As a fishing town and tourist destination, El Astillero depends on the ocean for its economic security. Our program combines education, wellbeing, and surfing to increase awareness of sea turtle conservation, support coastal ecosystem regeneration, and promote marine conservation.
We support El Astillero surf club to run weekly beach cleanups. We join night patrols on the beaches of chacocente durring nesting season and co-manage turtle nurseries in collaboration with the nicaraguan ministry of the environment, MARENA.
We have several research grants with a turtle conservation and fisheries focus and also provide free surf lessons to the local children of El Astillero.
Chacocente is one of three places in the world where thousands of endangered Olive Ridely turtles arrive for mass nesting events on the beach. Unfortunately turtle eggs are a local delicacy and their high price means that egg poaching is an ongoing problem. Casa Congo started a nursery where at-risk turtle eggs are protected, incubated and then released upon hatching.
We work very closely with MARENA (local environmental government body) and the community to create conservation solutions which engage, educate and protect. Beach patrols are organized during mass nesting and and our youth program, the Brigada Ecológica take part in turtle research and protection.
Plastic waste is a huge problem for local wildlife, especially turtles who confuse plastic in the ocean for Jelly fish and often are found asphyxiated by plastic on the beach. We take place in weekly beach and town clean ups run by the local Astillero Surf Club.
Our surf instructor Jonathan has always been a talented surfer but struggled to support his family and focus on his surfing at the same time. We have trained Jonathan to be a surfing coach and now he spends his days teaching kids how to love and respect the ocean, all the while earning a living to support his family and himself.