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 Releasing baby turtles into the ocean.

Releasing baby turtles into the ocean.

While in Costa Rica, I volunteered with the Latin American Sea Turtle Association (LAST).  I spent three days in a remote part of Costa Rica volunteering with LAST. It was an amazing experience! At night, we patrolled the beaches for turtles laying eggs and poachers. We also supervised the hatchery and got to release the baby turtles into the ocean! 1 out of every 1000 baby turtles make it to adulthood, so it's great to know we are helping increase their odds! 

In Costa Rica, there is a non-confrontation agreement between Sea Turtle conservationists and poachers. Basically, whoever gets to the Sea Turtle and it's eggs first wins. It was a pretty odd experience walking up and down the beach at 3:00am and only being able to see a silhouette and knowing that you were walking past a poacher. Poachers kill turtles for their meat, shells, and eggs. They sell the meat and eggs, and make jewelry from the shells. Sea turtles are endangered, some critically endangered, so next time you consider purchasing a sea turtle product, please reconsider.

The cost to volunteer with LAST is bit expensive at about $40USD a night, but is cheaper compared to other similar organizations.  The experience is definitely worth it though.  The $40USD a night pays for your accommodation and food.  You also have to pay to get to the LAST office in San José, for a taxi to the bus station, and then your bus ticket to Bataan.