Volunteer : • MEGAN •
Nationality : England Period : October 2016
The last two months volunteering with etc has been ab incredible experience for so many reasons, and has given me an invaluable insight into the workings of an NGo dedicated to conservation. Coming from a background in biochemistry, the scientific research that etc carries out is very different from the lab work I do at home, with field work ranging from capturing and measuring sea turtles to taking samples from local ray species using a harpoon gun. I was also lucky enough to run my own project documenting the yellow naped parrot. And if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, there were the nightly beach patrols to protect and monitor nesting turtles and their hatchling, documenting tree species of the beaches, tagging pelagic fish during a sports fishing tournament, and I even learnt how to taxidermy a ray, which is certainly a skill I never thought I would learn! And on top of all that, other activities included pottery, designing and painting signs, fixing up boats, scuba diving, running educational activities for local kids on the beach, and clearing rubbish from the reef. In short, there was never a dull day in El jobo. As etc is a community project involved in many aspects of conservation, there is something here to interest everyone, including tourism, science, the environment, education and art. But the best thing about my time with etc was the people. The family with whom I lived welcomed me with open arms, and from the very beginning it was evident that everybody in the group (both researchers and community members alike) are passionate out what they do. Overall, it was an incredible experience, in a beautiful place with amazing people!