Greece - Under 18 Sea Turtle Conservation
This project in Greece allows teens to get involved in sea turtle and marine conservation efforts. Volunteers will work side by side with top experts and learn all about loggerhead turtles.
|Location of Project||Giannitsochori, Greece|
|Project Length||2 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Athens International Airport|
|Volunteer Work||Marine and wildlife conservation|
|Number of Participants||18|
|Age||15 - 17|
|Accommodation||Two-man tents at the campsite|
|Food||3 meals a day provided|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included on arrival day|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All training necessary and introductions are provided upon arrival|
|Sightseeing||All tours around the local are are included|
What's Not Included
The village of Giannitsochori is a small resort town with white sandy beaches that form part of a protected nature area. The region has plenty of historical, archaeological and natural sites that are well-worth a visit including the famous Ancient Olympia, the birth place of the Olympic Games.
About the Project
This project has been working closely with a Greek conservation organization since 1983, making it one of the longest-running conservation projects in the Mediterranean. The area where the project is located is a major nesting area for loggerhead turtles and the goals of the project are to ensure that nests are protected so as many hatchlings as possible can survive as well as to increase public awareness about the environmental footprint being left in the area.
Because this project is specifically designed for teenage volunteers, there is a high level of supervision by well-trained staff and conservation experts.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
There is plenty of work to be done at this conservation project and volunteers will rotate between tasks. Because the summer months are hatching season, many of the activities will focus on the nesting and hatching of baby sea turtles. Much of the work is hands-on and up close which means participants will have a real chance to see the life cycle of the sea turtles. There is a lot of physical activity and long walks so volunteers should be prepared to work hard.
Activities can include:
- Going on morning turtle patrols to locate new tracks and nests
- Surveying the area and recording the data
- Installing grids to help protect the nests from predators
- Harvesting bamboo for the nest grids
- Assisting with educational activities for the local community and tourists
- Relocating a nest to protect it from the sea or human activity
Volunteers will work hard during the week but enjoy the local sights and culture on the weekends. Participants will explore the ancient ruins of temples, towns, amphitheaters, Byzantine churches and more.
Accommodations: volunteers will stay at the public campsite in shared two-man tents with sleeping mats. At the campsite there are shared bathrooms with hot and cold water, flush toilets and showers. Tents will not have electricity but there are electricity supply boxes at the campsite. Any valuables can be stored and locked in the campsite office.
Food: meals are catered by the campsite. Breakfast is served buffet-style.
Internet: Wi-Fi is available sometimes at the campsite.
Laundry: hand-washing stations are available and for a small fee, volunteers can use the washing machine and dryer.
- Minimum age 15 - maximum age 17
- Good level of physical fitness
- Flexibility to work early mornings on some days
- Desire to contribute to the project goals
- Good level of English
- Written "Motivation Letter"
- Parental Consent Form
- Medical and Travel Insurance
- Police clearance
"It was such a rewarding project to be involved in, as at the end of each day, I could see the nests that I had protected, and know that I had done my part towards saving the turtles, and saving the planet. One of the staff members who was supervising us said, “the best feeling on earth is saving a life that can never repay you”. Helping to save those turtles made me see the truth behind these words."
Read the rest of his story on the GoEco blog!
"Waking up in the middle of the night or not going to bed until 2 am was totally worth it to see a mother turtle lay her legs or find and protect their nests. We observed from just inches away as these giant turtles laid up to 100 or more eggs, and then take the time to carefully cover and camouflage her eggs to protect them from predators. "
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!
"Everything is really well organized and straightforward. There are three shifts. Two at night and one in the morning and obviously, you will never get more than one shift per day. The night shifts involve walking along the beach looking for turtles and waiting for them to nest. If they nest you get to watch them lay eggs and help measure and tag them. It’s honestly an amazing experience because it’s something so different and unique. The morning patrols consist of writing down all the turtle tracks and finding nests to help secure them. "
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!