About Sea turtle sanctuary La Tortuga Viva

La Tortuga Viva – Campamento Tortuguero Playa Icacos – is a local NGO in Juluchuca, Guerrero, Mexico. La Tortuga Viva partners with sustainable boutique hotel Playa Viva to protect the thousands of sea turtles that come to nest each year along the beach of Playa Icacos, an area stretching from Petatlán to La Barrita on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Our mission is to simply protect and preserve these turtles for present and future generations for the benefit of both people and nature. The project is entirely run by 14 local volunteers. Besides the conservation operations, La Tortuga Viva is running environmental education activities for the local communities.

For more info:




Position: Sea Turtle Sanctuary Volunteer

The sanctuary volunteer is a multifaceted role, involving scientific data collection and analysis, community engagement, environmental education, and management. S/he will work under the guidance of and report to Playa Viva’s Social and Environmental Impact (SEI) Officer and the Sea Turtle Sanctuary Coordinator. S/he will assist and oversee conservation work, organize and lead educational presentations in the community and for hotel guests, organize sanctuary visits and hatchling releases (for hotel guests), write quarterly reports, and engage in fundraising and social media. Ideal candidate will have experience working in sea turtle conservation, have a background in ecology/marine biology, fluency in Spanish, strong interpersonal communication skills, experience working in developing country contexts, community engagement, and ecotourism. This is a great opportunity for a budding young professional to gain experience on the ground in community-based conservation and ideal for someone with a science background who is also interested in management.

Tasks and responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Help our sea turtle conservation program (coordinating La Tortuga Viva volunteers)
  • Manage and coordinate LTV activities and volunteers, provide support and capacity building for volunteers, and assist with turtle preservation work, including but not limited to: attending nightly patrols, overseeing nest relocation, data collection & analysis
  • Track supply usage for turtle sanctuary operations (gasoline for ATV, paint and markers for signs used in hatchery, plastic bags, scales, measuring tape, etc.)
  • Research and ensure best practices for nest relocation, sea turtle monitoring, and sea turtle ecotourism are up to date and being applied
  • Liaise with SEI Officer and Hotel Activities manager to coordinate hatchling release and visits to turtle sanctuary (for hotel guests)
  • Liaise with SEI to organize and conduct small presentations on sea turtle protection in local schools (preschool, elementary, and high school), as well as for hotel staff and guests
  • Liaise with SEI Officer to leverage and foster new and existing partnerships with conservation actors locally and internationally;
  • Develop quarterly report (to feed into Annual Report for our fiscal sponsor, The Ocean Foundation)
  • Fundraising
  • Social media engagement to communicate sea turtle work via various social media platforms (Playa Viva blog, Facebook, & Instagram).

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS in Marine Biology, Conservation, Ecology, Environmental Science or related field from an accredited university, or alternatively previous experiences with sea turtles or in the conservation field.
  • Excellent research, writing, and organizational skills
  • Proficiency in scientific data collection, collation, and analysis;
  • Fluency in Spanish (note: formal communications are in English) and English (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • Willingness and ability to work in a tropical remote environment with a minimum of 4-5 months commitment.

Ideal start date: September/October, 2020


In exchange for your service, we provide a shared house (with other volunteers) in the neighboring town of Juluchuca, a small traditional Mexican town of about 500 people. You will also receive 2 meals per day at the hotel, 6 days per week. We do not provide transportation to and from Mexico, but will arrange for airport/bus station pickup when you arrive/depart. Volunteers are welcome to fundraise for their position to provide themselves with a living stipend to cover additional costs (note: cost of living outside position’s benefits run 100-200 USD per month).

How to Apply?

Please send a copy of your CV/resume to lorenzo@playaviva.com. Additionally, please indicate your level of Spanish fluency and the date you are available to start the position.