We are a network for the conservation of sea turtles, and individuals and communities are their essence. The work and conviction of fishermen, students, teachers, housewives, scientists, civil society organizations and government institutions make this network stay active.
Our story begins with Wallace J. Nichols and Jeff A. Seminoff on a trip along the coasts of Mexico, where they met sea turtle conservation programs. Some of these programs operated since the mid-60s, promoted by the Mexican government, universities, civil organizations and companies. These programs mostly directed their efforts to nest protection, and work focused on monitoring in feeding areas was scarce.
As part of their doctoral research, Wallace and Jeff then set out the goal of building a diverse network for conservation, which will fill the huge knowledge gaps around the life and situation of sea turtles.
With perseverance and leaving aside the opinions found due to the vastness of their objective, Wallace and Jeff obtained a scholarship and began monitoring work in the communities of Bahía de los Ángeles, Loreto, San Carlos, San Ignacio, Punta Abreojos and Laguna Eye of Hare, being the individuals of these communities and fishermen the essence of this project. Shortly afterwards other people and communities began to be interested and join conservation efforts.
As a result of the commitment and work of the volunteers, 45 people from 8 communities in Loreto met in 1999, in order to share their results and experiences. Being that in this meeting they agreed to be called Grupo Tortuguero and meet the following year. Since then, communities and people have been adding, and year after year they continue to meet to share their experiences and celebrate the perseverance and effort of all its members.
In 2007 Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias was established as a Civil Association, creating an administrative structure and formalizing the diversity of the projects that were carried out.
As a result of 19+ years of work, the members of the network are witnesses of the positive effects both in the increase of the turtle population, and in the respect of individuals and communities towards these species, all thanks to a simple model, that has inspired other people around the world.