A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
On Saturday, May 27, 2023, the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre was looking different from all other days of the year because it welcomed hundreds of young and old visitors for the Turtle Festival 2023.
Making the necessary silence, the visitors had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the facilities and get to know some of the sea turtles housed in this special "hospital" of Glyfada, as happens every other day during visiting hours. However, this Saturday was a special day, as many festivities were taking place in the outside area of the Centre.
The inspiration for this year's celebration was the turtle Ella and her travels in the Mediterranean Sea. Ella was spotted nesting in Kyparissia in 2019 by ARCHELON volunteers. After she finished nesting, ARCHELON’s researchers carefully placed a satellite transmitter on her shell and were able to track her travels for the next 2.5 years. These trips were turned into a big game of hide and seek outside the Rescue Centre to celebrate World Turtle Day.
The space was designed to "fit" all the Mediterranean countries that Ella passed through, as well as many activities for our little friends: We buried eggs in the sand like the Loggerhead mother turtles, we made our own turtle-collages with colored pasta, we decorated ourselves with pictures of the sea, we danced, we threw the big dice so that our baby turtles could reach the sea, we became rescuers of injured sea turtles, we sang and together we conveyed a resounding message for the protection of nature!
We were impressed by the young and old visitors with their good behavior and their consistency in the games and we were delighted with their enthusiasm when, in the big tent, there was a live connection with the ARCHELON team in Kyparissia Bay! Michalis Souroulidis, Project Manager for West Peloponnese, connected with Dimitris Fytilis, the Rescue Centre Officer, through the big screen. He showed us a real turtle nest and explained how the volunteers locate and protect the precious nests on the beaches.
And the celebration didn't end there! Finally, the stage was taken over by the Art Group "Parodos" who, with their handmade costumes and accompanied by music, transported us to their marine world. The children dressed up as sea creatures, played and sang together conveying the message for nature protection.
Among the visitors we recognized the Mayor of Glyfada and members of the Municipal Council, who support the Rescue Centre, as well as people from the CMA CGM Group, a global player organization in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, which supports the work of ARCHELON at the Rescue Centre, as well as at the nesting beaches.
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023The Turtle Festival was an opportunity to have with us old and new volunteers who participated in the organization and staffing of the festival and passed on their knowledge and enthusiasm for the protection of the sea and nature. "The Rescue Centre needs more volunteers for its educational and informative activities. We invite everyone who has time and willingness to help this summer and the next school year, to get in touch with us in the coming weeks", explained Anna Kontoleon, Education Officer of ARCHELON.
We sincerely thank everyone who participated in the organization and staffing of the celebration and all the young and old visitors, who with their participation supported the work of ARCHELON for the protection of sea turtles. We will be happy to see you again at the Rescue Centre, the nesing beaches or at the upcoming ARCHELON events!
Learn more about volunteering with ARCHELON here.
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
- 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.