Mazunte's local economy was once based on processing the golfina (olive ridley) turtle for its meat, shell, and oil until the government put a ban on turtle hunting in 1990. Poachers aside, Mazunte is now devoted to educating the public on the species. Four of the world's eight species of marine turtles come to lay their eggs on Oaxaca's shores. July through September is peak nesting season. At the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, a dozen aquariums are filled with
the turtles that flourish here: green turtles, hawksbills, leatherbacks, and olive ridleys. Tour guides give explanations in English and other languages.