At a glance
- Learn to protect critical coastal resources along the Gulf of California.
- Gain valuable hands-on experience by collecting scientific data during snorkeling expeditions
- Work alongside conservation experts monitoring marine and coastal animal populations
- Live in a beautiful guesthouse with other college students equally passionate about saving the environment.
Over Spring BreakSee Dates
18 or over
Here is a breakdown of the work you will do:
Participate in Underwater Surveys
Our underwater activities are based along the coast surrounding the city of La Paz and the Espiritu Santo Island. During survey snorkeling expeditions, you will take down valuable information about the indicator species you see. Indicator species give scientists a vital look into the health of the ecosystem and food chain, so they can determine if and where this chain is breaking down.
Collect Data and Observe and Monitor Marine Species
A critical part of this project is collecting scientific data. This data is used to support studies done by local universities. The methodology varies from project to project, for example, how you identify fish underwater may be significantly different to how you observe and monitor coastal birds on land. You’ll be exposed to multiple scientific methods, which will greatly expand your research skills.
Planting mangroves is critical for coastal conservation, so you can expect to spend lots of time elbow deep in mud! Mangroves are one of the most important ecosystems on any coastline, and they’re essential to supporting the conservation of marine life. They act as nurseries for many different fish species and help reduce harmful carbon emissions. You’ll help care for mangrove seedlings in a nursery, and replant them in sites along the coast.
Where in Mexico will I work?
The La Paz region of Baja California Sur, Mexico
You will be based in La Paz and the surrounding areas such as Isla Espirtu Santo and Bahía de la Paz while doing internationally relevant research and conservation work. As its name implies, this town is also referred to as the City of Peace and is known for its beautiful calm beaches and artistic style. You can spend your time off strolling the famous Malecón, local and international art galleries, restaurants and shops, or snorkeling with various whale species depending on the season.
What is the goal of Marine Conservation work in Mexico?
One week may not seem like much time, but our staff have put together a rigorous itinerary so you’ll always be learning or working on an important project.
Our base project, Climate Change and Human Factors that Impact Baja California Sur’s Coastal Development, aims to analyze how rising temperatures lead to the deterioration of biomass in the area.
The data you will record during marine and bird surveys will help local conservationists understand the health status of these populations as well as the health of the ocean and coastal areas. This data will then be used to assess what actions need to be taken to prevent further degradation.
You will also help to restore the local Mangrove forests which will prevent coastal erosion. Coastal erosion can cause sediments to blanket coral reefs off of the coast, preventing them from receiving adequate sunlight and can result in bleaching. Mangroves also provide a safe haven for nesting and juvenile fish species to grow up and flourish.
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.
Leisure activities and free time
With beautiful beaches, arresting art galleries, and buzzing restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Mexico. You’ll have plenty to do during your free time on your project in this dynamic country.
There are plenty of art galleries, museums and colonial sites that will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the country’s rich history. For something different, you can spend the day appreciating the wildlife and lush desert vegetation by playa el Coromuel or just enjoying the sunset at the La Paz pier on an evening walk.
You can’t take a trip to Mexico without tasting authentic Mexican cuisine.
You can spend an evening enjoying amazing seafood or authentic northern burritos at a local restaurant watching the vivid orange-red sun melt into the horizon.
We have a host of different projects in Mexico so there’ll likely be lots of other volunteers in the area during your trip. So you can choose to travel and explore in a group or on your own.
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.
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: