"I just returned from a week long volunteer trip in Honduras with Dr. Steve Dunbar. This specific project involved conservation work with Olive Ridley turtles in the small community of El Venado, Choluteca, which lies along the Gulf of Fonseca. As I worked alongside Dr. Dunbar and the people of El Venado, I felt as though I was a welcomed part of the team. By day I enjoyed walking throughout the community, conversing with the adorable children, constructing items needed for the research, and reading/relaxing in the hammocks. By night we all walked the beautiful moonlit beach in search of turtles and nests. When we found one, we would tag the turtle, measure the turtle, collect the eggs, redeposit the eggs safely in the hatchery, and perform various other aspects of research. Dr. Dunbar operates in a manner true to his website's call for real volunteers. I was never a spectator to his work, rather I was warmly and eagerly welcomed as a "colleague." Dr. Dunbar invited me to join him in almost every aspect of the daily objectives and happenings. If you want a hands on experience with turtles and research you will not be disappointed.
Dr. Dunbar was also an invaluable source of information on sea turtles, research practices, conservation, and Honduras in general. He has a wholistic understanding Honduras, as a country and people, which truly enriches his research and your experience as a volunteer. I left the country with a broader worldview and a much deeper understanding of the people, animals, politics, economics, and history of Honduras. Dr. Dunbar graciously answered question after question as I soaked up every bit of information I could; it is evident that he truly loves his work and is dedicated to understanding the country where he conducts his research. If you could imagine everything you might walk away with from an experience such as this, just know that in actuality it will far surpass your predictions and expectations. It did for me and I will never forget this experience!"