Turtle Fair

Panamanians like fairs. The slightest excuse is good enough. Fairs with activities, finger foods, and souvenirs are popular. They are also a good way to raise some money for a good cause. A week ago, there was one in Guarare to raise funds for the local school, on 30 Sept, there is one in Mariato to raise funds for the local school and on 25 Sept there was one to raise funds for turtle protection. During the high season, we usually do not have the time to go or participate in fairs, but in the low season we can. And who could possibly refuse an invite for a fair to raise funds for turtle protection?

The sons of Margarita, who works with us, also wanted to make something, preferably from cheap materials, which they could sell on the fair for their school. Loes looked around on the internet, to see if she could find something appropriate for a turtle fair and a craft project for the two boys. She found quite a few projects on how to make turtles from bottles or cans but they are either very big, very simplistic, without any instruction at all and usually biologically incorrect…

turtle-bouwpakketAnd being a biologist, the turtle as an education project needs to have at least the right number of scales between the eyes and on the back.So Loes thought about it for a while and slept on it for a night and then voilá… she sat down and made a turtle out of a soda can.


josemakesturtleWhile doing so, little Jose from Margarita came by and stayed to help. He was fascinated. Making the first tutle took an hour, the second was made in 30 minutes with help from José. He later painted several. A week later his elder brother, Juan, came by, and made one together with Loes and took home one model. He since made more at home and he is going to sell them on the 30th in Mariato at the school fair.




And a few days ago Loes sat at a table in Russia Quebro and sold the copies of her three model turtles (a leatherback, a Carey and an Olive ridley) for one dollar, proceeds going to the turtle association, while showing people how to make them.


You can make them yourselves and with a magnet strip attached, you can use them to decorate your fridge.

The instructions are still in Spanish only but the models works in all languages.


About keesgroenendijk

We are the owners of hotel Heliconia and Tanager tourism, two companies dedicated to Eco-tourism. We are located in Panama, on the west coast of the Azuero peninsula, close to Coiba Island and Cerro Hoya National Park. We provide accomodation and organise tours to Cerro Hoya, Coiba and other destinations.
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