The Turtles of Gran Pacifica

Posted by Patrick Hiebert on Sep 28, 2020 10:12:28 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

Mr. Hiebert graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Winnipeg in Canada. After working as a consulting specialist on emerging technologies for several years Patrick co-founded an Energy Management Software firm, TransEnergy Management, which quickly grew from the founders to over 300 employees with offices and clients in the US, Canada, Central, and South America, Europe, and Australia. After the company was acquired Patrick founded a second software company, Epikos Solutions, which was also later privately acquired. Finding himself with more time on his hands, Patrick took the opportunity to travel with his family. One of these travel adventures took him to Nicaragua. Looking for a change and to make a difference in people’s lives, Patrick found Nicaragua to be the perfect blend of the safest country in Central America, friendly people, beautiful landscape, and the perfect climate. Patrick is now in his 11th year working, volunteering, and now living full time in Nicaragua. Applying his business experience and knowledge to Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort as owner of the hotel rental, tours, and restaurant businesses, Patrick grew these businesses substantially in a few short years. As Chief Operating Officer for ECI Development, Patrick oversees all departments of the company’s efforts in Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua and its expansion into other Central and South American countries. As the founder of the Help Them Help Themselves charitable foundation, Patrick is also very committed to improving the lives of the local people through leading many projects that focus on healthcare, education, and shelter. He can be contacted at

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