Main Menu
Discover a new world by helping to conserve the diverse underwater ecosystem of the Belize Barrier Reef from your home base on a private island!


Program Highlights:
  • Live and volunteer on a private island paradise off the coast of mainland Belize
  • Assist in various marine preservation tasks in turquoise waters
  • Become PADI Open Water certified or enhance your current dive skills with select PADI Specialty courses (listed below under "Travel Highlights")
  • Explore mainland Belize on weekends through eco-resort stays or other exciting adventures

Program Schedule:

Arrival Day, Sunday:
Arrive at Placencia Airport (PLJ) on Sunday. Volunteers must arrange for their own hotel accommodations for this night (not included in program fee). 

Day 1, Monday: On Monday morning, volunteers will travel by boat to the island, where they will settle in and have an orientation before their first dive in the afternoon. Non-divers will begin their PADI Open Water training.

Days 2-4, Tuesday-Thursday: Volunteers will begin each morning at 6:30 AM with a morning snack of coffee and fruit. The first dive will be at 7:00 AM followed by a hearty breakfast at 8:00 AM.  A second dive will be at 11:00 AM followed by lunch served at 1:00 PM.  The third dive of the day is at 3:00 PM followed by dinner at 7:00 PM and free time afterwards. Student-divers will continue with their training and complete their certification by Wednesday evening. Newly scuba certified volunteers will participate in all conservation dives on Thursday and Friday.  

Day 5, Friday: All divers will participate in one morning dive, and return to the mainland at 10:30 AM. 

Days 6-7, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for volunteers to explore Belize. Weekend hotel accommodations are at volunteers' own expense. For an additional fee, volunteers can join a wide array of tours. For those departing, Saturday is departure day from Placencia Airport.

Remaining Weeks: For those staying longer than one week, there will be another boat transfer from the mainland back to the island on Monday morning. The schedule will repeat itself with volunteer work Monday-Friday and weekends on the mainland. 

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!

 
icon_location
Location of the Project:  Placencia, Belize
icon_length
Project length:  Minimum 1 week - Maximum 8 weeks
icon_transfers
Arrival Airport:  Placencia Airport (PLJ)
icon_highlights
Volunteer Work:  Marine preservation
Age:  Minimum age of 18. Age exceptions: Volunteers aged 16 & 17 may apply with parental consent. This program welcomes families with kids aged 12 and above.
icon_participants
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 18 international volunteers
icon_notes
Important Note:  Non-certified divers are recommended to sign up for a minimum duration of two weeks to have time to do the conservation dives. Dive courses are an additional fee if required. All dive equipment is included in the weekly rental EXCEPT for a dive mask, booties, fins and wetsuit. These 4 items are not able to be rented and all volunteers must bring their own to the island.

What's Included

icon_accomodation
Accommodations:  Volunteers will be on the island Monday through Friday, and will stay in shared cabanas during the volunteering placement. Weekend accommodations on the mainland are not included.
Food:  Three meals per workday (Monday-Thursday) are included, as well as a hearty breakfast on Fridays.
icon_transfers
Airport Transfers:  Volunteers can fly or travel by bus from Belize Airport (BZE) to Placencia Airport. Boat transfers between Placencia and the island are included.
Orientation:  Orientation and a brief tour of the island is included on Monday.
icon_support
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, airport transfers, cost of weekend accommodations, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, mask with snorkel, booties, fins and wetsuits, $25 USD weekly fee for diving equipment rental, any dive courses (including $190 USD fee for online course), lunch and dinner on Fridays, all meals on weekends, $25 USD weekly marine park fee.
Belize lies on the eastern Coast of Central America and consists of a mainland plus a variety of cayes. The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, making it a popular diving destination.

The majority of this project takes place on a beautiful, private island which is 25 miles from the mainland. Relax in a hammock and explore the tropical, Belizean waters surrounding the island! This 1.5 acre island is home to bright, colorful beach cabanas and alluring palm trees and is a secluded paradise for volunteers. 

On Fridays and Saturdays volunteers will return to the mainland. Accommodations are at the tip of the peninsula in a quaint town named Placencia, once called Punta Placencia, or Pleasant Point.  Placencia has become a popular beach resort destination, desired for its sparkling beaches. 
 
Coral reefs provide various marine animals with food, protection and shelter, but due to various factors, these delicate ecosystems are under threat. Volunteers will use their diving skills to contribute to the preservation of these ecosystems and will gain experience and knowledge that they can pass on to others. In this way volunteers continue to leave a positive impact, even after they have left the project.

As a volunteer on this project you will engage in various marine preservation tasks. These range from survey dives to identification dives and may include whale shark photography. Volunteers will participate in the eradication of the invasive Lionfish species, the data collection of various native species and the assessment of the local coral reef as a whole.

Volunteers can choose how much they want to get involved. All dives are voluntary, so you can choose to relax in our hammocks with a good book, fish from the island, or do a bit of sea kayaking or stand up paddle boarding or immerse yourself in conservation volunteering. The choice is yours!

Invasive Lionfish species tasks: Lionfish are originally from the Indio-Pacific Ocean, but were accidentally released into foreign waters. The lionfish population feeds on key marine life, wreaking havoc on the indigenous Belize Barrier Reef ecosystems. They can lay twenty thousand eggs every four days, which is causing a nearly uncontrollable invasion. Volunteers on this project will partake in the eradication of this devastating, non-indigenous species by assisting with the following tasks :
  • Lionfish hunting
  • Lionfish spearing
  • Lionfish dissection

Native species tasks:
  • Lobster surveys
  • Queen conch surveys
  • Species identification dives
  • Whale shark photography

Marine Conservation Education: 
  • During the volunteer week, the program offers multiple presentations on practical marine conservation. Learn about protecting coral reefs, identifying marine species, and the effects of plastic pollution. 

Weekly Beach cleanup tasks:
  • Remove harmful plastic and trash from the ocean
  • Patrol hundreds of small islands within the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to keep beaches clean and oceans healthy 

Please note: Specific tasks may vary and are subject to change.

2020 Program Accomplishments

Although the pandemic hampered our conservation efforts, thanks to our 2020 volunteers, we still made a difference! After only 4 months of active operations, we are proud to share the 2020 marine conservation achievement numbers:
  • 3481 pounds of plastic waste removed from the ocean thanks to our hardworking volunteers
  • 2738 invasive Lionfish removed from the Sapodilla Caves Marine Reserve waters and surrounding areas
  • 256 marine conservation presentations prepared by our staff to increase public awareness and knowledge on reef ecosystems

 
Internet
Internet:  There is currently no WiFi available on the island.
Laundry
Laundry:  Some hotels on the mainland have laundry services for their guests. There are also laundromats located within walking distance of most hotels, that volunteers can use for an additional fee.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in stone cabanas around the island. There will be up to three volunteers per room, and bathrooms are shared. On weekends volunteers are responsible for booking their own hotel rooms at their own cost.
Food:  Volunteers will receive three home-cooked meals per workday (Monday-Thursday) and a hearty breakfast on Fridays. Meals generally include fresh fruit, vegetables and a meat dish. Most diets, including peanut allergies, can be accommodated, if requested in advance.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18 (16-17 with parental consent)
  • Completed Student Diver Medical Declaration self-assessment
  • You must bring your own mask with snorkel, fins, booties and wetsuit
  • BCD’s, tanks, regulators and weights are available for rent for $25 USD per week. You are also welcome to bring your own dive gear. 
  • Anyone wishing to participate in our optional night dives MUST bring their own dive light/torch.
  • In order to participate in night dives one must be a certified Advanced Open Water diver.
During free time on mainland Belize, volunteers will have the opportunity to explore all that Belize has to offer! For an additional fee, volunteers can visit any of the following destinations and more!

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Also known as the first jaguar preserve, this wildlife sanctuary is a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts!

Tikal Mayan Ruins  
History lovers must visit Guatemala for the day to explore these ancient Mayan temples and ruins, including the Lost World Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar.

Monkey River Nature Tour
Enjoy a boat tour of Monkey River! Enjoy a nice boat ride while being on the lookout for howler monkeys.

Cave Tubing and Zip Lining at Jaguar Paw
Adventure seekers will get a thrill out of a day trip to Jaguar Paw to take a jungle hike, tube through dark caves and ziplinine through the Belizean rainforest.

Bocawina Zip Line & Waterfall Rappelling
Adventure can be taken up a notch at Bocawina Zip Line and Waterfall Rappelling. Fly on the largest zipline in Belize and/or repel down the 500-foot Antelope Falls or the smaller Bocawina Falls. 

Select PADI Certifications are available for an additional fee:
  • PADI Open Water 
  • PADI Advanced Open Water 
  • PADI Rescue 
  • PADI Dive Master (minimum four-week program duration required) 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Invasive Lionfish
  • PADI Specialty Course: Coral Reef Conservation
  • PADI Specialty Course: Emergency First Response
  • PADI Specialty Course: Underwater Photographer 
Welcome back. Please Log In