Panama: A Turtle Trip

Marissa Ruxin is a student at University of California San Diego and an ISA Featured Blogger. Marissa is currently studying abroad in Panama City on a Fall 1 program.

sea turtle
Up close and personal with mama turtle

After a 7-hour drive, my friends and I finally arrived at Pedasi, a small town on the Pacific coast of Panama.  We took a short two-hour nap and then hopped in the car again.  It was around midnight as we traveled to the beach where the large sea turtles lay their eggs.  With small flashlights we trekked through thick mud that reached our knees at times, then hopped on a boat, and finally we arrived at our destination.

A baby sea turtle rushes down the beach and into the water.
Spotted by my flashlight, a baby sea turtle rushes down the beach and into the water.

Once at the beach, we all searched for the baby turtles that were journeying to the ocean for their first time after breaking out of their eggs.  It was incredible to see them in the dark night, wandering down the sand to the water.  The tiny animals were so small and it was sad to think about how difficult it is for them to survive to adulthood.  They face predators such as crabs, lizards, sharks and whales as well as human poachers, and most will not live to be adult turtles.

Back on the beach, we were lucky enough to witness a mother turtle laying eggs.  It was amazing!  She walked up the beach a bit, sat down, dug a hole and then laid her eggs in time span of about thirty minutes.  It was such a neat experience and made me realize how remarkable a turtle’s life is.

The mama turtle laying her eggs in the sand.
The mama turtle laying her eggs in the sand.

Author: Marrux

I'm a teacher and yogi who's often barefoot, searching for my calling while trying to find contentment.

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