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.
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
Belize is a beautiful tropical country bordered by the clear, blue Caribbean Sea. There are plenty of ways to spend your free time here, whether you’re a beach lover, a culture buff, or an adventure seeker.
During your free time, you can go snorkelling along the colourful Belize Barrier Reef. For a more relaxed atmosphere, you can spend time on one of the white-sand beaches, sipping freshly squeezed papaya juice in the warm sun.
There are also plenty of cultural activities, so you can get a glimpse into the history and heritage of the country. You can visit Mayan ruins or spend the day wandering through an art gallery or museum.
During your trip, you’ll be surrounded by volunteers from around the world. So you can choose to explore independently or with volunteers from our different projects in Belize.
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 in Belize
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: