We knew we were staying at a place that works to protect the sea turtles that nest on the beach. Even so, that knowledge did not stem our excitement when we stumbled into a tub of hatchlings in the reservation office!
Apparently turtle eggs are a delicacy in Nicaragua and poachers hunt the beaches at night to steal the eggs and sell them in Managua or Rivas. We learned that there are far fewer turtles hatching this year and the local police may be turning a blind eye to the poaching.
We felt very lucky to witness this release.
The bucket was unceremoniously dumped on the sand 70 feet from the ocean and we watched as the little guys maneuvered themselves through the throng of tourists that gathered (ourselves included).
These little guys were worn out and took a nap in the sand. They were eventually helped by human hands.
We learned that the hatchlings need to find their own way down to the water or else they won’t find their way back to the beach to spawn. The turtle keeper told the kids that they could carry the lazy/sleepy ones down to wet sand, but not to put them in the water.
Eventually we returned home to nurse our burns while whining about useless sunscreen and bemoaning the fact that I forgot to pack the aloe gel.