Belize – Family-Friendly Private Island Marine Experience

The coral reefs of Belize need more conservation divers!
Apply to join our team between Dec 1st 2022 – Feb 26th 2023 and you can qualify for the following Grants:

  • 1 week duration: $200 off
  • 2 week duration: $300 off
  • 3 week duration: $1000 off (3rd week free)

 

Together with your family, enjoy a relaxing volunteer vacation on a private island! Spend your days in the glistening water, conserving the Belize Barrier Reef for a truly rewarding getaway!

 

Program Highlights

  • Live and volunteer on a private, paradise off the coast of mainland Belize
  • Assist in various marine preservation tasks in turquoise waters
  • Flexible schedule for all volunteers (all dives are voluntary)
  • Relax in the hammocks, play beach volleyball or enjoy sea kayaking in your downtime
  • Become PADI Open Water certified or enhance your current dive skills with PADI Specialty courses (listed below under “Travel Highlights”)
  • Explore mainland Belize on weekends through eco resort stays or other exciting adventures
  • Local team can accommodate for peanut and other common allergies

 

Family Price Details:

  • The Program Fee stated below is per family member.
  • Each additional family member will receive a discount of $50 USD off the Total Project Cost.
  • One adult can supervise a maximum of three children under the age of 18.

 

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 take a boat ride 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. 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. The choice is yours!

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 mainland Belize at 10:30 AM.

Days 6-7, Saturday and Sunday: Weekends are free for volunteers to explore Belize. Weekend hotel accommodations are at volunteers’ own expense. For additional fees, volunteers can go on a wide array of tours. For those departing, Saturday is departure day from the 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 mainland Belize.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Placencia, Belize

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 4 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Placencia Airport (PLJ)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Marine conservation

Age Age: Families are welcome. The minimum age for children is 12 years old.

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 18 international volunteers

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Private family rooms, subject to availability, during the week. Weekend accommodations on the mainland are not included.

Food Food: 3 meals per workday (Monday-Thursday) are included, as well as a hearty breakfast on Fridays

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Volunteers can fly or travel by bus from Belize Airport (BZE) to Placencia Airport. Airport. Boat transfers between Placencia and the island are included.

Orientation Orientation: Orientation and a brief tour of the island is provided on Monday.

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 accommodations over the weekend on mainland Placencia, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, mask with snorkel, booties, and wetsuits, any dive courses (and $190 USD fee for online course.) Lunch and dinner 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.

 

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.

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.

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/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 .

Internet icon Internet: There is currently no WiFi available on the island.

Laundry icon 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 icon Accommodations: Families can enjoy private cabana rooms, subject to availability. On weekends volunteers are responsible for booking their own hotel rooms on the mainland at their own cost.

Food icon 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, including peanut allergies, can be accommodated, if requested for in advance.

 

Please take note of this program’s minimum requirements:

  • Basic level of English
  • Completed self-assessment Student Diver Medical Declaration
  • Mask with snorkel, booties, and wetsuit

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
  • PADI Specialty Course: Invasive Lionfish
  • PADI Specialty Course: Coral Reef Conservation
  • PADI Specialty Course: Emergency First Response

Volunteer Experiences

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