Esperanza: The Story of a Sea Turtle

Loggerhead Sea Turtle - J.N. Ding Darling - U.S. Fish and Wildlife ...¡Hola, amigos!  My name is Esperanza.  I am a caguama — that’s a loggerhead sea turtle.  I was born right here in Akumal thirty years ago.  This is my first visit home.  I don’t remember so many buildings and lights!

I have been swimming around the Caribbean, eating thousands of sponges, jellyfish, and crabs.  I had to put on a lot of weight to be able to lay eggs.  During the two months I lay eggs, I don’t eat.

During that time, I come to the shore every two weeks to lay my eggs.  It is a challenge because  I am built for the sea.  On land, I am clumsy and my vision is blurry.  I can find myself in scary situations.  I often cannot tell what something is until I walk into it.  Last night I hit a lounge chair that was left on the beach and got tangled up in it.

Two weeks ago I fell into a pool that didn’t have any barriers.  I needed five humans to get me out.  Until they came, I swam back and forth, back and forth in the pool for hours.  My eyes were burning from the pool water.

It’s even worse when people leave their outside lights on or their drapes open.  I get disoriented by the light.

Noises like loud parties also scare me.  I need to be able to hear to know if mapaches are nearby.  Those mapaches!   They dig up my nests and eat my eggs if they see me or smell the eggs.  I wish people wouldn’t leave food or trash on the beach.  It attracts more mapaches. I saw another turtle’s nest they had attacked.  So many eggs lost!  I was sad.

I am frightened of dogs, too.  They can destroy my nests or even attack me!

Can you help me and all the other sea turtles?  Following a few simple rules would really help us.

Soon my eggs will hatch and my hatchlings will race to the sea.  I may get to see them for a few minutes if we pass in the night.  They are my gift to Akumal, my natal beach.  In another thirty years, some of them will be returning here too.

— as told to Sheree

Can you help me and all the other sea turtles?  Following a few simple rules would really help us.

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