Vida Milenaria

Top choice volunteering in Tecolutla

This small turtle conservation place (at the beach end of Niños Héroes) is run by Fernando Manzano Cervantes, known locally as ‘Papá Tortuga.’ In addition to educating the public, he has been effectively protecting and releasing green and Kemp’s ridley turtles here for over 35 years. Visitors gather in droves to watch baby-turtle releases most mornings in season.

If you stop by, think about buying a souvenir because this is a privately funded show. Volunteers are especially needed here in April and May, when patrolling the beaches (35km worth) and collecting the turtle eggs is imperative (when possible the eggs are left in their original nest site but at others time they're reburied in a safer area). Most of the patrolling is done at night between 10pm and 6am. Camping and the use of kitchen and bathroom facilities is free to volunteers.

The highest number of turtles is released in June, but in late October you can join hundreds of locals in celebrating the release of the baby turtles in the Festival de Las Tortugas.