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Marine conservation expedition, Belize

Volunteer to collect critical marine inventory data in a UNESCO World Heritage reserve

Duration

3-12 weeks

Price

 £3025 (6 weeks)

Location

Sarteneja & Ambergris Caye

Provider

In brief

Discover the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere by volunteering with Blue Ventures.

Based in the fishing village of Sarteneja and the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, our dive expeditions offer volunteers from around the world a unique opportunity to get involved with Blue Ventures’ marine research and community conservation work. From coral reef surveys to homestays with a local family and environmental education – expedition volunteers are immersed in the full breadth of our innovative and integrated programmes.

You’ll be living in a beautiful tropical setting alongside vibrant coastal cultures whilst gaining scientific research skills and SCUBA diving qualifications.

Learn to identify the Stoplight parrotfish, spot a colourful Flamingo tongue feasting on a Sea fan’s tiny polyps and navigate your way between diverse corals whilst living on a remote palm dotted island, washed by the turquoise shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea, which are full of charismatic species such as turtles, rays, moray eels and dolphins.

During the first nine days 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.
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.

By participating in dive surveys, collecting important data on the health of coral reefs, other marine ecosystems and lionfish, you contribute to scientific reports and adaptive conservation management plans. These help to inform fisheries ministries and departments on how marine reserves are performing and fill gaps on essential reef data.

“This trip was not only fun and memorable, but really rewarding in terms of diving experience, science training, and the truly unique experience of living in a remote area.

This has been the most memorable summer and I’m glad I chose Blue Ventures.” Julia Fracassi, 2017 Belize volunteer.

Expedition volunteers are at the heart of everything we do and we’d love to have you join us!

Images © Blue Ventures (1-3) & Dimitri Egger (2) & Jane Stephens (3)

Interested? Then make an enquiry.