Main Menu
Explore your marine life interests and enhance your CV as you join researchers in their quest to learn more about manatees and Belize’s underwater inhabitants. Spend your days learning new skills and snorkeling to help with local marine conservation efforts.

Program Highlights: 
  • Take part in a sustainable research and conservation program
  • Learn to identify a large range of aquatic life using survey techniques, as you spend your days snorkeling
  • Monitor West Indian manatees up-close in their natural habitat (seasonal)
  • Ethical wildlife volunteer tasks and interactions
  • Become PADI Open Water certified in your free time (for an additional fee)
Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum one-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Belize City Goldson Intl Apt (BZE). You will be picked up at the airport and taken to the project site where you will receive an introduction to the project.

Days 1-4, Tuesday-Friday: Your days will be spent undertaking skills training in marine life surveying, snorkeling during research assignments and taking care of the campsite. Evenings are free for socialising and enjoying the island life. Please note that the manatee season runs from May/June through September. During the off-season, there likely won't be many manatee sightings, but there is still plenty to do! Tasks may involve mangroves, beach cleans, snorkeling and collecting data, in preparation for when the manatees return to the local waters.
Day 5, Saturday: This is the day of rest, exploration, studying or partying - the choice is yours!
Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Sunday-Friday and having Saturdays off. Use your day off to go on a diving trip or relax under the palm trees. Departures are on a Monday.
Location of the Project:  Belize
Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 10 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Belize City Goldson Intl Apt (BZE)
Volunteer Work:  Marine Research and Conservation
Age:  18-50 (Age Exceptions: This project accepts volunteers who are 16-17 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers
Important Note:  Volunteers who join the project for less than 4 weeks may not be able to participate in the full range of project activities and surveys, but will still make a valuable contribution to the project.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Tents or rustic beach huts
Food:  Three meals a day (volunteers will be required to help prepare meals.)
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup and transfer to the project site via water taxi is provided if you arrive on the 1st Monday of the month. If you want to join the project at any other time, you will have to pay an additional fee for a transfer.
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, some dive equipment, personal expenses.
Nestled on the eastern coast of Central America lies the nation of Belize. Situated between Mexico and Guatemala, the small country of Belize is encompassed by stunning tropical beaches to the east and dense green jungles to the west. The warm clear waters of the Caribbean plays home to the second largest barrier reef in the world. This UNESCO world Heritage Site is renowned for its low - lying islands, better known as cayes, and an incredible array of marine life and snorkeling and diving opportunities.
This project is focused on the conservation and research of the West Indian manatee. Manatees in Belize are listed as highly endangered with their numbers rapidly declining. This species is not only at risk from habitat disturbance and destruction, but also from increased pollution, climate change and tourism. Throughout your volunteer project you will have the opportunity to discover famous barrier reefs and marvel at an extraordinary selection of marine life, including reef fish, sharks, rays, sea urchins, anemones, octopus, sea turtles and manatees. During your free time you will be able to explore the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean, as you learn to dive off the cayes of Belize.

As a volunteer on this project you will be responsible for recording manatee sightings and behaviors both in relation to human disturbance and different environmental factors. You will explore, map and monitor seagrass beds for the benefit of the manatees and other species as well as survey and monitor coral reef habitats, and populations of reef fish. Volunteers may even get the chance to monitor local shark populations. Results from this study will be used to apply further protection to the manatee and the seagrass meadows they rely on.

Some of your tasks may include:    
  • Snorkeling in pristine ecosystems while collecting essential research data
  • Snorkeling to survey populations of manatees and their vital seagrass habitats
  • PADI dive training and qualifications in your free time (for an additional fee)
Manatee Season: 
May/June through September. 

Though there likely won't be many manatee sightings, there’s still plenty to do! Be it with the mangroves, beach cleans, snorkeling and collecting data, for when the manatees return to local waters.
Internet:  WiFi is not available within the camp itself, but there are bars and hostels in the area that volunteers may go to. It is not likely volunteers will have this option every day of the project, however.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay at a beach camp in locally built huts or tents. The camp is situated in a clearing on the beach and is very simple. Your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over an open campfire. On occasion you may have to journey further to reach a remote survey site, where you will stay at a "satellite camp"; which consists of a mosquito net pitched on a distant beach.
Food:  Food at camp is simple and nutritious and consists largely of locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruit, rice, beans and noodles. Part of your role will be to help with the cooking and clearing up after meals. Creating meals over an open campfire or baking bread in the campfire oven will soon become second nature.
 Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Must be a strong swimmer and/or diver
  • Fit and healthy 
  • Willing to prepare meals 
  • Hold an interest in marine life and conservation efforts
  • Able to cope with basic living conditions .
Welcome back. Please Log In