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Nest of baby sea turtles hatching
OrganizationGrupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde
websitehttp://www.project-tortuga.org/
CountryMexico
Program CostsNone
DurationVaries
Room & Board$250 to $320 per month
Language RequirementsBasic Spanish
In the spring of 1992 the founding members of the Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C. (the Group) organized and built the first marine nursery. By June, a large scale protection of Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtle eggs had begun.

Millions of years before humans arrived in North America, the marine turtle had well established its nesting habitat along the coastal waters of Mexico. The oldest inhabitants of San Francisco, Nayarit, or "San Pancho" as it is commonly called today, can still recall the nights when hundreds of nesting turtles climbed the moonlit beaches to renew the custom of perpetuating their species. The palm-laden playas were free of development and offered an idyllic location for nesting. Occasionally, the coastal pueblos would gather food from the generous supply of eggs and turtles.

The growing human population, coupled with the changing demographics of the coastal region in the past one hundred years, has dramatically altered the habitat, and thus, the reproductive cycle of the turtles. By 1988, pressures from coastal development, poaching, shrimp fishing, and tourism reduced a population of thousands of nesting turtles along the San Pancho beaches to less than 72 nesting turtles per year.