For an active and educational experience, a marine conservation project is an exhilarating choice for the whole family. The chance to contribute to a well-established project, collecting valuable information and carrying out much-needed activities in the world’s second largest coral reef, as well as receiving diving instruction from trained professionals is an opportunity not to be missed!
If marine life and the secrets of the deep blue have always been an interest to you or your family, this project will give you a great insight into life under the water as you learn about the ecosystem, different of species, and fish dissection methods. The project aims to control the invasive population of the Lionfish in the area. Although beautiful, the Lionfish is alien to the Caribbean waters, having been introduced by accident in the 90’s. With no natural predators, they have decimated the pelagic fish population in the reef and are extremely harmful to the ecosystem. You will have the chance to awaken your predator instinct by spearfishing the species. There is plenty of other work to do including monitoring lobster populations, conch migration, coral health, fish species and whale shark identification.
As volunteers, you will spend Mondays to Fridays on the island, generally diving 3 times a day. Weekends are spent back on land in Placencia, relaxing and enjoying the Caribbean lifestyle. PADI Open Water Diver Certification is available for 10 years old and over. Divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. Other PADI Certifications are available. Children younger than 10 will not be allowed to dive but will be able to snorkel accompanied by one of their parents. For more information, inquire to your Kaya advisor.
Why choose this project?
This award-winning project has been receiving volunteers on their island for the past 13 years. It is a great way to experience marine conservation as a family while mingling with volunteers from all around the world. It will teach your children to care about the future of our planets’ oceans as the project’s mission is to preserve and manage the Belize Barrier Reef.
In addition to your spearfishing duties, you will be able to contribute to species monitoring and coral damage research. By volunteering on this project, you are improving their capacity to do this essential work.
The island is a small picture-perfect Caribbean gem and can host a maximum of 18 volunteers a week. The groups are always small, friendly, and of like-minded people who love the ocean and conservation. But space is limited and the project often reaches capacity, especially during the busy season of March-August, so don’t wait too long to reserve your spot as a family. You will be able to contribute to ongoing marine conservation efforts as well as gain an international diving certificate that you can use all over the world.
Role of the volunteer
As volunteers, you will dive around three times per day, taking part in spearfishing missions or other data collection, as well as completing your diving training alongside. Later in the day, activities on land include informative presentations and the dissection of your catch. You will feel truly involved in the team effort and at each stage improve your understanding of the important role you play as a volunteer. Children will participate in their own fun course introducing them lives under the sea and teaching them how to respect mother nature.
Due to the main focus of this project involving diving activities, volunteers, including children must be able to swim a minimum of 2 lengths of a 25-metre swimming pool. Volunteers must also have a moderate level of fitness as divers will be required to carry tanks and equipment during their placement (adjustments will be made for children). A love of marine life goes a long way, as success on this project involves volunteers developing knowledge of marine conservation.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To spend time together as a family and to have an educational experience
To help reduce the damage done to a coral reef ecosystem
To engage in a range of leisure activities in an idyllic location
This project offers a great mixture of settings, from an idyllic isolated island during the week, to the beachside town of Placencia at weekends. In the evenings you can choose between getting active with a game of volleyball or relaxing in hammocks with a good book. With kayaks and snorkelling available, there is plenty to keep children entertained. In Placencia, you can enjoy the laid-back Caribbean atmosphere as you explore the markets, visit Mayan villages, hike in the jungle or you can relax in your guesthouse while the children play.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 1 week available
- One week placement:
16 and Above: £1095 / $1917
Children 10 to 15: £915 / $1602
Children 9 and under: £532 / $932
- Two-week placements:
16 and Above: £1607 / $2812
Children 10 to 15: £1427 / $2497
Children 9 and under: £788 / $1380
Additional weeks available on request.
- One week placement:
Minimum age 5 yrs
Junior PADI delivered to 10 and over
PADI delivered to 15 and over
- Location: Sapodilla Cayes Marine National Park, Belize
- Project activities: diving, spear fishing, species identification, documenting shell measurements
- Working hours: Monday – Friday, times vary
- Project availability: Project is available all year except September
What is included
- Accommodation: Private beach cabanas on weekdays and rooms in a nearby resort on weekends
- Airport Pickup from Placencia
- PADI qualification courses
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator in each location
- 24/7 emergency number for volunteers and families
What is not included
- Flights into BZE international
- Meals at weekends
- Transportation to Placencia
- Marine reserve island fees – USD$25 per week
- PADI admin fee- USD$100 per certificate
- Additional diving certification
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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