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This exclusive program set on an island off of Belize is suitable for experienced and beginner divers alike. Tailored to suit all levels, whether you have a couple of dives under your belt or you have always wanted to learn how to scuba dive, this program has it all. Learn to dive or hone in on your diving skills all while assisting with the important, underwater preservation and research program.  Discover a new world set in the unique underwater ecosystem of the Caribbean islands and see how you can help.  

Coral reefs provide various marine animals with food, protection and shelter, but due to various factors, these ecosystems are under threat. Volunteers will be able to use their dive skills to contribute to the preservation of these ecosystems and will gain experience and knowledge that they can pass on to others. This way volunteers can continue to leave a positive impact, even after they have left the project.

Program Accomplishments:
This project is the leader in lionfish removal in all of Belize and estimates that they will remove 7,000 lionfish this year and dissect 1,585 for research purposes. The conch population in Belize is endangered form overfishing, but this project has been able to locate two important new breeding grounds. Whale shark photos taken on this project are entered into the public Whale Shark Sightings Database that is accessed by researchers and scientists for preservation.

Join this program now and do your part for the Oceans! 
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Location of the Project:  Placencia, Belize
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Project length:  Min 1 week- Max 8 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Placencia Airport (PLJ)
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Volunteer Work:  Marine preservation
Age:  Min. age of 18. Age exceptions: Volunteers aged 16 & 17 may apply with parental consent
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 17 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Please note that availability is limited. Please inquire with us about availability before booking. All volunteers who wish to join diving courses while on the Island should apply for a duration of 2 weeks or more. If you're not certified, you must pay a $100 administrative fee upon completion of the PADI Open Water Dive course in your first week. If you area already certified, there are also Advance dive courses available for an additional fee.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Volunteers will be on the Island Monday through Friday, and will stay in shared cabanas during the volunteering placement. Weekend accommodations are not included, however GoEco is able to arrange all hotel accommodations on mainland Belize upon request (extra charge will apply).
Food:  3 meals per workday (Monday-Thursday) are included, as well as a hearty breakfast on Fridays
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Airport Transfers:  Volunteers can fly or travel by bus from Belize airport (BZE) to Placencia airport. If volunteers choose to book their own hotel accommodations on mainland Placencia, airport transfers are not included. If volunteers request GoEco to arrange all mainland hotel bookings, roundtrip airport transfers will be arranged as well (additional cost). NOTE: GoEco offers an special package to assist in booking round trip in-country flights to Placencia. Please inquire with us for logistics and added pricing.
Orientation:  Orientation and a brief tour of the island is included on Monday
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights and airport transfers (inquire with GoEco about our special package for assistance with booking in-country flights, airport transfers and mainland hotel bookings), cost of accommodations over the weekend on mainland Placencia, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, some dive equipment, lunch and dinner meals on Fridays, all meals on weekends, $25 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, making it a popular diving destination.

The majority of this project takes place on a beautiful, private island which is 25 miles from the Belize mainland. Surround yourself with hammocks 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 mainland Belize. 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 beach resort destination, desired for its sparkling beaches. 
 
As a volunteer on this project you will be engaging in various marine preservation tasks. These range from survey dives to identification dives and possible whale shark photographing. Volunteers will be participating 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.

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
Coral Reef Tasks:
  • Coral data collection (disease recording, coral reef mapping)
  • Habitat surveys

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

Sample schedule for Certified Divers:
Volunteers should arrive to Placencia, Belize on Sunday and stay overnight in a hotel (price not included in program fee). On Monday morning, volunteers will take a boat ride to the island, where they will settle in and have an orientation before their first dive in the afternoon. 

Monday -Wednesday: Volunteers will begin with a bountiful breakfast at 6:00 AM. The first dive will be at 7:30 AM and the second at 2:30PM, with lunch served in between. Dinner will be served at 7:00 PM and will be followed with free time. 

Thursday: Volunteers will participate in 3 dives on Thursdays.

Friday: Volunteers will participate in their morning dive, and return to mainland Belize at 10:30 AM. 

Weekends: : Weekends are free for volunteers to explore Belize. For additional fees, volunteers can go on a wide array of tours. For those departing, Saturday is departure day from the Placencia airport.

For those staying longer than one week, there will be another boat transfer from the mainland back to Tom Owens Caye on Monday morning. 


Sample schedule for Non-certified Divers:
Volunteers should arrive to Placencia, Belize on Sunday and stay overnight in a hotel (price not included in program fee). On Monday morning, volunteers will take a boat ride to the island, where they will settle in and have an orientation before their first dive lesson in the afternoon. 

PADI certification will take 3-4 days of the week to complete, and the remaining day or two will be volunteer work. It is recommended that non-certified divers sign up for at least two weeks so they can have more time dedicated to research and volunteer tasks.

PADI Certifications that are available for an additional fee:
  • PADI Open Water 
  • PADI Advanced Open Water 
  • PADI Rescue 
  • PADI Dive Master (min. 4 weeks program duration to join) 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification 
Internet
Internet:  Wifi is available on the island, but a connection cannot be guaranteed at all times due to island conditions.
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 be staying in stone cabanas around the island. There will be up to 3 volunteer per room, and bathrooms are shared. On weekends volunteers are responsible for booking their own hotel rooms at their own cost. Inquire with GoEco about our special package to assist in hotel bookings over the weekend (additional costs apply).
Food:  Volunteers will receive 3 home cooked meals per workday (Monday-Thursday) and a hearty breakfast on Fridays. Meals generally include fresh fruit, veggies, and a meat dish. Most diets 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 self-assessment Student Diver Medical Declaration
Weekend Jungle Eco Adventure Add-On
Consider adding this exciting, all inclusive, weekend package to your volunteering program in Belize!
Visit an eco-lodge in the rainforest of southern Belize just an hour and a half drive south of your project in Placencia. It’s an incredible place from which you can venture out to explore the jungle on different kinds of tours or remain on site to enjoy the riverfront, kayaking, swimming, the spa, or just simply hammock time.
Their farm-to -able restaurant offerings are fantastic too! 
Don’t miss out on the option to choose two of 12 adventure tours for your weekend Jungle Eco Experience ! Contact Go Eco for a full list of details, pricing, tour options etc.

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 venture to 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 venture into 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 and participating in the jungle hike, tubing through dark caves and ziplining through the Belizean rainforest.

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

PADI Certifications that are available for an additional fee:
  • PADI Open Water 
  • PADI Advanced Open Water 
  • PADI Rescue 
  • PADI Dive Master (min. 4 weeks program duration to join) 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Deep Diver 
  • PADI Specialty Course: Fish Identification 
Volunteer Experiences
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