The New York Turtle and Tortoise Society

Members of the Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project Board of Directors: Lazaro Herrera, Scott Kiehner, and Laura Kiehner, on tour with their hero, Fernando Manzano (Papa Tortuga).
Papa Tortuga at NYTTS

For 30 years Fernando Manzano has dedicated himself to the protection and restoration of the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), known as Tortuga Lora in Mexico. Inspired by a Jacques Cousteau documentary about a sea turtle protection program, he decided to devote his life to helping his own beloved Loras and to educating the public.

On February 13, Fernando, affectionately known as “Papa Tortuga” (Father Turtle), and his team from the Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project, presented a documentary and lecture on Fernando’s many years of work protecting nests and hatchlings.

Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project Web site:

See the Papa Tortuga’s documentary online.

Photos by Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project

Fernando Manzano, Lazaro Herrera, and Alex Ypsilanti

Barbara Daddario and Fernando Manzano

Fernando, Michael, Alex, and Lazaro

Michael Musnick and Fernando Manzano

Photos by Barbara Daddario

Michael Musnick and Fernando Manzano

Fernando Manzano

Laura Kiehner and Fernando Manzano

Fernando Manzano

Papa Tortuga Continues His Work

Papa Tortuga (Fernado Manzano) & Lazaro Herrera

After giving his presentation to NYTTS, Papa Tortuga continued to tour the U.S. in 2011 and into 2012. What has the impact of his work and Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project’s financial support meant to sea turtle preservation? Along the beaches of Tecolutla, Mexico, the density of sea turtle nests has been increasing. Papa Tortuga has been able to add more vehicles and workers to patrol the 32 miles of Tecolutla beach for nests. The result has been a growing population of sea turtle hatchlings safely making it to sea each nesting season! See the Tecolutla Turtle Preservation Project Web site.