Akazul is a UK registered not-for-profit Community Interest Company. Registration No. 07411520  © 2011

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Scott is the joint ‘in-country project’ co-ordinator and is responsible for managing the volunteer program and sea turtle data as well as developing Guatemala’s national sea turtle network and conservation program.

Scott was the catalyst to combine scientific research and community based conservation between ARCAS and AMBIOS in 2002. He led the newly formed Project Parlama through a 6 year period of development with nothing but passion and dedication to protecting sea turtles. Scott is a hardworking project leader with extensive conservation experience throughout Asia, Australia and Central America, with a desire to activate local communities to preserve their natural resources and to protect local biodiversity. (scott@akazul.org)

Scott Handy

Sarah is the joint ‘in-country’ project co-ordinator and her primary role with Akazul is developing the environmental education program and associated community initiatives, as well as co-ordinating the sea turtle conservation program.

In 2003, during a round the world trip, Sarah was introduced to wildlife conservation in Guatemala. Since then she has been hooked on sea turtles and now has extensive experience in managing sea turtle and wildlife conservation projects throughout Central America. By combining her passion for nature and conservation with creativity, Sarah manages to successfully engage the local community in conservation efforts. She plays a central role in developing the project’s environmental awareness program through a range of ecological activities. (sarah@akazul.org)

Sarah Lucas

Ever first became involved in the project back in 2005 when the first Project Parlama volunteers worked on the sea turtle conservation program in La Barrona. As a former “parlamero” and fisherman he brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and has shown outstanding dedication and commitment to the project. He is the first official Guatemalan volunteer to work with Akazul and has become an integral part of the Guatemala team- we have high hopes for Ever’s future involvement in Guatemalan sea turtle conservation.

Ever Ernesto Rizo Guardado

Rachel is based in the UK and is primarily responsible for the UK Akazul’s administration work, which includes grant writing, research proposals, and communications.

Rachel is passionate about marine life and is in her element when working in the ocean environment. She currently works as a Fisheries Observer in the south west of England and first started working with sea turtles in 2002, working with several projects throughout Europe and Latin America. She first became acquainted with the Guatemala project back in 2005, where she instigated initiatives which monitored the lives of sea turtles at sea and is continuing to develop fisheries based projects with the team. (rachel@akazul.org)

Rachel Brittain

Akazul would especially like to acknowledge the inhabitants of La Barrona, Jutiapa, Guatemala for their interest, commitment and collaboration with the project, and for welcoming Akazul into the community. We would also like to sincerely thank all of Akazul’s friends and supporters worldwide who have helped make this project possible.

ARCAS is the Guatemalan Association for the Rescue and Conservation of Wildlife, operates a sea turtle and mangrove conservation program on the Pacific coast, an endangered wildlife rescue centre in the Peten region and an extensive education program based in Guatemala City. ARCAS was recently awarded the Guatemalan Presidential medal for their commitment to conservation in Guatemala for the past 20 years.


Protortugas is a Guatemalan based NGO founded by a team of university graduates. Guided by Doctor Alfaro, the Protortugas team are studying the Eastern Pacific Green population at the foraging ground of Pozo del Nance. They also apply their veterinary expertise to rehabilitate injured turtles found in the estuary due to boat strikes and fishing gear.


CONAP is the Guatemalan Council for Protected Areas, is a government agency that was formed in 1989. “They aim to support, promote, assist and consolidate the support of governmental and non-governmental organisations, in terms of conservation areas in Guatemala and are responsible for the conservation, rehabilitation, and protection of Guatemala's natural resources and its biodiversity”.


Colum Muccio is the administrative director of ARCAS and has nearly 20 years experience working in Guatemala for the protection and conservation of endangered wildlife.

ALan F. Rees  is a renowned sea turtle biologist with extensive international experience and has spent many years studying turtles in the Mediterranean and Middle East. He is currently working on his PhD with the Marine Turtle Research Group at Exeter University, UK. ALan provides advice and guidance to Akazul’s sea turtle research and monitoring program.

Neil Ladell holds an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics. He is dedicated to community-based conservation, with a passion for the ocean and especially sea turtles. Neil is currently at grad school with the Resource and Environmental Management department at the Simon Fraser University, Canada and has been providing Akazul with support in grant writing.

Chad Wildermuth worked closely with Akazul throughout 2011 as a Peace Corps volunteer in La Barrona and contributed significantly to community based initiatives and sea turtle monitoring. Chad is now based on the east coast of the US and continues to contribute and support the project.

Luke Sidebottom is a founding member of Akazul and first became involved with sea turtle conservation in Guatamala back in 2005. He currently works as a TEFL teacher and continues to support the administrative aspects of the project.

Associates to Akazul
Tom Riggall

Tom has recently been appointed as the 2012 Volunteer Co-ordinator and is responsible for training and co-ordinating volunteers on Akazul’s sea turtle monitoring program. He first began working with sea turtles in Greece in 1999 and has led ARCHELON’s project in Kyparissia (second most important breeding area for loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean) for several years, as well as assisted with an in-water capture study in Amvrakikos Bay. Tom will bring a wealth of experience to the team and Akazul is very much looking forward to working with him this season.