Marine Research and Community Conservation – Belize Expedition
Who: Blue Ventures
Where: Sarteneja Village and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Belize
When: All year round
Duration: Expeditions last for 6 weeks. Shorter stays can be arranged.
Focus: Coral reef surveying and community conservation.
Suitability: Divers must be 17+. Volunteers under 17 can participate in non-diving activities (so long as they’re accompanied by an adult). Families are welcome.
Cost: Varies depending on diving qualification and length of stay.
Find out more: Blue Ventures
As a volunteer, you will:
- Volunteer on a remote research and expedition camp and assist our international team of marine biologists and field scientists to perform coral reef surveying in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve.
- Become a PADI Advanced Open Water diver, or increase your diving credentials.
- Learn to identify soft and hard corals, and fish species that identify reef health.
- Conduct one to two research survey dives per day.
- Investigate the impact of invasive lionfish on the reef and take part in culls.
- Spend a week with a Belizean family in their homestay and immerse yourself in local culture.
- Help out with school language exchange sessions with the children.
- Get involved in community conservation events such as showing fishermen how to clean and prepare lionfish or mangrove planting workshops.
- Help out with manatee surveys and rehabilitation.
- Take a boat trip to perform a bird survey.
Dive Training: Volunteers must be PADI Advanced Open Water certified (or equivalent) in order to survey. Full dive training is provided.
PADI Certifications: Further dive courses are available including EFR, Rescue and Divemaster.
Divemaster Internships: Available for min. 12 week expedition.
Accommodation: The expedition is split between two bases in Belize:
- Sarteneja: A small fishing village on the mainland. The first 9 days of the expedition are spent living in a local homestay with a Belizean family
- Bacalar Chico dive camp: The rest of the time is spent at the dive camp in the northern tip of Belize’s largest island Ambergris Caye, a two hour boat ride from Sarteneja. Volunteers sleep in a beach-front eco-cabin with a max. of 4 volunteers per cabin.
Food: Three meals a day prepared by local chefs.
Base size: Small groups. Maximum of 3 volunteers per staff member.
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