Katja arrived a week and a half ago, and is volunteering as a turtle intern in Ostional on the Nicoya Peninsula. She’ll be there for around 6 weeks. Coordinator Janina visited Katja and had a great couple of days with her – during a turtle arribada! That is when hundreds of sea turtles (mainly Olive Ridley Turtles) arrive at Ostional beach.
The arribadas happen once a month, and normally last for 2 – 3 days. In the rainy season there are so many turtles, that eggs can be sustainably harvested and sold to cover the demand for turtle eggs. One of the greatest threats to the sea turtles is illegal and unsustainable poaching of eggs. Turtle eggs are believed to have aphrodisiac substances, and they are seen as a “delicatesse” in Costa Rica.
Katja is also doing her Master’s research project while she’s on the turtle conservation project. She’ll be interviewing locals on their opinions of benefits and negative aspects of turtle conservation volun-tourism. A very interesting subject, and we’re exited to see what she will find out!
Katja is originally from Germany, but has been living and studying in New Zealand for the last 7 years. She is fluent in English and German, and speaks Spanish on an advanced level. She’s loving her life in Ostional, and she’s definitely a perfect volunteer for the project. We will write more on Katja’s experiences soon! Pura Vida.