Aldeas de Paz
Samaná Bay is a significant breeding ground and nursery area for humpback whales from all over the North Atlantic and the most important multi-species fishing ground in the Dominican Republic. While tourism is an important economic activity its impact on sensitive coastal-marine ecosystems is of particular concern. A major portion of environmental degradation in coastal areas is attributed to large-scale hotel developments in areas of high biodiversity and unregulated tour activities put at risk reproduction sites for whales and turtles. Mangrove deforestation and coral reef damage in turn decrease the resilience of these coastal marine ecosystems and increase their vulnerability to tropical storms. Additionally destructive lionfish (Pterois volitans) are invading coral reefs in the Americas and has been identified as one of the world’s greatest conservation issues. Our program is part of an effort to tackle an invasive species and help reverse coral reef damage!
- community awareness
- habitat restoration/management
- scuba diving
Weekly cost (approx USD):
Direct benefits you gain:
- cultural integration
- field research skills
- gain a qualification or credit
- undertake your own research
Noteworthy conservation points:
- contributes to environmental policy
- development goals (supporting local community)
Wild Sun Rescue Center
A double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments (if you wish you can also upgrade to a single room or even to stay with a host family)
When does the project run?
nearby medical facilities
refillable drinking water
How long can I stay?
A minimum time commitment of 4 weeks is required.
- No previous experiences required to participate in the program
- Interest in diving and protecting flora, fauna and marine-life in general
- Bring your own personal wetsuit (shorty/3mm)
- Good health, enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn and ready for a challenge.
Details of the day-to-day life on the project:
“Walk away with professional diving certifications and amazing experiences in one of the world's’ most beautiful marine environment!”
Your diving training starts at zero and will lead you through two complete level of diver qualifications. Gain a speciality training certification before you assist with marine conservation tasks. If you already have basic qualifications we offer you upgrades for advanced OW, S. & Rescue diving training and Dive Master training as well as a number of specialties. You’ll gain valuable and life-changing experiences with this exciting diving internship where you will help with important day to day tasks at a diving center and learn diving while protecting marine flora and fauna! Even if you do not have previous diving experience you will obtain important diving skills, while gaining insight in what it means to operate a diving center and also help safe the marine environment!
What to expect
With the Open Water Diver International Diploma and a speciality training you’ll get with this internship, you will be able to dive up to 18m deep. Once you have acquired the necessary training and skills, from the second week of your internship onwards, you will assist with marine conservation activities linking yourself with projects related to the conservation of aquatic coral nurseries as well as coastal environmental conservation, coral transplant, restoration and maintenance. All seaborne diving activities depend greatly on weather patterns and sea conditions and are complemented with landborn activities such as awareness raising programs in schools and informing local population on the importance of environmental conservation and protection. This is a great opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the protection of the marine environment while at the same time becoming a passionate qualified diver and learn to master everyday challenges at a diving center working side by side with fellow interns and students, dive masters and the chief instructor. The work can be quite demanding but is always very rewarding and varied. Physical fitness is important, no Spanish language skills are are required.This program requires five flexible working days per week. (it is not a typical Monday to Friday week) Besides diving activities you are expected to fulfill scheduled working hours of non-diving related conservation work and educational activities like f.e. awareness raising activities in local schools. We expect that interns adapt to program needs with flexibility, responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance, among other significant qualities.
Internship activities can include:
- Gain all important diving skills and certifications as part of the four weeks placement at a busy diving school.
- Assist with day to day operations at the diving center and help attending clients and diving students on diving trips.
- Help with equipment maintenance and preparation, assist with logistics and office work
- Regular theory and practice classes as well as studies and research on marine conservation related subjects will prepare you for the actual conservation work towards the culmination of your internship after two weeks of training
- Assist actively with the monitoring, protection and restoration of coral reefs.
- Assist with conservation awareness raising activities in local schools and institutions.
- Assist with the conservation and maintenance of aquatic coral nurseries.
Financial Contribution & Benefits
Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and offers financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The minimum contribution for a 4 weeks placement is only €1725. It includes two complete levels of qualification from basic to speciality training, Spanish language classes, shared accommodation fully equipped studio apartments, all scuba diving related equipment as well as a personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. We also provide single room upgrade and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade, including private bedroom and two meals per day.
What is included
- Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
- Volunteer or Internship placement
- Accommodation of your choice
- Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings
- Free regular Spanish lessons throughout your placement
- Free Wifi and use of washing machine at all our facilities
- Certificate, written reference and student credit
- Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
- Flight Compensation CO2 neutral (optional)
Spanish language classes – volunteers and interns receive free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our students are encouraged to speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom, the learning process continues as you are immersed in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.
Reviews & ratings
5 Oct 2021
Great experience. I have learned a lot about wild animals and the bush. The kids are super. Thanks to Michele and Ian but also I would like to thanks all the volunteers and local people.
Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage
21 Mar 2020
Very Good Program
My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday
Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage