Meeting Sea Turtles in Cancun

by Laurie Gourley on October 6, 2010

Holding baby sea turtles in Cancun

One afternoon on a recent visit to Cancun, I saw some commotion near one of the beach hotels and wandered over to see what was going on.

The hotel staff was digging up little sea turtle eggs and placing them in coolers for safety. They explained that the sea turtles were about to hatch and they would stay in the sand filled cooler for one day. The next evening they would release newly hatched sea turtles to the beautiful Cancun waters.

By law, the entire coast of Mexico is federal property and is open to the public. In reality, hotels hire security guards that discourage locals from using the beaches outside the hotels. The safety of these tiny sea turtles is in the hands of the men and women who guard the Cancun beaches.

Many people would like to take the eggs or the baby turtles who hatch for a delicious snack. It is believed they are aphrodisiacs. If people don’t get to the eggs, birds will.

I thought about tourists walking around, unaware that the baby sea turtles were sleeping right under their foot prints in the sand. I suddenly had a picture of the little creatures curled in their eggs like babies.

I watched as the kind security guard held one of the little turtles, petting it under its chin. To my amazement they allowed me to hold a newly hatched turtle. As I held this tiny new born, I wondered what kind of life lay in front of my new friend. I hoped for the best.

Have you ever come across sea turtles in Cancun? What was your experience like?

Laurie is CEO at All About Mexico. She loves traveling, tennis and making new friends. You can follow her on twitter @allaboutlaurie.
Laurie Gourley
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