In 2013, Carol Shapiro arrived at Estacion Las Tortugas, a sea turtle conservation station on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, to help protect nesting leatherback turtles and participate in trash assessment activities – a volunteer trip created by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and EcoTeach.
During her three days at the station, Shapiro and her fellow volunteers patrolled the beach at night for nesting leatherback turtles, collected eggs and relocated them to a safe hatchery and participated in population studies. During the day, the group worked on beach clean up, monitored the amount of debris found on the beach and learned the devastating impact of trash on marine life.
Inspired by her experience, Shapiro decided she could do more and made an amazing, personal donation of $5,000 to support the conservation work being done at Estacion Las Tortugas. With Shapiro’s donation, the station was able to build a new hatchery that serves as a nursery for thousands of sea turtle hatchlings. These hatcheries are vital to keeping the eggs safe from dogs, birds, crab and other predators.
Shapiro returned to the station in June, 2014 and spent five days volunteering at the station. We were fortunate enough to meet up with Shapiro on her last day at the station as she was presented with a plaque and round of applause from the staff at Estacion Las Tortugas.
“This year, I spent an entire week at the station and really felt like a part of the team. The effort that everyone puts in really hit home with me and I gained an even greater respect for Stanley Rodriguez’s (Estaction Las Tortugas Owner/Project Manager) passion for the turtles and the lifestyle that everyone must lead while they are at the station. It’s not cushy digs, but one of the researchers has come back 12 years in a row. I experienced a more down to earth view for the larger picture and what people can do when they want to save animals,” Carol Shapiro reflecting on her 2014 visit to Estacion Las Tortugas.
A HUGE “Thank You” to Carol Shapiro for her support of Estacion Las Tortugas!
If you would like to help protect endangered sea turtles, check out our 2015 Sea Turtle Volunteer Trips.