Help protect the Belize Barrier Reef by doing valuable marine conservation work and ocean animal research in Belize. You’ll get a PADI diving certification and learn from conservation experts on our marine biology research project. During dives into the clear, blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, you’ll collect data to help inform governmental conservation policies.
After experiencing the beauty of the ocean first-hand, you’ll help raise awareness about how to protect marine life. This includes talks, workshops, or even puppet shows with children to promote eco-friendly living with the Belize Barrier Reef animals.
This project is based in Placencia, a peninsula along the southern coast of Belize. During your free time, you can make the most of living so close to the ocean. You’ll have the chance to relax on the white-sand beaches, play beach volleyball, or sample local cuisine at seaside restaurants.
When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 877 921 9666 to see if we can offer a discount.
Flexi Trips - A flexible project that gives you the support and independence you need as you volunteer
Belize > Diving & Marine Conservation
Completely flexible dates
Placencia (Read More)
Shared accommodation Read More
Anyone aged 16 or over can join
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
A supervisor/mentor at your work placement
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable
Diving equipment rental
PADI diving course
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
Is coral reef conservation in Belize right for me?
This project is open to anyone interested in marine conservation in Belize and protecting our planet. It’s a great opportunity for you to gain diving and ocean animal research experience. This is especially useful if you’re interested in a career in marine biology or a related field.
You don’t need any specific qualifications to join. Our experienced team of Dive Masters and marine biologists will be there to guide you through all your marine conservation work.
No diving experience? We’ve got you covered. As part of this project, you’ll become a certified PADI scuba diver. If you’ve already got a diving certification, you’ll get to do more advanced PADI courses to hone your skills.
This project is available all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. You can volunteer for a minimum of one week, but we recommend staying longer to have an even greater impact.
What marine conservation work will I do in Belize?
All the work you do will centre around protecting the Belize Barrier Reef and building your marine biology experience. Here are some of the tasks you’ll do:
- Get your PADI Open Water Diver or Advanced certification
- Go on survey dives to collect data about the creatures living along the reef
- Run awareness campaigns about the importance of marine conservation
- Take part in salvage dives and beach clean-ups to reduce litter in the area
Your work will focus on these areas:
PADI diving certification
During your first week on the project, you’ll get your PADI Open Water Diver certification. If you already have this certification, you’ll get to do the PADI Advanced course. You’ll also do a specialised species identification course to make sure you’re prepared for survey dives. These international certifications are included in your project fee, so there are no hidden costs.
With these certifications, you’ll contribute to marine conservation efforts during survey dives. You’ll also come away from this project with the skills and knowledge to go diving at different dive spots around the world.
Equipped with diving certifications, you’ll contribute to coral reef preservation efforts by collecting data during survey dives. As a diving volunteer in Belize, you’ll count different species and monitor things like location and water temperature. This data is entered into a database that the local government Fisheries Department uses to inform conservation policies.
Awareness campaigns and community work
Your conservation work doesn’t end once you reach the shore. You’ll also go out into communities and raise awareness about the importance of living sustainable, eco-friendly lives. This includes things like:
- Teaching school children about recycling
- Speaking to local restaurant owners about limiting their use of straws
- Planting sustainable seaweed farms with local fishermen
Salvage dives and beach clean-ups
Litter, and particularly plastic, has a devastating effect on the environment. By participating in salvage dives and beach clean-ups, you’ll help limit this effect. You’ll pick up rubbish and recycle or repurpose it, turning something negative into a useful resource.
Our project partners in Belize
We’ve partnered with PADI to make sure you’re fully qualified to participate in marine life conservation efforts. This gives you the chance to work at the forefront of marine conservation as you dive along the Belize Barrier Reef.
We’ve also partnered with the government Fisheries Department in Belize. Through the data we provide, they make important decisions about conservation policies in the country. With their support, we’re able to ensure the work you do will be part of bigger long-term goals.
Where in Belize will I work?
Our Marine Conservation Project is based in Placencia, a small town along the southern coast of Belize. You’ll be participating in dives in marine reserves along the Belize Barrier Reef. We have special permits from the Fisheries Department allowing us to work in these reserves.
Although Placencia will be your main base, you’ll also go on dive trips to more remote islands. Facilities here are basic, but these trips will provide you with a unique insight into island living.
During your free time, there’s plenty to do in the surrounding areas. You can appreciate living close to the coast by relaxing on the beach, snorkelling, or even kayaking. This area is also rich in Mayan history with sights like the Mayflower Archaeological Reserve.
A typical day doing marine conservation volunteering in Belize
A typical work day will run from 9am to 5pm. However, when you’re on dive trips to remote islands, work hours will be from 7am to 4pm. You’ll work from Monday to Friday, with your weekends free.
You’ll usually have about four to 10 dives per week, with each dive lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. Your week’s schedule will look something like this:
- Monday: Diving trip to remote islands
- Tuesday: Full day of diving
- Wednesday: Return to Placencia, where you’ll prepare for community work initiatives
- Thursday: Community work activities like awareness campaigns, clean-ups, or seaweed farming
- Friday: Input data into the Global Impact Database and Volunteer Resource Database
On Fridays you’ll have a weekly meeting to chat with local staff about the past week’s work. We also arrange different social activities on Friday evenings, which you’re welcome to join.
In general, your evenings will be free. You can spend them with the other volunteers in your shared accommodation. You can bond by doing things like playing cards or chatting about the different countries you come from.
What are the aims and impact of diving in Belize as a volunteer?
The aim of this project is to help protect and conserve marine life along the coast of Belize.
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef on the planet. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Belize’s waters are home to 1,400 different species, including 500 types of fish and 100 corals. This reef hosts the world’s largest population of threatened West Indian manatees.
What’s more, many people in Belize rely on the reef for their income, through things like tourism and fishing. Through survey dives that influence government conservation policies, you’ll help protect this vital ecosystem. Your community work will also ensure local people continue to prioritise conservation initiatives.
We also aim to give you hands-on coral reef conservation work experience. You’ll learn to identify different species and get a PADI diving certification, giving you the chance to learn more about marine biology.
To ensure that we’re working towards a long-term vision, we’ve outlined project goals in our Conservation Management Plan for Belize. These goals are to:
- Restore natural ecosystems
- Protect local wildlife
- Monitor habitats
- Raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment as well as the animals affected by Global Warming
Join us in Belize and work towards conserving the stunning and varied creatures of the reef.
My interest in marine conservation and specifically coral reefs started at a young age when I first started scuba diving. Since then, I have always been fascinated by the ocean and marine environment and wanted to protect it.
Barrier Reef Conservation in Belize
We had some incredible days there, collecting data underwater, planting seaweed, doing beach clean-ups, and drinking lots of coconut water. We did several surveys on lobsters, conch shells, sea grass and SPAGS diving and entered our data into the official databases, making it possible to track and observe the health of the reef.
Barrier Reef Conservation in Belize
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.
Meet the team in Belize
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