November 25, 2014

Beginning of the season 2014-2015

It has been now 18 days since the project has started. 18 days of new people arriving, new faces, new knowledge and new energy to start the 2014-2015 season. This year Andrey has come back! He has come to be the field coordinator and he will be also leading some of the ISV groups arriving to Ostional; all his expertise has helped to have a nice and smooth beginning. Yohan, Elmer and Reiner have joined us as local- costarrican research assistants and Wade, direct from Canada, as the international research assistant.

Our first work of these days has been to build the leatherback and black turtle hatchery. Here is the experience of building the hatchery from Wade:

“…Building a turtle hatchery involves the excavation of sand to a certain depth, approximately one meter and as large as you want to go to have a grid of 75 x 75 cm plots. This hatchery was dug to have 10 x 6 plots, so approximately 10 x 6 x 1 m. This work included sifting sand low tide sand and wheel barrowing it or hauling it to the hatchery in burlap sacks. Needless to say for a Canadian coming from cold wet fall weather to Costa Rican hot, humid days this was tiring work that wore a guy out and trying to keep up to the guys already here was tough as they all worked exceptionally hard.

This work continued for days with new volunteers joining and helping out, with sessions usually from 5 am to around 8.30 am and from 3pm to around 5pm; grueling and hard sessions were, however, they were good grounds for meeting people, learning about your newfound friends and co-workers….”
Not only building the hatchery we have started with the fun turtle patrolling; two shifts, one from 7pm until 12 midnight and the other from midnight to 5 am, walking through the 7 km beach trying to see the first nesting females of the season. But before this, research assistants and volunteers made some training sessions on the beach building a sand turtle, and they receiving an information session given by power point prior to heading out.

All this work, hatchery and patrolling, continued for a week until the hatchery was done and everyone, who had been out in the heat with bits of sleep here and there for a week, was very excited about this. We celebrated by sleeping!

The weather has been beautiful, we have met all sort of people, the community as always very friendly, we were able to watch our first “arribada” and our international staff ( Wade) is settled into the Pura Vida lifestyle!  

Thank you to Andrey, Wade, Yohan, Elmer, Reiner, Cornwell group, UNA group and independent volunteers that have helped us to have this nice beginning!

We will be keeping you updated in the following month about news happening at the project!!

Pura Vida!