Can Hotels Coexist With Sea Turtles...And With Fierce Environmentalists?

Walking along the crescent beach of X'cacel under tropical stars, biologist Rogelio Villavicencio points at a giant sea turtle at the foot of the sand dunes. Under her 1.15-meter-long shell, the turtle is working furiously, her flippers tossing sand as she digs a hole into which she lays more than 100 eggs. Student volunteers pluck the eggs from the nest and rebury them inside a fenced section of the beach. When the eggs hatch 60 days later, the students carry the palm-size young to the water's edge. "Everyone who comes here falls in love with the turtles," says student Arturo Carrillo.

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