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This project aims to protect and preserve the vulnerable baby sea turtles that hatch on the beaches of Greece. The project runs from May/June to September and closely follows, monitors, and protects the nesting season of the Loggerhead sea turtle to ensure the maximum success rate of turtle hatchlings.

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Location of the Project:  Mavrovouni, Greece
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Project length:  2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Athens International Airport (ATH)
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Volunteer Work:  Sea turtle conservation, beach monitoring, community education
Age:  18 - 65
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Family Option: this project accepts families with children as young as 14 years old.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared tents in a campsite
Food:  All food provided for volunteers
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, personal expenses, transportation to the project, visa

Come experience the beautiful Mediterranean country of Greece. Explore the deep history of the land which founded democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, the Olympic Games, and major mathematical and scientific principles. Greece's ancient history has earned it 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all waiting to be explored.

This project takes place in the Lakonikos Bay, located in the southern part of the Peloponnese Peninsula. This is a stunning coastal location with breath-taking beaches and a plethora of fantastic wildlife and scenery to explore.

Your specific duties as a volunteer will vary from month to month throughout the season. 

May/June: The work focuses on identifying new nests, and protecting them from any environmental hazards. Specifically, your work may include:

  • Early morning beach walks to identify any overnight nesting
  • Marking new nests
  • Moving nests if they lie below the high tide line
  • Building a protective barrier around the nests
  • Building a runway for turtles to follow to the water so they don't get lost when they hatch
July/August: This is hatching season so the work involves monitoring and recording the hatchlings from each nest. Your work may include:
  • Early morning beach surveys to monitor which nests hatched
  • Counting number of hatchlings (by counting tracks in the sand leading from the nest down to the water)
  • Nest excavations to determine the success rate of the nest
September: You may see the end of hatching season, but the focus will be on nest excavations to study the success rate of each nest. Your duties will include:
  • Nest excavations continue through the end of hatching season
  • Taking down protective bamboo barriers
The volunteer work that is carried out throughout the span of the project is related to environmental education – working the information kiosk for visitors and giving presentations at local campsites or hotels, as well as beach patrols, bamboo harvesting (used to mark and protect the nests), and general maintenance of the site.

Volunteer work is organized on a rotating schedule of 3-4 hour shifts, with evenings and weekends off to spend how you wish. 

Please note: it is important to remember that nature is unpredictable, and no matter what month you go, there are no guaranteed turtle sightings. Regardless, your work during any of the months will still be contributing to the safety of the turtles when they do hatch and the success of hatching season.

Internet
Internet:  WiFi is available intermittently at the campsite.
Laundry
Laundry:  Washing machine and dryer available for small fee. Hand-washing station available.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will be sleeping on mats in shared, two-person tents at a designated area of a public campsite. There are shared bathrooms with running hot and cold water, including flush toilets and showers. There are electricity supply boxes available on the campsite, but not in each individual tent. Valuables can be stored and locked in the campsite office.
Food:  Food is provided and prepared on a rotational basis by the volunteers. Breakfast is on an individual basis as not everyone needs to be awake for morning surveys. Lunch and dinner are prepared by volunteers and are generally eaten together.

Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Good physical fitness - can be walking up to 5 km at a time
  • Ability to work at early hours of the morning
  • Good level of English
  • Flexible attitude
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Criminal background check (must be officially translated into English)

Volunteer Experiences
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