Are you passionate about marine conservation and the environment? Are you looking to learn to Scuba dive or advance your current dive level and use your skills in a meaningful way? Have you always wanted to survey coral reefs teaming with wildlife in a marine protected area to aid its conservation? Then this project could be the one for you!
Your role as marine conservation volunteer
Expeditions begin in the small fishing village of Sarteneja where you will live with a local family in a home stay arrangement for 9 days. During this time, you will be involved in community work, but also undergo your science training. You will then travel across the Corozal Bay to the dive camp in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, a UNESCO World heritage site, in close proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef. There, your main duty will be to collect marine data in a marine protected area. Data collected by volunteers is written up annually in a report to the Belize Fisheries department to inform them on the status of the Marine Reserve and to advise them on best management practices. It is also used for publications of research papers by pur organisation.
Activities can include:
- Scuba diving training up to Divemaster level
- Marine science and conservation training provided by field scientists
- Research diving (1-2 times a day, five days a week)
- Marine data collection on protected marine habitats
- Marine conservation outreach activities during the time in Sarteneja
- Language exchange sessions with homestay families to build their capacity in the English language and volunteer’s understanding of Spanish
Project goals and how you contribute
Belize lies in the Caribbean Sea and its coral reefs form part of the largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. When the organisation established itself in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Marine Reserve in 2010, there was a severe lack of data available for the area. With the help of volunteers and expedition staff, this data gap is being filled by collecting marine monitoring data all year round on prioritized sites. This enables governmental departments to base management decisions grounded on science. Besides providing additional manpower, volunteers also open up alternative sources of funding to conservation and local communities as they foster tourism in an area where tourism is otherwise scarce.
Si vous utilisez notre formulaire de contact, nous vous offrons en plus notre guide de plus de 20 pages « Comment choisir la bonne organisation de volontariat ? » au format PDF. Il contient entre autres une check-list avec plus de 50 critères de sélection pour facilement évaluer vos options.