Protecting Giant Sea Turtles at Gran Pacifica
The Turtle Sanctuary at Gran Pacifica is a program that started in Nicaragua in 2015 with the support of the Help to Help Themselves Foundation and Gran Pacifica Beach & Golf Resort. Its primary objective is to conserve giant sea turtles by establishing a sanctuary dedicated to their protection and well-being.
Conservation Efforts by Gran Pacifica Resort
Several organizations, such as the Gran Pacifica Beach & Golf Resort with Joel Nagel and Mike Cobb as two of their one of the representatives, the GP Rotary Club, and local communities, have worked tirelessly to protect the turtles. They make every effort to prevent trash from entering the ocean, although they acknowledge the challenge of controlling it entirely. Furthermore, they actively engage in the protection, rescue, and release of turtles.
Gran Pacifica Resort’s impact extends beyond the turtle conservation; it has also positively influenced the local community. Due to economic hardships, many people living in the Gran Pacifica area used to travel long distances to sell eggs. However, the company helps with this too, the people in the community reach out to a member of the team or Alejandro in order to sell it to them, so that they take the eggs back to the sanctuary. This benefits both the community members and the turtles. This mutually beneficial scenario helps people earn money and provide for their families, all while contributing to the conservation of sea turtles.
Species Saved at the Sanctuary
Since 2015, the sanctuary has successfully rescued between 30-40 nests each year. The released baby turtles include 14,700 olive ridley species, 530 green sea turtles, and 179 leatherbacks. Numerous organizations, such as Help to Help Themselves Foundation, Wild Tortugas Academy, local residents of Gran Pacifica, and Gran Pacifica Beach & Golf Resort, have collaborated in saving these precious creatures.
Gran Pacifica Resort has previously organized campaigns to encourage volunteering in the turtle conservation program. According to Alejandro, an estimated 25 or more volunteers contribute their time each year. For the release phase alone, over 1000 people have participated due to the substantial amount of work involved.