San Pancho and Turtle News from Costa Verde Ecological Group
Frank D. Smith - Ecological Group of Costa Verde

December 5, 2016

Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~  

By the end of November we recorded over 628 nests. 554 were placed in the box nursery, 44 nests were left on the beach and 32 nests were taken by poachers. By the end of November we released over 35,978 hatchlings at a survival rate of 87.2%. Since the box nursery is too cold in November, all nests found after mid-November have been relocated in special areas along the beach for their protection. We will release in front of town until mid-January, when the last nest hatches.

October volunteers: Season Rackley, Gale Greer and Lorren Garliche, Lena Nasdal, Sally and Ruby. Season Rackley returned home on November 15th. Local volunteers are Manuel, Juan Sr. and Jr. and Librado Flores, Julio Gonzales and America Tejas, Patty and Jorge Morales.

As I left Season Rackley at the airport and turned to leave her at the gate I felt tears filling my eyes. She had been with us for five months and, at 18 years old, she could have run the project on her own like no other.

After seven month of unusually good service the dune buggy began to fail in mid-November. First it was the alternator; it was diagnosed as un-repairable and was replaced. Then the torsion-bar snapped, it took a day of hard work to repair. As soon as both were replaced and repaired the transmission’s first gear went out big-time. The mechanic towed it away on December 1st.       

Weather wise:  November daytime temperatures were in mid to low 80°s while night time temps were in the mid to low 70°s. November rain came to 0.64 inches, total for the 58.44 inches. Mother Nature’s revenge at her best, we drove out to the beach at 8:30 to release about 800 hatchlings and found the entire beach flooded with a 500,000-watt light. A large movie company was filming a wedding in front of town, employing tons of film and sound equipment that filled a large semi-truck, including cameras on tracks, etc.

When we got the nerve to ask them to turn off the mega watt light, a light that would be detrimental to the turtles, they said maybe later. Having no other choice we released them under a cliff at the far north end of the beach. As we were returning home, suddenly, out of nowhere, a lightning/rain storm started to poor rain catching the entire filming crew off guard. Within second hundreds of lights went off, and the crew panicked and removed their filming equipment out of the rain. Karma was on our side!    

Town and Country: Entreamigos has undergone a beautiful facelift with a new façade and playground. The old makeshift post office has been refurbished and will be opening soon. Regular gasoline is 2.80 USD per gallon. The peso itself has been fluctuating from 18.2 to 20.4 per dollar.

Guess what!? We are editing the 2017 San Pancho Homeowner’s Directory, and need your corrections, additions or deletions as soon possible. We are also looking for new Contributing Sponsors to replace the ones that have vanished over the past five years. Today we have about 129 Sponsors in the 2017 directory, far short of the 164 we listed back in 2004. The loss of so many good donors will make it impossible to raise the necessary funding to achieve our goal. Please help us find others to join in the Homeowners Directory this.  

The Grupo Ecológico is made possible by your contributions. 100% of the money is used in the most cost effective way to save the turtles. There are zero administration costs, and it is all volunteer run.  Our objective is to maintain the natural environment for the turtles and keep them returning to San Pancho. We are working hard to preserve this beautiful place and keep the turtles coming back for generations to come. Email us at   

Frank D. Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Project Tortuga
Tel. 311-258-4100

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