Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends -
As I dropped the last volunteers at the bus station, I found myself adrift in warm memories of this summer's program and the blend of community and international volunteers that made it possible. Through difficult conditions they skillfully protected the marine turtles environment on land, while saving over 522 nests. As I reached home, my memories turned to the realization that the international volunteers were gone, and I miss them. For now, the workload has shrunk to a scant 54 nests in the nursery, and only three nests have been found in the past two weeks.
The record to date: we have collected and placed within the nursery 416 nests, equaling 41,250 eggs; this number should yield about 34,134 hatchlings by season's end. An additional 103 nests were relocated to better locations, yielding an estimated 7,888 hatchlings. The poachers were able to take 7.4% or 42 nests and killed two turtles. Four other nests had been washed out by the high surf. The total nests counted comes to 570; this is 71 less than last year's total, but this may change if more nests are found.
As the nesting season comes to an end, priorities shift to the annual tasks of raising funds for this coming summer. But the task has not been easy. The drop in tourism and the temporary loss of our hotel presentation caused our T-shirt sales to drop by 284 this year. The collection of donations has been slow as well, hopefully by mid December, the San Francisco telephone directory will be finished, and I'll have a gift to give to our local contributors for their support.
Another member is leaving San Pancho. Rocio is only months away from selling her home and moving to Nuevo Vallarta to get her boys closer to their schools. Rocio has been our treasurer for over seven years. Another member may be returning, namely Elvia, who with her husband Geno, has purchased land east of town and will start to build their retirement home in the coming years. Cheryl Lovitt, one of our 1998 volunteer, now Cheryl Donoso, has returned for her third visit with her husband Claudio and her eleven-month-old daughter Lauren
Following are the names of all the volunteers that made this nesting season a remarkable one. The list is arranged in the order that the volunteers came to the program this year, and includes their home and the number of years they have worked with the marine program
Juan, Liberado, Placido and Juan Flores E. Jr., San Pancho, Tenth season
Celine Lefevre, France, First season, - Victor Daniel Jimenez, San Pancho, Third season
Joseph, Dianne, Kelsey and Sanda Cavallaro, USA, Third season
Jim and Linda Sorter, USA, Second season
Horacio Ruiz C., San Pancho, Forth season - Jesus Arias R., San Pancho, First season
Claudia Pancoast, USA, First season - Tomas García, San Pancho, Ninth season
Somón Oasilla C., San Pancho, Seventh season - Stephen Shull, USA, First season
Ellsworth E Hilligoss, USA Second season - Angela Kaas, Netherlands, First season
Ameer Khanbal, Olivia Knight-Adams, Claudine Falla, Octavia Morris, England, First season
Carlos Nuños R., Third season - Cristian Leonides Padilla, San Pancho, First season
Brandy, Chen Hsuan-fen, Taiwan, and Mark South, England, First season
Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross, England, First season
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Heading home after 45 days in the nest!!