Amy’s Belize Experience

Amy L.
Volunteer Name:Amy L.
Project Attended:Marine Conservation
Country Attended:Belize
Volunteer Bio:Amy is a volunteer from the US currently studying for her second degree in marine science. Amy volunteered with us in Belize in get some hands on experience related to her degree. This is what she had to say about her trip.
Tell us about your experiences with Kaya (sign up process, preparation) Kaya was very helpful during my sign up process. I don’t think things could have been any easier as far as choosing a project, payment and flight/travel arrangements. The informational pack on Belize and the project that was provided to me before I left was also very helpful. It contained facts about the culture, food and overall just what to expect. When I travel abroad in the future I will be wishing I had something as helpful as that information pack for other countries.
What made you choose that particular project/country? Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, and I had heard so many good things about the friendly people and the excellent dive sites. I also knew I might get to see a whale shark if I travelled to Belize (which I did!)
Can you tell us about your experience in your accommodation? My accommodation was basic yet comfortable. It is obviously very hot in Belize in June, but I was given a fan for my beach hut and at night the island cooled down and there was a breeze from the sea. We were also lucky enough to have running water (although we had to use it sparingly) but since we were diving three times a day, daily showers didn’t always feel necessary. In addition, we had three meals and a snack prepared for us daily, and the cooks were very considerate of special dietary needs and preferences.
Can you tell us a bit more about your role on the project? As a marine conservation volunteer, I participated in various reef conservation projects such as a weekly reef check to monitor reef health, surveys of important commercial species such as lobster and conch and spearfishing for lionfish in an attempt to control the population of this invasive species. I greatly enjoyed being a part of all of these activities and the nice thing about this organization is that each volunteer was encouraged to become as involved as he or she wished in any certain aspect of the overall project. Some people were more interested in diving and observing and some were very eager to help with the data collection, while others wanted spend a dive spearfishing. There were many opportunities to try different things.


Testimonial


“My trip to Belize was my first trip solo trip abroad, so I was a little apprehensive but as soon as I met other people on the trip I felt very at home… I speared (and ate) my first lionfish and even got to snorkel with a whale shark! I also received my advanced SCUBA certification and got to go on my first night dive… When you travel as a volunteer, you are exposed to and develop and appreciation for what “real life” is like in that environment, as opposed to only seeing the pretty, well-developed and commercialized tourist areas.”