Volunteering with turtles in San Pancho


Every day at sunset in San Pancho, volunteers release baby turtles into the ocean. Volunteers patrol the beach at night and collect the eggs to protect them from local predators. These little guys had recently hatched and were in their basket, ready to be taken to the beach. They were scrambling around so much, it was tricky to find a focus.

How to volunteer with turtles in San Pancho

We had friends who volunteered with the turtles in San Pancho and loved it. It’s a well-run operation and ver worthwhile work. And who wouldn’t want to work with such cute creatures?! Here’s some info on the programme and how you can get involved while visiting San Pancho. One bonus is that you don’t have to pay to volunteer like some schemes we’ve heard of.

In 16 years, the local turtle population has increased from 72 to 661 nesting females. Find out about volunteering with the turtles in San Pancho at Project Tortuga.

The season starts around 1 June and ends around 15 November, The minimum stay is two months, and all expenses must be covered.  No particular skills are required, just willingness to work in difficult conditions, day and night! Accommodation costs $300 per month, mostly in shared accommodation. You’ll also need to sort out your 180-day visa.

Tasks include collecting nests, regulating the nursery temperatures, cleaning the greenhouse, maintaining computer records, maintaining the all-terrain vehicle, and helping with children’s environmental classes.

Most things you need can be found in San Pancho, and everything else is available in Puerto Vallarta where there are big stores like Wallmart

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  1. says

    Oh wow!

    We did the same in Gili Meno in Indonesia. We felt so worried for the little turtle putting her in that big violent ocean! Thanks for the link to these guys. We will contact them to put them on our site.

    Happy travels!
    Paul (globalhelpswap)

    • Victoria says

      I can imagine! We always wonder about how many of them will make it. Sadly it’s not very many, but at least people like you and the San Pancho Turtle group are helping to make a difference.

  2. Laura says

    Hi Victoria

    I’ve always wanted to do something like this, a friend of mine helped to rescue and release some turtles in Greece a while back and I really wanted to do it. This has made me want to do it all over again!


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