A Wonderful Experience

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During my stay at Jalova, I worked a good deal of time on the Jaguar Project, usually by traveling up and down the beach between mile markers 18 and 14, where cam traps had been set up near the beach or near a recently predated turtle carcass. Carcass cameras were set up whenever a new turtle carcass appeared on the beach and would remain there for almost up to a week. Mile marker cameras, on the other hand, would remain where they were set up every week, with only their SD cards being swapped out every Tuesday on Jag Cams. Once we returned to base after Jag Cams, we would review the footage we recovered to see if any jaguars were still in the area. On Thursdays, if you had the stamina and endurance for it, some of us would go on what is called Jag Walk. It's the 14.5 mile walk you've probably already heard about. During that walk, I would alternate with others every 3 miles different positions we were given: GPS tracking, noticing whether we saw any jaguar tracks, noting how many turtle nests we saw, counting how many turtle tracks there were, or recording data at every half-mile. At the end of Jag Walk, we were given the chance to have a nice meal in the town of Tortuguero.

Living accommodations on base were very basic. The diet was very vegetarian-oriented due to a lack of a working fridge. We would get fried or grilled chicken every Friday from Tortuguero. Showers and dorms were co-ed, but we did have locked doors for showers and toilets. Washing was very basic and had to be done by hand, and drying clothes might take some time due to the constant humidity and unpredictable weather.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The people at Jalova were very welcoming and a lot of fun to work with. I thoroughly recommend to anyone, who shares a passion in environmental conservation, to go to Jalova.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed