Reports from the Field

Utila Experience

“Being at this project was definitely one of the best experiences I could have. The project is making an impact in the island of Utila and by extent Honduras, since it makes a great effort in researching and conserving the fauna that exists in the area. I am very thankful towards the staff as they were always kind and comprehensive, and were also good friends and mentors while I stayed with them. I got to learn many new things about insects, arachnids, iguanas, bats, anoles, snakes, and hermit crabs through the fieldwork that the organization makes daily in their aim of understanding the wildlife that exists in Utila.


Spray-painted anole.

I had three big challenges in the project. The first challenge was being on a vegetarian diet, I had never been a vegetarian and was a little afraid I could not keep up with it, however to my surprise being on a vegetarian diet is quite pleasant, the meals cooked at the facility are so delicious that I had no problems with keeping up with the diet. The second one was the fact that I did not know many of the techniques that the staff employed in order to study the animals. However thanks to the staff’s mentoring and for letting me handle certain animals, with their supervision, I eventually and easily overcame this challenge. The third challenge was the development of my own research. I was so inspired by the studies made that I wanted to make one too, so I asked the staff if I could do a research and they accepted my request, thus my hermit crab research was born. I had no idea on how to start my research so all the staff helped and guided me on how to do the research. With their help I designed and constructed research tools, gathered information from the study site, designed maps, collected and measured hermit crabs. I am really thankful towards the staff for lending me their lab equipment and their time in order to make a great research and also for me helping overcome the challenge that the research was for me.

I believe the hermit crab research we made together is a good a contribution to further the understanding of the fauna that lives in the beaches of Utila. I am proud

Hermit crabs in Utila.

to know that there is an organization like this one in my country helping in the conservation of wildlife and that encourages students from different places to join in their efforts of protecting the natural environment. I also feel very satisfied with myself as I could apply my knowledge on a real scenario in order to develop the hermit crab research.

I highly recommend people to volunteer in this project as they will be surprised on how much someone can learn in a short amount of time with the amazing staff of the project. Also because you will get to know Utila and get to participate in activities like snorkeling and celebrations that take place in the island such as Earth Day and weekend parties.”


Wildlife Research Internship in Honduras

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Jason Baquedano