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The project has helped to strengthen the community-based protection of nesting sea turtles along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.

Achieving Program Goals

1)    Promote sustainable tourism linked to sea turtle conservation

In Pasa Pacifico, the local community tour guides benefited from 100 volunteer shifts from international student groups who provided recommendations whilst working along side the guides.   This training has improved the interpretation and visitor attention provided during sea kayak and nesting turtle tours.

Additionally, $3,000 was generated for turtle conservation, and more than $4,000 spent in local communities.

In regards to promotion of sustainable tourism, SEE Turtles director Brad Nahill visited the project site and will promote turtle tourism through blog posts and photography, also helping to connect Paso Pacifico to tour operators including Reefs to Rockies, Broad Reach, and EcoTeach.

SEE Turtles is also working to promote volunteer programs to other turtle sites in Nicaragua connected to this location.

2)    Build capacity for sea turtle tourism and stewardship

Local capacity was built through ranger training focused on the application of digital PIT tags and satellite transmitters, enabling improved monitoring of sea turtles nesting at beaches protected by community rangers.

A workshop on sea turtle first aid was given to community-based rangers during which rangers learned techniques to rescue and revive sea turtles caught in fishing gear or impacted by boats.

Capacity was also increased through the purchase of basic monitoring equipment and supplies (baskets for turtle nurseries, flashlights, batteries, and repellent). Also, new UV-protective uniforms were purchased for rangers and for the local women who manage and protect the sea turtle nursery within the community of Ostional.

Photo: Paso Pacifico rangers working with a green turtle (Photo: Brad Nahill / SEEtheWILD)

3)    Empower local people in protecting nesting sea turtles.

This project also contributed to the salaries of community-based rangers. These eight rangers, some of whom were former egg poachers, work full time patrolling beaches and collecting valuable scientific data. Communities also benefited economically from these jobs.

The rangers also serve as ambassadors within the community and recently led a “Junior Ranger” program which enabled over one hundred children to earn badges for successfully completing environmental curriculum and for carrying out environmental service projects in their communities. The Junior Rangers have graduated and many of them continue to assist rangers and researchers in turtle and parrot monitoring as well as in coastal clean-ups.  

This project enabled the protection of over eighty sea turtle nests, of which more than half were endangered Eastern Pacific green turtles. Several critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle nests were also successfully protected.

Photo: Hawksbill shell jewelry (rings) at a market in Granada (Brad Nahill / SEEtheWILD)


In the sea turtle nursery located in the community of Ostional, the initial hatchery site had to be abandoned after successive damage from storms and high tide. A sea turtle hatchery has been launched at a new site and is currently being managed by a group of five local women. 

What's next for this project?

The sea turtle protection activities made possible through this grant continue today and additional support is needed. We plan to continue our financial and technical support to local women in their efforts to protect sea turtles nesting at the Ostional community beach. For the ranger program over the next year, we would like to purchase additional monitoring and safety equipment, provide first aid and monitoring training, and we plan to continue to support a fair-wage and stable employment for the rangers who risk their lives to protect some of the world’s most endangered reptiles.

Can I visit this project?

Sure, Paso Pacifico staff are always open to visits!  Contact SEE Turtles for more info about trips to Nicaragua.

Also, read Brad Nahill (SEE Turtles) blog post about visiting this Pasa Pacifico turtle site.

Photo: Turtle hatchery run by Paso Pacifico (Brad Nahill / SEEtheWILD)

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