European Voluntary Service in ARCHELON

ARCHELON hosts around 500 volunteers from all over the world each year. Last year, we had a great increase of volunteers of around 25%. The volunteers come from a variety of countries like Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil etc. (please see the map). It is great opportunity for all of the people who work in a multiethnic environment to cooperate and interact with different people with different cultures and languages. It is amazing how they live and work together and they become one team with one target and same goals. A lot of lifelong friendships or even relationships have occurred during those years. The volunteers get an experience of a life time.


ARCHELON also hosts EVS volunteers who are the ones who stay longer and put much of their energy to each project, get involved physically and mentally into the particular projects since they stay the longest period. Most of them they get in touch so much with the project and the people they cooperate with, that it is not normal for them to go back to their home towns. The majority of the feedbacks we get refer that they will continue doing work for the nature or even the sea turtles wherever they are in the world.

At the moment we host 4 volunteers at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center and below you can find some of their thoughts.

About Sanne Bergman


Sanne Bergman-Swedish 20 years old “From the -30 Celsius in Sweden to the Greek sun. I will be working in ARCHELON Rescue Center for 6 months. Greece has everything that is close to me; ocean, sun, culture and adventure. And through ARCHELON I will get to do what I want to do in my life: Fight for animal rights.”


About Tuukka Peltonen


Tuukka Peltonen-Finnish 21 years old “I am from Finland, town called Kuopio. I chose Greece because I know much about Greek history, but not much of present days. So I wanted to know how the local people live and know the culture bette r, that is why I chose this project. The project lasts 6 months and ends in July. When I was choosing a project that I would want to participate, I wanted to do something that I couldnʼt be able to do back in Finland. I chose ARCHELON because it seemed to be a practical job. Work with the turtles and be close to them.”

About Katharina Salzl


Katharina Salzl-Austrian 20 years old “My home country is Austria and I decided to come to Greece because I had never been there and I would like to get inside the Greek culture and mentality. I will stay in Athens for 6 months and afterwards I want to go to a nesting project. Before I come to Greece I finished school focusing on social care management and I liked it, but I also wanted to see how the work with animals is. The description of ARCHELON on the youth in action home page was very interesting, so I sent my application to them and they accepted me. I really enjoy working and staying here in Greece so far.”

About Bauke Kwast


Bauke Kwast Netherlands 18 years old “I arrived in Greece during the winter, through EVS project. I am 18 years old, dutch and half denish. Here, in ARCHELON, I work with sea turtles with 3 other volunteers. They came all with EVS. The best thing here is, that you get contact with people from all over Europe. I noticed I lost some ideas about different countries, and also gained some. For the next 4,5 month I will be here in Glyfada at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre, and I am sure I am going to miss it.”




    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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".

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    19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe

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    Messages of love from the world turtle community!

    Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide

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    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.

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  10. OUR NEWS

    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.

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  11. OUR NEWS

    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.

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  12. OUR NEWS

    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.

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  13. OUR NEWS

    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.

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  14. OUR NEWS

    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!

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  15. OUR NEWS

    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.

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