SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Visite do Patrono de SOS / Our Patron visits

We always have a place in our heart for the many people who have helped the association over the years but a special place is reserved for our Patron, Matthias Schmelz.

Five years ago when a few people decided to try to reverse the drastic decline of turtles on Sal we never imagined that the association would grow so quickly and have such a dramatic effect.

We dreamed of what might be possible, but we knew we did not have enough money to accomplish a lot in the first year.  A chance meeting changed all that.

Costa Fragata on the island of Sal in 2007
Matthias Schmelz was visiting Sal and had taken an island tour in 2007.  At that time there were many, many dead turtles on every beach on the island.  There were also many juvenile and baby turtles kept in terrible conditions for the entertainment of tourists.  Matthias visited one such place and was appalled.  He took immediate action and released the turtles that were being kept in a tiny concrete tank.  His brave action ended in being held at gunpoint and being arrested.  This incident motivated him to try to do something to protect the turtles in Cabo Verde.  Not long after he was told about this new association and asked for a meeting.

That meeting led Matthias to make an amazingly large donation, a donation that funded the entire first year of operation (and then some!) and meant that turtle protection on Sal was off to a flying start.  He gave that money to a total stranger without hesitation but with a huge amount of trust, hope & friendship.

We were delighted to welcome Matthias back to Sal and to host a visit from his friends and family to the SOS Tartarugas hatchery and then later to visit a nesting beach.  Everyone was immensely proud to show him what his faith in us had created.

Matthias & his family and friends at the hatchery
Thanks Matthias, from all of us here at SOS Tartarugas, you are a truly generous and trusting person.

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