Marine conservation expedition in Belize

Project name:

Blue Ventures (3)

Project purpose:

Since 2003 Blue Ventures has been working with volunteers to develop locally led marine conservation initiatives in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies. Alongside their practical conservation work, their aim is to increase awareness and demonstrate that effective marine conservation can be in everyone’s interest. Their award-winning volunteer expeditions are key in collecting reef monitoring data, supporting alternative livelihoods, and integrating themselves into the coastal communities where they work. Their ultimate goal is for volunteers to have a direct and meaningful contribution to locally led marine conservation models.

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management
  • scuba diving

Weekly cost (approx USD):

$

600

Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration
  • data/statistical skills
  • field research skills

  • gain a qualification or credit
  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • contributes to environmental policy
  • development goals (supporting local community)

  • ethical rehabilitation centre/practices
  • publishes peer-reviewed science

  • publishes work

Accommodation:

shared rustic eco-cabin accommodation overlooking the beach

When does the project run?

All year

Facilities:

accommodation included (three meals a day cooked by local chefs with local ingredients), food included, electricity, local shops, nearby medical facilities, refillable drinking water, bucket shower, cold shower, western style toilet.

All transport and activities included once the expedition has started. Passionate and experienced national and international field staff and a volunteer to staff ratio that never exceeds 3-1.

How long can I stay?

2 weeks minimum, 5 weeks recommended, 10 weeks possible (Price dependent on length of stay)

Requirements:

  • Passion for marine conservation

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

One of the focuses of our research in Belize is investigating the impact of lionfish on the reef and on juvenile reef fish as this invasive species has no native predators outside its original home in the Indo-Pacific and therefore poses a huge threat to Belize’s reef fisheries. Assist with our research that aims to understand how to effectively control lionfish populations, monitor the progression of the invasion, and directly contribute to efforts to combat its spread through participating in lionfish culls!


If this isn’t enough to convince you just yet, then don’t worry, our expedition in Belize has got even more to offer. During the first week of every six week expedition, volunteers get a chance to immerse themselves in the welcoming Belizean culture during a home stay in the fishing village of Sarteneja, based in the Corozal District on Belize’s mainland. Besides taking part in cultural exchange sessions you will receive science training in order to be fully prepared for the underwater surveys taking place at dive camp. The training designed by our field scientists involves informal lectures, small group discussions and practical exercises on coral and reef species identification once at dive camp.


Whether a dive novice, experienced SCUBA diver, budding scientist or newcomer to the field of marine conservation you are welcome and able to support and contribute to our marine research and conservation work.


Depending on your dive level when joining us, you will, during the first week at dive camp, learn how to dive or advance your diving skills by completing further dive certifications. The required dive level in order to take part in underwater surveys is PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent, but you can receive a certification up to Divemaster.

Once you have passed your science training and reached PADI Advanced Open Water level, you will carry out one to two dives a day collecting relevant reef data. You will be diving 6 days a week (weather dependant) with every Sunday being a day off and you can join us year-round for a period of 3 up to 18 weeks.

Reviews & ratings

Adriano

Volunteer

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

Corinne

Intern

It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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