Eight kilometers east of Monterrico along the sandy shoreline, Parque Hawaii is a remote turtle nesting and iguana/crocodile breeding site on a pretty beach marked by the presence of sand dunes. The Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Association (ARCAS, www.arcasguatemala.com), has a sea turtle, crocodile, and mangrove conservation project here.
Volunteers are welcome for a minimum one-week commitment ($50 per week for accommodations only) and assist in various projects, including caring for the animals, construction projects, mangrove reforestation, environmental education, and turtle egg collection/hatchery management. Turtle nesting season runs June–November with the peak of the action in August and September.
Getting to Parque Hawaii
You can get to Hawaii from Monterrico via public bus ($0.50), pickup ($5), or via a 20-minute boat ride through the canals ($20). Buses leave at 6 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Hawaii is host to a few weekend homes for Guatemala’s elite but has also added some recommended hotels of late.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com