipment, fulfilling permit requirements and application, recruiting volunteers, developing protocol and procedures, writing reports and guides, analyzing datas, and creating informative and educational materials for the local team, guests, and local community.
Social Media and Promotion
- Engage followers and donors via various social media platforms (Playa Viva blog, Facebook, newsletters & Instagram etc). Liaise with the Remote team to encourage and foster new and existing partnerships with .conservationists and conservation organisations locally and internationally
- If volunteer(s) have specific interests and skills, there is also the possibility to contribute to other social environmental projects for our local communities, eco-constructions, recycling plastic bottles, sport and health. Currently on our work site, we need help to build eco-toilets.
This position is an outstanding opportunity to become a part of a purpose-based NGO and the inner workings of conservation. LTV explores all elements of sea turtle conservation available & our Sanctuary Assistants are fully immersed in our mission. Below is a list of the potential benefits of working for LTV:
- Fieldwork in sea turtle, community conservation and eco-tourism
Sanctuary Assistants at LTV receive unforgettable field experience, working closely with the local team on preservation of marine turtles & their nests. Nightly patrols, nest discovery & relocation, protection and releases of baby sea turtles, excursions with Playa Viva guests, are common activities for the Sanctuary Assistants. If you are looking for practical experience, apply here.
Accommodation is provided in a three bedroom house shared with other volunteers from permaculture and other projects of Playa Viva Social and Environmental Impact. The house is located in the neighboring village of Juluchuca, a small traditional Mexican settlement of nearly 700 people.
2 meals a day are supplied at Playa Viva Resort for 6 days per week.
- Cultural Exposure
Sanctuary Assistants get to experience the vibrant culture of a coastal-rural setting in Mexico. Becoming part of the community is in many ways its own reward as well as being an essential component of succeeding at LTV. For volunteers coming from Western-based countries or busy urban areas, the position will be a cultural reset.
- Academic Fulfilment
Many volunteers assist our NGO as part of their academic career (internship, placement, academic credit).
- Letter of Reference
Upon the successful completion of the period of service with us, LTV leaders encourage volunteers to request a reference for future prospects.
Required Certifications, Skills & Qualifications
- A long term commitment of 5+ months
A complete integration into LTV takes at least 3 months. During this time the Sanctuary Assistants will be learning from the team, forming relationships in the community & understanding the complexities of the role. Our conservation project largely focuses on the local community, specifically the faction of poachers within it. Hence, the effectiveness of Sanctuary Assistants is based on their relationships with others. For this reason, long-term volunteers will be preferred over short-term.
- Full COVID Vaccination
- Fluency in Spanish AND English
As a Spanish speaking district, español is essential for operations. Likewise, English is essential for
coordination & communication with our team and foreign tourists. Language barriers present a real issue if present.
- Qualifications in one of the following fields:
Life Sciences (biology, ecology, zoology, marine biology, conservation, environmental protection, etc.), Education (environmental education, education for youth, community development & related fields), Management (NGO management, volunteer management & related fields), or any relevant experience.
- Experience in Conservation
Prior experience is preferred as it will enable a smoother transition into the role. However, it is not an essential requirement.
- Research, Writing and Organisational Skills
Essential for data collection, understanding legislation, grant writing, fundraising, education, records, task management & community engagement.
- Proficiency in scientific data collection, organization and analysis
Essential for statistical and data projects
- Strong Interpersonal Skills
Communication, presentation and negotiation skills are essential to the Sanctuary Assistant role. Community engagement projects are based on communication and the ability to work with one another. We are working towards an understanding of conservation. Relaying the importance of saving sea turtles in a clear and effective approach is paramount.
- Ability to Work Independently
The role is multifaceted to include independent and team-work based responsibilities. Often, the role will require a volunteer to be self-motivated to carry out their duties. Of course, support is always available. However, an adaptable candidate is preferred in order to share the demanding load of a Sanctuary Coordinator.
- Willingness to Volunteer & In a Remote Location
Volunteers need a strong sense of willingness to participate and actively become part of our mission. The mantra 'hard work leads to success’ is no more embodied than in our organisation. The more active a volunteer, the more sea turtles can be saved, the more a community can learn and the more the world becomes more sustainable.
Language/Cultral Support AvailableFalse
Fee Amount: None
This opportunity is recurring
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Playa Icacos, Juluchuca, PetatlanState of GuerreroJuluchuca, 40834Mexico
March 1, 2022