Intern Voice: Tortufest - A celebration of all that Tortuguero has to offer!
On 31st October, Global Vison International’s Jalova Biological Research Station participated in Tortufest an educational event in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. We participated in a day event thrown by the Sea Turtle Conservancy of Tortuguero along with GVI and CORTEC (Canadian Organization for Rainforest and Tropical Ecological Conservation). The event was geared towards the children of Tortuguero although it was open to everyone whether they were tourists or local residents. It was held at the central park of Tortuguero and each of the organisations gave presentations about the work they did in Tortuguero National Park.
Along with these presentations there were educational games, activities and face painting for the children. The face painting in particular was a hit with the children. However they also enjoyed the educational activities as they learnt about the species of Tortuguero National Park, for instance we had puzzles for the children to make local species such as Jaguar, Sloth, Purple Gallinule and Northern Tamandua. We also had an exhibit of skulls that included local wildlife such as Green Turtle, Kinkajou, and Crocodile. We gave presentations on biodiversity and the Jaguar Project that is currently being conducted at Jalova. The Jaguar presentation included footage of jaguars captured on our camera traps. Afterward, many of the children tested their jaguar identification skills on some of the footage. This was perhaps some the children’s’ favourite part of the day as they developed their abilities as future conservationists.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy gave presentations on Marine Turtles and their benefits to the community and environment as well as on sustainability. Then CORTEC gave a presentation on their conservation projects within the park. Tortufest helped the community by educating the youth on the park and its value as a biodiversity hotspot and eco-tourist destination. It also gave the children a chance to experience cross cultural exchanges with Spanish and non-Spanish speakers from all over the world. This is a beneficial opportunity for the children as they are growing up in a tourist town based on nature tourism. Tortufest was also beneficial for the volunteers who participated as they got a chance to interact and speak with the children of Tortuguero.
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