VIVAZUL and Sea Turtle Conservation in El Salvador
produced and edited by fe and April Chabries
A Tiny Nation Making a World of a Difference
In the small country of El Salvador, VIVAZUL, an organization dedicated to educating people in saving turtles is making an important impact in marine life conservation and the education of coastal communities in having a positive role in saving turtles. Enriqueta Ramirez, a marine biologist, conservationist and founder of VIVAZUL, has been working with coastal communities for a number of years. The strength of her conviction and her focus on people rather than the species has resulted in changing life ways and traditions that have previously threatened turtles.
“By engaging people who for decades have been accustomed to sell turtle eggs in the market as a means of economic survival, to a strategy that benefit both, has been transformative” said Enriqueta in a recent interview.
Salvadoran long-held tradition of eating turtle eggs as an aphrodisiac has had a detrimental effect on sea turtles. Enriqueta’s efforts have paid off this year by rescuing over 200 thousand turtle eggs and putting more than 170 thousand baby turtles into the sea. Vivazul El Salvador is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting positive changes in the conservation and restoration of Salvadoran seashores along with an integral development of coastal communities. Enriqueta’s work has been endorsed by Plant a Fish Foundation and recently was also validated by signing an agreement of support from AGRISAL both dedicated to the conservation of ocean life and the education of coastal communities.
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