Pride Journey Ecotourism: Turtle Conservation in Mexico
To the Huichol people native to the Sierra Madre Mountain range, the spiritual symbol of the tortuga (turtle) is an important one, as the creatures are touted as the helpers of the rain goddesses. From June to December, guests staying at Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa can share in paying this special respect to Mother Nature and this tradition of the local culture by playing a role in the resort’s turtle protection program with the opportunity to release newly hatched turtles into the ocean on the resort’s beach, as well as learn the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and taking care of environment so that species like these can thrive. This activity is offered every day during turtle season. When a large number of turtles are expected to hatch, the hotel invites local schools to participate to create awareness among them too.
When the resort first started this program in 2005, the Ridley Sea Turtle was in danger of extinction. Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa donated a part of their beach to create a permanent turtle nursery and employs a biologist / turtle specialist to oversee the program, patrol during the night, and educate the hotel's staff, guests and visitors about the Ridley Sea Turtle. Today, it is now a vulnerable species and the survival rate is 1:1000, but with programs like this is 1:100.