Are you interested in going on an Envirotrip? Find out more about the 2018 trip and enter for a chance to win a trip to Belize with Envirokidz and SEE Turtles!
In the spring of 2015, we partnered with SEE Turtles to send six lucky EnviroTrip winners to Costa Rica on a mission to save the sea turtles. They set off excited to spend some time in the sun and learn more about these amazing endangered creatures, and returned with as one EnviroTrip-per put it, “experiences and memories that we will cherish for a lifetime.”
From the moment the plane landed, they got to see the sights and sounds that make Costa Rica so magical, including an encounter with the local crocs – from a distance of course! Then it was off to the Osa Peninsula, home to the Golfo Dulce – a beautiful gulf with an incredibly diverse ecosystem, and sea turtle central.
Save the Sea Turtles!
The EnviroTrip is a unique opportunity for kids and their families to not only learn more about conservation, but to volunteer alongside researchers to help creatures like the sea turtles. Our up-close-and-personal sea turtle encounter involved heading out to key sea turtle spots in a boat.
When we found a sea turtle, our team would bring it in to shore with researchers so they could measure them and tag them. We were fortunate to find Hawksbill turtles, which are critically endangered. Finding even one Hawksbill is good news for the species, as sightings have been extremely rare in the past – we found a few!
Save the Trees, Too
Part of the beauty of the Golfo Dulce lies in the stunning mangrove forests that grow on the coast – right in the water! They are an important part of coastal ecosystems, protecting shorelines from storms and erosion, as well as acting as a breeding ground for marine life.
These forests are at risk – so mangrove restoration was a big goal for our EnviroTrip. We learned about how crucial mangroves are, and helped plant seedlings – for some of our volunteers, this was the highlight of the trip!
An Organic Cocoa Finale
A trip to Costa Rica isn’t complete without tasting the chocolate that is grown there. We took a trip to an organic cocoa plantation to see where cacao is grown – and the importance of growing cacao sustainably.
The dedicated cacao farmer walked us through the process from seed to deliciousness, and highlighted all the ways he’s supporting wildlife and healthy jungle. And yes, we got to taste some chocolate!
Here’s what our new friends had to say about their trip to save the sea turtles:
“Thanks for a great trip! I am totally sold on the idea of eco tourism for kids Chloe’s age. It really opened up her eyes to a lot of conservation issues, but also let her know there are some cool jobs all around the world she can do when she’s a bit older.”
“It was amazing to be able to work with the turtles and learn so much about them. I came home with memories that will last me a lifetime!!!”
“I keep telling everyone that I learned more last week than I have learned in the last 10 years!!”
“I never expected to meet so many incredible people and stay friends with them…long after the trip is done. I knew some of the work would be hard…but didn’t know it would be so rewarding.”
“This trip has not only been a humbling experience, but it has also provided us with a lifetime of memories, friendship, and the wonders of the Costa Rica eco-system and wild sea turtles.”
Envirotrip 2017: Saving Sea Turtles in Belize
Does Envirotrip sound like something your family would enjoy? Be sure to enter our 2017 contest below for a chance to help SEE Turtles in Belize! Our trip winners will get a chance to help with sea turtle, manatee and dolphin surveys, snorkel, go cave tubing, and more!