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This program is now open to international volutneers starting January 2021. 

Contribute to valuable marine species research in the turquoise waters of the Canary Islands! The main goal of this project is to investigate the behavior of the bottlenose dolphin and short-finned pilot whale populations off the Tenerife coast as related to human disturbance.  Data collected on this project will be entered into scientific databases and used for reports to help create further regulations for marine tourism. 

Program Highlights:
  • Go whale watching and see wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
  • Volunteer for the conservation of endangered and threatened marine wildlife.
  • Explore Tenerife’s amazing beaches and incredible hiking trails on your free time. 
  • Live with international volunteers and gain and experience of a life-time!  
Location of the Project:  Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 10 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Tenerife South Airport (TFS)
Volunteer Work:  Marine research, data collection
Age:  Minimum age of 16 (Volunteers aged 16 and 17 must have parental consent)
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 35 international volunteers
Important Note:  This project is suitable for families; alternative accommodations are required.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  Two meals are included each day during the week
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Two-day training on species identification is provided prior to beginning volunteer work.
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, lunches during the week, meals on weekends, personal expenses
This project takes place in the waters of Tenerife, the largest and most biologically diverse of Spain's Canary Islands. A popular tourist destination, this island consists of various landscapes, from its yellow sand to black sand beaches to its deep, green forests. Of all seven Canary Islands, Tenerife has the most protected areas, which makes it the ideal destination for a research and conservation project such as this one. The heavy tourism, however has had a negative impact on the coast and the goal of this project is to research and protect the dolphin, whale and other marine populations that inhabit the waters surrounding the island. 
As a volunteer on this project, you will be involved in a variety of tasks dedicated to the research and conservation of Tenerife's marine life, specifically the dolphin and short-finned pilot whale populations. Upon arrival, volunteers will receive two full days of training in species identification. The island welcomes thousands of whale watchers daily and volunteers will spend time observing the effects of the tourist boat traffic on these populations specifically. Volunteers will be matching their sighted whales and bottlenose dolphins with those in a cetacean catalogue to build the database and assess population movements. 

Volunteers will also partake in coastal surveys, beach clean-ups and community outreach activities. Educating the public, as well as the tourists of Tenerife, is a large part of the community outreach portion of this project.
Some of your tasks may include:
  • Data collection for scientific reports
  • Coastal surveys of boat traffic
  • Monitoring dolphin and whale population behavior
  • Species identification (marine fauna as well as marine animals)
  • Cetacean catalogue updates
  • Beach clean-ups
  • Community outreach activities
  • House duties such as cooking and cleaning 

Sample Schedule: Volunteers will work five days per week, and have two days free, not necessarily weekends. Each work day will begin with breakfast and consist of two volunteer tasks, one larger and one smaller task, and the day will end with dinner. 

Please note: The time spent on each task may vary according to the season and/or local conditions. 
Internet:  Wifi is available in the volunteer house for an additional fee
Laundry:  There is a washing machine available for use in the volunteer house for an additional fee
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared rooms in a volunteer house. There will be two to six volunteers per room, and the rooms will be single-gender when possible. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, a balcony and a large living room in the house. The harbor, with many restaurants and other attractions is just a short distance away. Volunteers need to bring a sleeping bag and sheets, although sheets can be rented for a small fee. Volunteers are expected to help in the cleaning of the volunteer house.
Food:  Two meals are included each day during the week; breakfasts and dinners. There are no weekend meals included. Volunteers and staff prepare their meals together; volunteers are expected to assist in the cooking of meals. These meals are generally vegetarian. The supermarket is a short distance from the volunteer house and there are a variety of inexpensive local restaurants in the village as well, where volunteers can choose to eat.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good quality camera (Cell phones cannot be used as a camera substitute).
  • Pair of binoculars
  • GPS application (for a smartphone)
In addition to the glistening sand and turquoise waters that surround this island, Tenerife has plenty of travel opportunities to offer volunteers during their free time. Listed below are a few places worth a visit:

Anaga Mountains
Explore the many hiking trails throughout the iconic Anaga Mountains!

Siam Park Water Park
Cool off on at one of Europe's most popular water parks -  the Siam Park water park located in southern Tenerife.

Parque Nacional del Teide
Explore the lush, green parks of Tenerife with a trek through the Teide National Park.

Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can always take a boat to another Canary Island and island hop!
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