Archive for the ‘turtles’ Tag

Ixtapilla Turtle Sanctuary


In 1994, the 50 or so families of the indigenous Nahua community who live at Ixtapilla on the coast of Michoacan, near the state border with Colima, decided they wanted to take action to save the turtles whose numbers were declining rapidly. Throughout 1994, they estimated that only about 300 turtles had come to the beach to lay their eggs. The numbers had been devastated because people came to the beach in lorries to kill the turtles for their meat, and take away the eggs which are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. The government had passed a law in 1984 banning the killing of turtles and the consumption of their eggs, but like many laws in Mexico, it was ignored.

This year, the numbers of turtles arriving have been very roughly estimated to be around 150,000. This is an extraordinary success story.

On Friday 19th December, I set off at 7am to visit this community for the second time, along with the coordinator of the course in alternative tourism at the university, his wife and three year old son, and two electricians from the university, who were on board to install in the community’s primary school the fifteen computers we were carrying in the minibus. Continue reading