Places to know: Mexican Turtle Center

On the coasts of Oaxaca in México there is a little town called Mazunte and one of the attractions of this place is the Mexican Turtle Center.

Last century, on the beaches of San Agustinillo (neighboring town to Mazunte) the biggest turtle slaughterhouse could be found. For the use of the meat, eggs and shells of the turtles of the area, approximately 200 of them were killed per day. The mortality was such that sometimes sharks arrived at the beaches of San Agustinillo drawn by the odor of blood. In 1990 the Mexican government decreed the banning of the turtle killings and in 1994 the Mexican Turtle Center opened.

Here you can find seven of the eight species of marine turtles, on show and properly cared for, in different growing stages. There are adult turtles but there’s also small ones, very small turtles and all the middle stages of development. There is an aquarium where you can see the turtles swim.

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You can easily stay looking at them for about an hour, kind of hypnotized by their softness and their looks of a prehistoric animal, or listening to them exhale when they go to the surface. That’s what exactly what we did when we took the pictures that accompany this post.

Photo copyright Héctor Barrera

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