A round of applause
I think that peopleʼs mentality is slowly changing in a positive way. You have a chance to see this when you get away from your daily routine. Itʼs like when, being together with your child every day, you donʼt realize how theyʼve grown – someone else has to point it out in order for you to see it.
I remember the era of the 70s and 80s, when we first descended on the turtle beaches, wishing we had eyes in the back of our heads because we were followed and threatened by the presumable “aggrieved” ones.
In mid-August 2011, Dimitris and I had come to Koroni beach, which has been under the care of ARCHELON for 6-7 years, on our vacation. During my afternoon swim, I saw four young people walking along the back end of the beach and one swimmer get up to offer them a beach mat. Immediately interested, I looked and saw that they were wearing ARCHELON Volunteer T-shirts.
They headed for a marked nest and started to excavate it with a noticeable professionalism. Gradually, people on the beach approached them. Fortunately, one of the ʽturtle peopleʼ was able to give the right answers to the onlookersʼ legitimate questions because an excavation is something impressive but not altogether pleasant for the uninitiated.
When they had finished collecting data relating to the nest, which had been made in mid-June, they counted empty eggshells from turtles which had hatched and left, dead embryos, unfertilized eggs, etc., photographed the contents, and then put everything back into the nest and covered it with sand.
And then the fantastic happened: One of the onlookers said in a loud voice, ʽNow we should thank all these people who work without being paid so that we – here in our country – can have beautiful beaches and a clean environment,ʼ and everyone there applauded.
The same night, an old friend from Koroni was a member of our company. Dimitris, noting the classical musical concert taking place at the castle, commented that there was a high ʽspiritualʼ level at Koroni. And the Koroni local replied, ʽBut of course – we have ARCHELON here.ʼ
The purely Mediterranean ARCHELON team in Koroni (Italians, Spaniards and Greeks) under the direction of Viki Doulou, gave me the impression that they work seriously, and have a good relationship – both within the team and with the public, as we saw from the incident just mentioned.
I feel that these groups of ʽturtle peopleʼ scattered throughout Greece are like stars in the sky. They emit light and collect energy from all parts of the world, and I hope they long continue. They are our hope for a better future. We owe them a great deal of thanks.
Anna K-M 24/8/11
Translation by Joanne Stournara
Tragic events at the Koroni Caretta caretta nesting beach
NO! to the Youth Beach Festival on the Caretta caretta nesting beach organized by the Phaistos Municipality and the Crete regional authorities for 12 August
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?
ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada
Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?
A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives
“ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded
Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future
Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think
Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre
“During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!
Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”
The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!
The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!
- OUR NEWS15/11/2023
The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role
Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.