We wanted to share this great news. We have ATV angels! Angels, who wish to remain anonymous, have pledged $5,000 of matching donations toward a much needed new ATV for the camp!
For every donation we receive, no matter how big or how small, it will be doubled! How cool is that?!?!?
We cannot express how grateful we are! This could not have come a better time, as our workhorse ATV has had a tough 4th season with us and is nearing retirement.
So…wouldn’t you love to help us and at the same time double your money? It is so easy to do! Just click here.
¡Hey lectores del blog y amigos de Ayotlcalli!
Queremos compartir estas excelentes noticias. Tenemos unos ángeles para nuestras cuatro ruedas, quienes desean permanecer en el anonimato. Ellos han prometido donar $5,000 USD para la compra de una nueva cuatrimoto.
Por cada donación que recibamos, no importa que tan grande o pequeña sea, ellos donarán la misma cantidad lo cual significa el doble. ¿No es genial?
No tenemos palabras para expresar nuestro sincero agradecimiento. Esto no pudo ocurrir en mejor momento ya que nuestro caballito de batalla, la cuatrimoto, ha tenido una cuarta temporada muy ocupada y su jubilación se aproxima.
Por lo tanto, ¿no les gustaría apoyarnos y a la vez doblar su donación? ¡Es muy fácil hacerlo, solo hagan click aquí!
I hope this post finds you well. I wanted to follow up to share a Q & A with my favorite teacher, Kimberley Khouzam, who recently had an adopted nest for her 3rd grade classroom.
Currently, we are still in nesting season, which goes (more or less) through March, so new adoptions are available. These nests will hatch over 45 days, so likely we will have hatchlings till around mid-May. Our plan is to collect some nests with photos to have in our “Available for Adoption” bank for the off season as well. Then we should be back to patrolling in July collecting new nests. During the off-season you can adopt an existing nest or make a reservation for next season. We are flexible with timing, depending on your schedule so just ask!
So, now on to our Q & A with Mrs. Khouzam.
How did you become interested in Sea Turtles?
I had always been a fan of sea turtles. In 2016, I visited The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL while we were on vacation. I ended up bringing back books, souvenirs, and tons of pictures that I shared with my class. I was hooked!
Have you talked about sea turtles in the classroom in the past?
Ever since my visit to The Turtle Hospital in 2016, I have read books on sea turtles during our units on Informational Writing and Reading.
How did you use the Adopted nest in the classroom?
All of my students love to read about animals. I figured the Adopted nest program would give the children a personal connection to the Sea Turtles and spark interest. As soon as I mentioned the program and that it was a possibility, they kept asking about it. When I told them we had a nest and pictures/videos of our Adopted Turtle they were just as obsessed as I was. We viewed the pictures/videos as a whole group and I also posted them on our class webpage so the students could share with their parents.
What activities did you do, what learning skills did you cover?
During our Morning Meetings we focused on sea turtle facts when we first began the project. We also read non-fiction sea turtle books to become experts for our non-fiction writing. The class also discussed different aspects of the environment and how pollution of all kinds and land development is doing harm to the sea turtle population.
How many hours of classroom time?
I have spent a lot of classroom time on this project. We have incorporated Sea Turtle information into some of our morning meetings, read aloud time, research to become “experts” on a subject, and then informational writing. We spent 4+hours viewing/discussing the pictures and videos including our Zoom meeting with Patty. You can spend as much or as little time as you like on this, depending on your class needs/schedule. It just happened to fit in timing-wise with our informational writing unit.
How many of homework?
I did not give any homework but many of the children read additional books and brought in pictures/artifacts about their own experiences with sea turtles.
What was your favorite part?
My favorite part of this project was seeing the children so excited about learning. They are genuinely concerned about the future of sea turtles and are motivated to change some of their habits, like using plastic straws. They want to improve the environment make things better for the sea turtles. (I also loved getting to spend time Patty!!)
What did your students like best?
The students LOVED seeing the pictures and the videos of our adopted turtle and the babies after they hatched. They also adored the video segment at the end of the Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli with the baby sea turtle releases.
Do you have any other thoughts to share?
I was so impressed at how organized and efficient everything was! We got our letters and pictures about the adoption and hatch within hours. I see this as a new yearly tradition.
This makes us so happy to hear, and we very much look forward to working with next year’s third grade class!
Thank you Kim for making this such a fun project!
If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we start this brand new year and close out the last, we would like to take this time to count our blessings.
We are thankful for so many things, too many to list, but we will try!
We are thankful for our awesome group of volunteers, long-term and short-term, from near and far. We are thankful that our team has stayed safe and healthy this year.
We are thankful for our amazing supporters who have helped us weather the ‘2020 storm’. For those who visited, we are thankful to you for complying with our safety, distance, and occupancy restrictions. For those who supported us from home, our heartfelt thanks.
We are thankful for all of our nesting sea turtles, but we are especially thankful for our many nesting Leatherback mamas this year. It has been an absolutely incredible season so far! After not having any Leatherback nests last year, we are already at nest number 15! Our eastern pacific population of Leatherbacks is one of the most endangered populations on earth, so this is just so very exciting!
We are thankful to the International Sea Turtle Community for reaching out to us and providing us with a new way to tag these precious Leatherbacks.
We are thankful to Fundacion Ecológica Biomar and the director in Mexico, Monica Fadul for their help with funds for our corral, gas and despensa for local volunteers.
We are thankful that this season is turning out to be so much busier than last season. Part of this is that we have enough volunteers to run 2 patrols each night, but there are also more sea turtles nesting. To date this year we have 1,119 nest compared to 607 at this point in the season last year.
Most of all, we are thankful that, with your help, we get to continue this important and rewarding work for another year.
We are hopeful that we are making a difference.
We wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful new year, and want to express our sincere gratitude for your continuing support.
We are posting to let you know that you still have time to get an awesome last minute gift.
Maybe you are a procrastinator at heart, or maybe you have been trying to think of a gift for that person who has everything. No matter, we have just the answer!
Just click here to adopt a nest for that special someone.
They will receive an email right away letting them know about their exciting gift, and then they will receive a certificate for their nest once it is found. Your loved one will also receive a link to their own personal photo album containing pictures of their nest being rescued. Later pictures will be added when the nest hatches and the babies crawl to the sea!
If you act quickly, we might even get the nest tonight. We have 2 dedicated patrol teams going out tonight. Our mama turtles don’t take off for Christmas eve, so we don’t either!
How perfect would it be to give an adopted nest for Christmas and have it found on Christmas eve or early on Christmas morning?
We have a great holiday gift idea! For anyone, really, but especially for your educator friends!
An adopted nest for the classroom, remote classes, or home-schoolers.
Full disclosure here. The teacher we talk about here, Mrs. Kimberley Khouzam, is a childhood friend of mine (Patty). We were catching up over the summer and I was asking how it was teaching in the spring, and what things might be like in the fall. It all sounded so challenging in these times!
Talking about the camp, she said she thought an adopted nest would be a fun activity for her third-grade class in Howell, New Jersey. So, months later, after the school year was started and everyone was (kind of) settling in, I thought it would be a fun gift to give her and her class.
It has been such a fun project for all of us, that it got me to thinking what a great this would be, not just for Kim and her class, but for any classroom.
I think we all know how hard this past year has been and will continue to be for educators. Whether the classroom is remote, mixed, or in-person and distanced, putting together lesson plans for this new environment is quite a challenge. Anything we can do to make things easier makes us happy.
Watch for future posts where we talk about what fun things were done in the classroom, what lessons were taught, along with feedback from teacher and students.
Happy holidays to each and every one of you, our supporters!
Especially to those of you who are educators, we hope for a peaceful and restful holiday break!
Today we are proud to share our new Virtual Camp tour video with you. For those of you that you that have visited the camp in the past, we hope you will re-live many happy memories while watching our video. And for those of you that have not had the opportunity to visit yet, we hope this video will give you a good idea of what our camp looks like and some of the things we do in our sea turtle conservation and education work. In either case, if you’re spending the winter in a cold weather area, I hope these scenes of sand, sun, and sea bring you a little warmth.
If you are in the area or plan to be sometime this season, the camp is open for daily releases similar to past seasons but with some operational changes due to the Covid-19 situation. We currently require advance reservations for all visitors and need to limit our group sizes. We are also following standard safety protocols (masks, social distancing, etc.) which are outlined on the main page of our website. But, we are open and welcome you to visit. Just make sure to call (755-121-1021) or send a message on our Facebook page to reserve your spot.
If you’re looking for a different and meaningful gift idea for the upcoming holiday season, we highly recommend our Adopt-a-Nest program. An adopted nest us a great gift for a that special person of any age and it also makes a real difference in the ongoing success of our camp. If you have any questions about the program, please email email@example.com.
We were thrilled to encounter our fourth Leatherback (Laúd) nest of November last night. Our sixth of this season! These are huge numbers for us and very encouraging, especially since we did not have a single Leatherback (Laúd) nest last season.
Three of our Leatherback (Laúd) nests are available for adoption! Check out this little video preview of one of our mamas as a tear runs down her face. Please help us turn her tears into tears of joy.
On Saturday night, our volunteer team encountered (at least) the 3rd unique Leatherback mama, and 4th Leatherback nest of the season. Let me explain…the mama was not encountered at the 3rd nest we found, so we are unsure if the mama from our first nest returned, or if that nest was laid by a unique individual. Either way, this is so much better than last year where we found no Leatherback nests at all.
We tag the turtles we come in contact with, so we know we had not yet seen Saturday’s nesting female. This makes at least 3, maybe 4 Leatherbacks in our nesting area. Such great news.
Look how big she is in this photo with our volunteers!
The other great news is that this nest is up for adoption! So, if you thought about adopting last time but didn’t get around to it…you have another chance. This would make an excellent Christmas present, especially for any science or environmentally minded folks on your shopping list!
And the fun thing about this is that it is a gift that you can enjoy all over again when the hatchlings emerge in approximately 60 days.
Finally, this is a gift that helps us support these incredible creatures in their plight against extinction.
We rescued 317 nests containing 28,982 eggs. The reason we are so excited about this is….2 of these nests, containing 187 eggs were LEATHERBACK. The Pacific Leatherback population, our Leatherbacks, are most at risk for extinction of all sea turtle populations. Finding these 2 nests so early in the season has us beyond happy! Spoiler alert….we have already had one more in November that is possibly our 1st mama returning (seeking an adopter!). This species of Sea Turtle can nest 7 to 11 times in one season, 8 to 12 days apart.
Our little beach here is the talk of the turtle world! We are so very thankful to be part of this.
We encountered and tagged both nesting Leatherbacks, which is a great help to scientific community! We also tagged 47 Olive Ridley’s and saw 5 more that we had previously tagged. Four of these ladies were tagged this season, while one was tagged last year.
Now the other statistics…which are not as exciting….
We lost 47 nests and 6 nesting mama’s to human poachers. Losing the 6 adult females, as you know, is really troubling to us. And the increase in the occurrence of stolen turtles really has us concerned. 🙁
We lost 8 nests and 0 nesting mama’s to dogs this month.
While not losing any nesting females to dogs is very good news, the humans more than made up for it.
In other camp news, our work horse ATV has had more than the usual maintenance problems. Since we are doing 2 patrols each night, this isn’t totally unexpected, but these costly repairs during a season with activities limited by Covid is becoming a problem.
Early in the month this happened, yikes.
Then later in the month, one of the wheels was wobbly due to a broken Axle. Another unexpected expense.
We sure could use some help, with these expenses….hint, hint 😉
Best Picture of the month again goes to Felipe!
Damaris, Daniela, Luis, & Erika with Mama Leatherback
It might not be the clearest picture, but it is still my absolute favorite! At the far left is our founder Damaris Marin Smith greeting her first Leatherback turtle. She has been doing this since 2011, but has not (until now) had the opportunity to meet one in person. This nest was close to camp, so she was still on the beach when Damaris, with additional volunteers, arrived to help with the nest. The smile on her face says it all!
THIS is what makes everything we do worth it! Thank you for supporting our efforts.