Volunteer Testimonies

The center relies on the help of volunteers from all stretches of the world. Without their support the center would not be possible.


east sussex, uk 


went to Lampedusa Turtle Rescue for my placement year from the University of Surrey. Initially, I was interested in conservation and the care of animals through my Veterinary Biosciences degree and having a year of hands on experience was truly something I will never forget. Witnessing surgeries, the process of recovery and the heart warming releases is something that will stay with me forever. 

This experience has benefitted me in far more ways than one- helping such a great cause as well as meeting some of the nicest people. I have loved my time here with Dany and the turtles and look forward to when I can return to Lampedusa as it will always hold a place in my heart.


diessenhofen, switzerland 


I am a Veterinary Bioscience student from the University of Surrey and chose to do a placement year at Lampedusa Turtle Rescue as part of my degree. I chose this place as its primary goal is to conserve the sea turtle species which was something that I was particularly interested in. During my time here, I have learnt a lot about sea turtle biology and the importance of educating, increasing awareness and networking to ensure conservation and maintenance of a centre that runs solely on donations. 

Taking a year out to work with turtles hands on, facilitate and watch their rehabilitation process, release them back out into the sea and meet new likeminded people was an experience that I am incredibly grateful for and will certainly always remember!!!


new forest, uk


I am a Biological Sciences student currently completing my placement year here from the University of Surrey. I currently am part of a team that helps to run all the communication channels, whilst also assisting in the care and rehabilitation of the sea turtles at the centre. I love how every day is different here and have learnt an incredible amount about rehabilitation and conservation. This was truly such an incredible experience – I could not recommend it enough!!!


salisbury, uk


I am a biological sciences student at the University of Surrey and I am currently on my placement year in Lampedusa working at the centre. This has been a totally unique experience and coming here was very much out of my comfort zone, but I have learnt so much about the importance of sea turtle conservation and I’ve met some amazing people during my time here. It’s great to work in an environment where all ideas and suggestions are welcomed and I feel lucky to play a role in the rehabilitation and release of these amazing creatures!

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If you want to be in contact with nature and help sea turtles, this is the right place! I am a volunteer who comes down to Lampedusa once a year, I started as a joke but I found myself in a world that I could not give up. Under the advice of Dr. Freggi who coordinates the center, we help these beautiful animals at risk of extinction. Every day from 3 to 5 specimens arrive, which are delivered to us by fishermen for checks, we host their inpatient hospital at the facility and then, after the necessary medical treatment and registration, we give them freedom. It is a wonderful experience that I not only recommend to individual tourists, but also to those who want to spend a different holiday. Lampedusa remains in the heart, but the experience of being in contact with these animals leaves its mark !! 


hippolytushoef, netherlands


I’m a veterinary medicine student with a big passion for wildlife and it’s conservation. I’m intrigued by a lot of animals and like getting experience with species that I’m not familiar with. I volunteered at the Lampedusa Turtle Rescue in September 2021 for 10 days. The experience was amazing! I enjoyed working with the turtles a lot and gained more knowledge about them. Even though the island is small, there is always something to do with the other volunteers! In the afternoon activities we often went to the beach to snorkel, drove around the island to the cliffs and watched the sunset many times. On a Sunday we travelled to the island Linosa by boat and had a nice trip. My favourite moment was the intake of a new turtle. Together with another volunteer and Daniela we examined the turtle, weighed her and took X-Rays. Unfortunately she had a hook in her oesophagus and needed to get an operation. Also a memorable moment was that we had the chance to see baby turtles hatching at the beach at night!


In conclusion: volunteering with the turtles was a great experience and together with the group of volunteers we had a lot of fun


lisboa, portugal


As an Animal Biology & Ecology student, choosing Lampedusa Turtle Rescue for my placement year was easy. Working with sea turtles was an opportunity that I wouldn't be able to have where I come from. But truly, I was not ready for what was coming next.

Denise came here, but the Denise leaving is not the same. Everyday I learned something new about Italian culture, about sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation, but even about myself. I have explored my interest in animal behaviour and found my passion for science communication.

And I am grateful to everyone I met, especially Daniela Freggi. In the future, I hope I can be at least a fraction of the person you are, my forever mentor.

It wasn't always easy but I would choose it all over again, every time.

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Wanting to become a veterinarian in wildlife, the idea of going to lampedusa and being able to have an active role in their preservation as well as learning about sea turtles seemed to be the perfect experience… and it completely was. Being a non Italian speaker was never a problem and we always found a way to communicate and understand each other, thanks to this experience I made great friends and I will always remember it. 


Bologna, Italy

1994 - 2020

I am a vet working on sea turtles for almost 15 years. My love for sea turtles started long time ago in the Carribean (St.Lucia), where as an exchange student I had the chance to see my first sea turtle, a leatherback. Since then this love has grown stronger and stronger, leading me to take most of the decisions I took in my life, such as to graduate in Veterinary Medicine, to complete a PhD in ecotoxicology and a  post PhD in Mexico, but none of these things could have been possible without choosing to go in Lampedusa and to test me as a volunteer,  discovering day by day new things about those amazing animals.


Bristol, UK


I am a Biology Student at Surrey University.  I'm currently doing my placement year here collecting data and running the social media. I love how hands on this experience is and how my opinion is valued by the people around me.  I have learnt so much about sea turtles biology and rehabilitation and also how important education and awareness is to ensure conservation. 



Verona, Italy


I came to Lampedusa Rescue Center in September, 2012 as a graduated student of Marine Biology at Pisa University, with a project concerning the interaction between sea turtles and boaters. This year is my second adventure at Lampedusa and I can say whole heartedly that this has been one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! On a professional point of view it has been enriched and strengthened my knowledge of these wonderful animals, while also helping me understand  the human point of view. I love how this has given me the opportunity to create links with extraordinary people from all over the world and has helped me to grow by testing me in different situations.


Livorno, Italy


I am a student of Marine Biology of Pisa University. This is my second year as a volunteer here, where I’m collecting data for my thesis. During this time I learned and understand the importance of sea turtles, and the precious value of this endangered species. In order to preserve this speciesit involves the commitment of volunteers, fishermen, tourists and Coast Guard.



California, USA


Words cannot describe the experienced that I had at Lampedusa Rescue Center. I arrived with little knowledge of sea turtles and a non-related field of study. I seized the opportunity to volunteer on this beautiful Mediterranean island after a wonderful semester of studying abroad in Spain. Little did I know that the spontaneous decision I made would change my outlook on life completely. 

The volunteers here become a family, with Daniela as the mom! We all work, laugh, cook, eat, relax on the beach, and learn together. It is beautiful because not only do we help this endangered species but we also created cherished memories that will last a lifetime. For those of you potential volunteers, I highly recommend this opportunity. I can almost guarantee that you will not be dissapointed!


Florida, USA


I am a first year student at Yale interested in biology and environmental policy. I heard about the organization from a friend who works with sea turtles in Florida, and decided to come here to have first-hand experience in the field of conservation and biology. I have appreciated seeing the effects of different marine policies and hope to write a report for my school based on my experience here.

I loved cooking with my new housemates, the other volunteers, and seeing the natural beauty of this Mediterranean island. I would recommend volunteering here to anyone that cares about the environment, is willing to get their hands dirty, and hoping to learn about new cultures.