In-Turtle-Ship Winner arrives to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu!

Aug, 26 2019

We were delighted to welcome the winner of the Summer In-Turtle-Ship competition to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu earlier this month. 

Jessica Monteiro, a veterinary student from Portugal, won the 2-week internship with the Olive Ridley Project out of the thousands of applicants who were interested in the opportunity. 

Jessica’s love for animals began as a little girl growing up in London, where she would spend days discovering insects and birds, all the while taking care of her many pets including, of course, a turtle. Recently, she has been challenging herself by working with wild and unusual animals at the zoo, aquarium, and the exotic pet clinic in Lisbon, where she currently lives. 

Jessica fostered her ever-growing love for sea turtles during a collaborative in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau off the coast of west Africa. Besides her passion for animals, she is also a keen traveller eager to absorb and immerse herself in the culture of wherever she visits. 

We sat down with Jessica to find out how she’s feeling about the incredible experience ahead of her at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre.

1. How did you find out about the In-Turtle-Ship competition?

I found out about the competition through an article my mother sent me on Facebook. It was on a Portuguese website called and the headline was “Hotel in the Maldives offers an all paid internship with turtles”.

2. What made you want to apply?

I’d like to pursue work in the wildlife conservation field and the competition was the perfect opportunity to further my knowledge on turtles. The hotel and island looked breathtaking, so the competition seemed like a dream I had to take.

3. How did you feel when you found out you won?

I was surprised! I read the news many times over trying to take it all in before I realised it was actually going to happen! I’m still having trouble believing this is all true. When it finally hit, I called my mother screaming in excitement.

4. What was your first impression of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu?

It’s paradise. I am amazed at everything from the beautiful views, to the magnificent installations and the super friendly staff. It is such a clean and quiet resort filled with lots of things to do and try. The food is delicious! I still haven’t tried anything I haven’t liked. And probably won’t until I leave!

5. What are you hoping to achieve through this experience?

I hope that by the end of the experience I have learnt a lot more about sea turtles, made new friends and have a nice tan! It is a dream come true and there is much I can take away from it.

Categories: Coco Cares