We are excited and proud to share the news that Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli will be making an oral presentation at the Annual Symposium of International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS) in Charleston, SC! We submitted an abstract in the Education, Outreach, and Advocacy category and were selected to present at symposium in early February. In fact, this is the third time Ayotlcalli has been selected to present at the conference with past presentations in Lima, Peru in 2016 and Las Vegas, NV USA in 2017.
In our last blog post, we wrote about our summer camp program which seeks to educate children in our local communities about the importance of good environmental stewardship, science, nutrition, and other topics that prepare them to be future leaders.
At the upcoming symposium, Damaris’ presentation is about our Rainbow Warriors (Los Guerreros del Arcoiris) program. In the introduction of the presentation abstract submitted to ISTS, Damaris writes:
Our mission has been to educate the population in regards to the protection and conservation of three species of marine turtles that nest in this beautiful area; Olive Ridley (Golfina), Black Sea Turtle (Prieta), and Leatherback (Laúd).
After spending much time and effort trying to raise awareness with adults (locals and visitors), we have realized that in the long term, children are the key to making the required changes that will reverse the imminent extinction of these marine turtles.
Damaris’ husband Gene and Raul Ramirez will be traveling with Damaris to South Carolina. Raul completed his studies in marine biology at Universidad del Mar (University of the Sea) in Oaxaca before moving to this area to work with the Whales of Guerrero project. A significant part of his work with that project involves educating the children of Barra de Potosí which led him to become involved with Ayotlcalli’s camp and to volunteer with us throughout the season. We are excited that Raul will have the opportunity to accompany Damaris to the symposium where he will network and attend workshops that will help expand his knowledge.
The Mission of the International Sea Turtle Society is to promote understanding, appreciation, and value of sea turtles and their habitats through the exchange and sharing of information, techniques, ideas, and inspiration that will promote actions from local to global levels, for the advancement of sea turtle biology and conservation.
ISTS convenes a uniquely important annual symposium that brings people together from all around the world (more than 1,000 people from approximately 80 countries), all dedicated to the research and conservation of sea turtles. Since 1981 this community of sea turtle biologists, conservationists, educators and advocates has gathered to share knowledge, build capacity, network and collaborate and ultimately, to leverage conservation.
The background of participants has also diversified to incorporate government officials, students, the general public, activists, and advocacy groups, biologists, researchers, veterinarians, policy-makers, and more, to form an ever-increasing number of people with a variety of ideas and the common goal of ensuring the survival of these endangered animals.
Symposium goers have been able to promote their research network with others working in their field, and train future sea turtle biologists and conservationists. In the past decade. the Symposium focus has broadened to include social science, education, and grassroots conservation efforts.To make a donation towards funding the cost our attending the conference, please click the Donate button at the bottom of this post on the website.