In La Cruz, people don’t just watch how species of animals are threatened by humans: they tackle to save the turtles from extinction!
The turtles need help
Ricardo Obando took care of boats on the beach El Jobo and lived his whole life in La Cruz. He didn’t know anything about turtles laying eggs there until he spent a night at the beach. He discovered that the animals came here to build their nests and that they were very endangered.
People do not pay attention to the turtles, they steal their eggs or post inappropriate photos with the poor animals. That was enough for Ricardo! He wanted to change something and so he went on patrol at night to look after the turtle eggs with his friend.
Neighborhood gets to work
Over time, more and more people became involved and collected data about the turtles and sent it to the biologist Maike Heidenmeyer to convince her of the existence of the turtles in this region. The neighbours of the area have set up a conservation project, even though the area is rather poor.
But with the help of Maike Heidenmeyer they finally founded a non-governmental organization called “Equipo Tora Carey” (ETC). Eemalige fishermen work together with biologists and together they take blood samples, weigh the animals and take photos of them. The children are also involved. At school they have a specialisation in environmental education and on Saturdays they clean the beach and learn how to recycle properly.
Here it has been proven: each individual can help to protect the environment and the animals. What started out as a small project now has several supporters, including students from other countries who come a long way only to support the community. Heidenmeyer also says that the data is useless as long as people don’t become active. Like Ricardo Obando, who recognized the problem and now does everything to save the turtles!