TORTUGAS- take 2
This weekend I went to Ostional in Guanacaste in search of more turtles. It was a super casual and relaxing weekend with just myself, the IFSA Costa Rica advisor Tracy, the IFSA-Butler Health and Safety director Eryn, and her daughter. It was really nice having a weekend by myself with them to get to know them better and to just hang out and have fun. IFSA students are so lucky with the amazing staff members they have!!
So we went to Ostional, which is a very big tourist area because the beach gets thousands of turtles each year that come to lay eggs. At the biological reserve we stayed at, the lady in charge loved telling us about the town and the turtles. It is a small pueblo with only 250 people. All of them work together to help the turtles by cleaning the beach, doing research, and providing tours. In fact, only people born and raised in Ostional, and over the age of 15, can work as tour guides. It is also the only city in the entire country that can sell turtles eggs (yes, for people to eat). The beach is filled with white egg shells from all of the eggs that hatched and I even saw a skull from a turtle that has recently passed away.
I saw four turtles this weekend, finally, but unfortunately did not get to touch one like I wanted. However, I did get to touch a freshly laid turtle egg! They feel like a little empty plastic ball. It was quit an amazing experience to watch the process and it takes some time. The turtle has to come to the beach, find a good spot, dig a deep hole, lay the eggs, fill the hole, and move around in circles to spread the sand out and make it look like they were never there.
Anyway, moral of the story is wildlife in CR is amazing. And any opportunity you get to volunteer or see or do anything- go for it! Especially if it is with IFSA!!