The Turtles of Gran Pacifica

Posted by Patrick Hiebert on Sep 28, 2020 11:12:28 AM



Turtles turtles rah rah rah...

Here’s a chance to name the newly upgraded Gran Pacifica Turtle Sanctuary which over the years has saved thousands of Giant Sea Turtles!  If your name is chosen you can win two nights free in an oceanfront condo at Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort in Nicaragua!

All you have to do is fill in the blank and name the Gran Pacifica _____________ Giant Sea Turtle Sanctuary.  

20180306_175708Gran Pacifica residents & guests witnessing the magical moment baby turtles hatch and head out to sea.

Nicaragua is home to five of the seven species of endangered giant sea turtles, the Olive Ridley, Green, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and the massive Leatherback which can weigh over 1,500 lbs!

It was several years ago that the Help Them Help Themselves Foundation got involved in the preservation of giant sea turtles by building a small sanctuary, with the support of Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort. It started with meager beginnings but attracted many volunteers. And even though in the first year there were only a few nests with eggs, seeing the first batch of 80 little baby turtles hatch was very exciting.

20171207_170904Newly hatched baby turtles making their way to their new Pacific home.

Why did Help Them Help Themselves become involved? It is because statistics show that baby sea turtles have only about a 2% chance of making it on their own out in the wild due to poachers and predators, but over a 95% survival rate when protected in a sanctuary before being released into the wild. Poachers are one of the biggest threats to their survival. Since the eggs are known for being a delicacy in the local culture, egg hunters (“Hueveros” in Spanish) constantly scan the beaches looking for giant female turtles that come out of the ocean to lay their eggs. That’s where Help Them Help Themselves and Gran Pacifica staff comes into play. They work peacefully with the Hueveros by buying the eggs from them directly on the beach and bringing the eggs immediately to the sanctuary.

In return, the Hueveros support the cause because they are still earning a living. But instead of selling the eggs at a local market, where they will be eaten, they are helping preserve the species.  Rather than wiping out the species they are helping to protect it so their children and grandchildren can do the same later. A win-win for everybody, especially the turtles!

IMG-20180104-WA0016A mother turtle being watched over by our Gran Pacifica Team.

Just like salmon, giant sea turtles return to the same place they were born when they are mature to lay their eggs.  If you are interested in being a part of the baby sea turtle releases or donating to the program please visit the Help Them Help Themselves site at

Involving your children in the Giant Sea Turtle rescue program at Gran Pacifica is a great way to teach them about wildlife conservation.  Turtles can live to be over 100 years and generally reach maturity at 10-20 years, at which point they will return to lay their eggs on our beaches.  And your children’s children can maybe see the turtles your child helped save lay it’s eggs!

Patrick Hiebert

Written by Patrick Hiebert

Patrick is the VP of Sales and Marketing for ECI Development, a resort development company with properties throughout Central America. After visiting various Central American countries, Patrick moved to Nicaragua permanently four years ago and is happy to chat about the virtues of a life in the tropics. He can be contacted at

Topics: Nicaragua, Gran Pacifica in Nicaragua, Living In Nicaragua, Giving Back, Life in Nicaragua, Nature