Is marine conservation work in Belize right for me?
This project is perfect for you if you want to do something meaningful on your gap year, during university, or after graduation. It’s the perfect project for thrill seekers and beach lovers. It’s also ideal if you’re a team player, as you’ll be working closely with a group to achieve a set goal.
If you’re passionate about protecting our planet, marine conservation work in Belize will give you the perfect outlet to do just that. You don’t need any specific qualifications or experience to join. Our local staff will be there to guide you every step of the way. You’ll also gain a PADI diving certification, so you don’t need any diving experience to sign up.
Although you don’t need any qualifications, this is the perfect opportunity for budding conservationists and marine biologists to gain practical experience in the field.
This is a Team Trip with a set itinerary, making it ideal for you if you don’t want the hassle of having to plan out your own activities. This also makes it easier if it’s your first time travelling abroad alone or if you have limited time to volunteer. Our local staff will be on-hand 24/7 throughout your trip to make sure you’re fully supported.
What will I do on the conservation volunteering project for groups in Belize?
As part of your diving conservation work in Belize, you’ll work in local communities and marine reserves along the coast of Placencia. These are some of your main tasks:
- Earn your PADI scuba diving certification
- Dive to collect research on marine life and input this into databases
- Do beach clean-ups and salvage dives to reduce harmful litter
- Help with community work and environmental awareness campaigns
- Explore the tropical coastline and experience the idyllic beauty of Belize
Your work will be split into five main tasks:
During the first week of your project, you’ll earn your PADI diving certification. Diving is an important part of your work, so this certification will ensure you can contribute fully. The certification is included in you project fee, so there are no extra costs.
A large portion of your time will be spent doing survey dives in marine reserves. You’ll collect data on things like species type and size, and water quality and temperature. We input this data into databases, which the Fisheries Department uses to determine the best ways to protect the reef.
During dives, you’ll also help reduce the population of invasive lionfish. These fish are not native to the area and they pose a threat to indigenous species, so this work helps re-establish balance in the ecosystem.
Clean-ups and salvage dives
Litter, and particularly plastic, has a devastating effect on marine life. With plastic being found in the stomachs of sea creatures and so many getting caught in or choked by our rubbish, it’s becoming increasingly important to to help.
You can play an important role by participating in beach clean-ups along the coast. Or dive along the reef and collect discarded plastic and fishing nets. Each piece of litter collected is one fewer piece that could end up being washed into the ocean and swallowed by marine life.
An important part of making a sustainable difference to marine life and protecting the reef is working closely with the local community. Some examples of this kind of work include helping local fisherman start sustainable seaweed farms or building barriers along the coast to combat erosion. You can also run awareness campaigns in schools and communities to teach people about topics like waste management and recycling.
What’s great about joining a Team Trip is that you’ll have an itinerary of fun leisure activities to do with your group. This gives you the chance to get to know volunteers from around the world while learning about local culture and history. From visiting Mayan ruins to sampling fresh seafood at a seaside restaurant, there’s plenty to see and do.
Where in Belize will I work?
Our marine conservation work project for groups is based in Placencia, a peninsular off the southern coast of Belize. This will be your main base, but you will also spend a couple of nights on remote islands during dive trips. Facilities here will be basic, but you’ll get a unique insight into island living.
Placencia and surrounds are rich in beautiful, natural sights. In Placencia, you can expect friendly locals, delicious fresh fruits and seafood, and white-sand beaches.There’s also an interesting Mayan history which you can learn more about during trips to local museums or ruins.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of conservation volunteering for groups in Belize is to protect the marine life of the Belize Barrier Reef.
The reef is under threat. The thousands of species living here are under threat from various issues:
- Climate change
- Unsustainable fishing
- Invasive species like lionfish
- Coastal development
If the reef dies, these species will lose an important habitat and nursery ground. This will cause their population numbers to drop and would affect Belize’s tourism and fishing industries.
As a volunteer, you’ll play an important role in protecting the reef and preventing this from happening. In the process, you’ll gain valuable conservation experience, earn a PADI certification, and build a network of like-minded people around the world.
Join this project and develop your skills while contributing to vital conservation initiatives as a group.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team
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