One of the great advantages of ecotourism is having the opportunity to witness the wonders of nature first hand. Just one of the many unique and amazing animals that reside in our little area of El Salvador is the Olive Ridley sea turtle. If you are lucky, you may be able to see this sea turtle on the Barra de Santiago beach.
Olive Ridley turtles get their name from the coloring of their heart-shaped shell, which starts out grey when they first hatch, but becomes olive green once the turtles are adults. Olive Ridley turtles are one of the smallest species of sea turtle, with adults reaching 2 to 2.5 feet in length and weighing 80 to 110 pounds.
Female Olive Ridleys have a remarkable way of nesting that sets them apart from other animals. Large groups of turtles gather off shore, then simultaneously come ashore to nest and lay their eggs. The nesting rush is known as an “arribada”, which is Spanish for “arrival”. During these arribadas, hundreds to thousands of females come ashore to lay their eggs.
The Olive Ridley turtle’s conservation status is threatened, which means it is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. In breeding populations on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, the Olive Ridley turtle is endangered. The main cause of the historical decline of the Olive Ridley sea turtle is the collection of eggs and killing of adults on nesting beaches.
At La Cocotera Eco Resort, we sponsor a turtle release program that allows guests to participate in the release of baby Olive Ridley turtles into the Pacific ocean. Our eco lodge aims to promote ecotourism and inspire guests to help preserve our natural environment. We purchase the eggs from locals and raise them until they are ready to be released. If you would like to learn more about our eco resort and the turtle release program, contact us at info [at] lacocoteraresort.com