Texas Tech University students started their summer breaks unlike most: saving baby sea turtles.
Through the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement (CALUE) at the university, eight students traveled to Costa Rica for 10 days. They worked tirelessly to build signs, look for nests and beautify the environment so sea turtles have a better chance for survival.
“90 percent of sea turtles that hit the water die. So there’s only 10 percent that live and if you think about that and think about turtles we’re kinda taking away from that,” said Madalynn Sealey, a Texas Tech student volunteer.
Between poaching eggs and the dangerous trek to the ocean, turtles have quickly become an endangered species that need protection. This led to several organizations seeking volunteers willing to help secure their nests.
“They really started at the core of the community to get this program started,” said Jacy Proctor, program coordinator of CALUE. “They brought in the young people of the community and start helping and educating people on why it’s important to save these sea turtles.”
In the program’s second year, there are still challenges to overcome, such as the language barrier and cultural differences.
“They have maybe 10 people helping year-round,” said Sealey. “They don’t have everything in the world to make this project easy, so for us, just 9 or 10 people coming into this as volunteers and making such a big impact for them.”
The CALUE program intends to go to Costa Rica again next summer.