“Dey never finish don Archie. The tel-tel never finish. . . .Dey can’t finish.”
Sibella Martinez’s words to Dr. Archie Carr expressed the belief of the Caribbean people who depended on the annual nesting of sea turtles for food and livelihood. The turtles had always come and they always would come.
But the turtles could finish and almost did. And life in a Costa Rican village was forever altered. In Turning Turtles In Tortuguero readers will learn about the world’s longest running sea turtle research station established in 1955 in Tortuguero, Costa Rica by Dr. Archie Carr. They will meet the biologists who came to learn and stayed to save the turtles. They will experience life in an isolated primitive village and follow its evolution into a colorful thriving ecotourism destination. Its namesake, La Tortuga—the turtle—is still the defining element of life in the village.
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Drawing of Tortuguero jungle
by Larry Ogren, 1959
Leo Martinez (r), looks up from his cayuca with turtles harvested seasonally as a food source.
Undergraduate Larry Ogren holds a red spider monkey as village children look on.
Archie Carr and Shefton Martinez take measurements of a turtle that biologists turned the previous night.
Larry taped closed the eyes of turtle hatchlings to help determine if vision was important in their uncanny ability to head directly to the sea.
A U.S. Navy plane arrives in Tortuguero in 1959 as part of Operation Green Turtle.
Operation Green Turtle, with the aid of the U.S. Navy, proves to be a successful diplomatic venture for the U.S. as Tortuguero green turtle hatchlings were released on beaches throughout the Caribbean. (Archie Carr seen here in Cartegena, Columbia.)
Larry Ogren with Leo Martinez in 1985.
Miss Junie Martinez Taylor operates a lodge and restaurant in the village today.
Eighty seven year old Bill Sambola is a nature guide in the village.
Paperback: 144 pages, 1.3 lbs
Publisher: Edgemark Press;
First edition (December 6, 2013)
10.1 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
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