Effective management of natural resources often requires diverse strategies implemented by a variety of conservation practitioners. Despite stark gender inequality challenges in many regions of the world, women can and do play a fundamental role in conservation initiatives in rural and other communities. However, examples of women’s involvement in conservation initiatives, notably in Latin America, are limited in the literature. We conducted interview-based research to learn more about the role that a women-led group named the Asociación de Desarrollo Comunal de Mujeres de la Barra de Santiago (AMBAS) – plays in sea turtle and other conservation initiatives in an artisanal fishing community in rural El Salvador. We identified four major themes from interview and survey responses (1. gender challenges; 2. interest in helping the environment; 3. local ecological knowledge; 4. community perceptions) that underscore the value of incorporating women’s ecological knowledge into conservation efforts while also drawing attention to the continued challenges that women face in environmental decision making. These data also suggest that conservation strategies that provide both environmental and economic benefits can inspire conservation commitment, regardless of whether they are led by men or women. This study contributes to the nascent dataset of examples highlighting the essential roles of women in conservation, and reinforces the notion that multi-gender participation is essential to maximise positive impact in conservation and wildlife recovery.