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Volunteer on an island south of Cuba's mainland! Participate in the preservation and conservation of its luscious marine and coastal ecosystems. Snorkel through some of the most pristine coral reefs in the Caribbean while participating in the surveying of sea life, removing invasive species, gathering debris and more!

Program Highlights:
  • Gain experience in marine and environmental conservation
  • Snorkel in crystal waters to collect data on fish species
  • Help protect the ecosystems of one of Cuba’s most beautiful islands
  • Discover stunning beaches in your free time

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum one-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Nueva Gerona Airport (GER). Volunteers will be picked up by a member of the local team and taken to your accommodations to settle in and get to know one another. Volunteers also have the option to arrive into Havana, stay with a local host family for two nights and receive drop-off to Nueva Gerona for an additional fee.

Days 1-6, Tuesday-Sunday: Volunteers will be participating in a wide array of coastal and marine conservation activities, both on land and in the water. Activities are based on the community’s current needs, and as such, are subject to change. Days begin bright and early at 7:00 AM, when you participate in your first task until noon. Lunch is served at 12:00 PM. The rest of the day is free time for volunteers to rest, go on excursions, etc. Dinner is served at 7:00 PM. Weekends are free for volunteers to relax or explore. 

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturdays and Sundays free. Departures are on Sundays. 
 
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Location of the Project:  Cuba
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Nueva Gerona (GER)
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Volunteer Work:  Marine conservation and coastal habitat conservation
Age:  Min 18 (Volunteers under the age of 18 can only participate alongside a parent or legal guardian)
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 4 international volunteers
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Important Note:  Volunteers must arrange a regional flight to Nueva Gerona (GER) from Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) in Havana. There are only 2 flights to GER per day, and the times vary. Airport pickup will be included no matter the time of arrival at GER on arrival day. 2.5 hour journey from Nueva Gerona to the island is also included.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared volunteer house
Food:  3 meals are provided each day, both on weekdays and on weekends
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are included on both arrival and departure days
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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, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses
Join us in Cuba to discover one of the Caribbean’s most charming destinations. As one of the most preserved reminders of pre-modern America, Cuba is a mixing pot blending Spanish, African, and North American cultures together. Explore Cuba’s capital and largest city, Havana. Follow the bands playing throughout the city as music is a focal point for the Cuban culture, mixing a variety of genres including afro, congo, and salsa. Sightsee in old Havana and snap some of the iconic 1950’s cars driving through the city. Many local community members on the islands are new to the use of digital technology such as cell phones and the internet. Practice your Spanish with the locals and absorb the good energy flowing throughout the island. 

As the largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba is home to more than 11 million people and is an epicenter for the embodiment of both traditional and modern ways of life. Experience some of the most pristine beaches in conservation efforts to upkeep the beauty of the Cuban coastline and preserve the marine ecosystems surrounding the islands. Visit some of the most popular beaches including Bibijagua Beach, the only black sand beach within the Republic of Cuba; the beach was  formed over millions of years from the erosion of marble on the island. The warm waters of the Cuban coastline are ideal for the comfort of protecting the plants and animals inhabiting the Caribbean Sea. 
 
The goal of this project is to help protect the ecosystems of one of Cuba’s most beautiful islands. This project involves assessing the health of these ecosystems, as well as the gardening and maintenance of them. This project's activities may vary depending on the current needs of the community but no matter the task, you can be sure to be making a positive impact on this coastal ecosystem. As a volunteer on this project you will be participating in a wide array of coastal and marine conservation activities, both on land and in the water.
 
Some of your tasks may include:
  • Coastal habitat restoration
  • Seagrass surveying
  • Fish surveying
  • Invasive species removal
Please note: Volunteers must already be experienced snorkelers to participate in this project.

Activities are based on the community’s current needs, and are; therefore, subject to change.

A typical day: Your day will begin bright and early at 7am, where you will participate in your first task until noon. Lunch is served at 12pm. The rest of the day is free time for volunteers to rest, go on excursions, etc. Dinner is served at 7pm.
 
Internet
Internet:  No WiFi will be available after leaving Nueva Gerona Airport.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry service is included.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will stay in shared, same-gender, 2-person rooms in the volunteer house.
Food:  A personal chef will be at the house every day to prepare food for volunteers. The volunteer house is only a short walk away from both the beach and the town area.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Intermediate level of Spanish; most island residents are non-English speakers
  • Must be an experienced snorkeler 
  • Physical ability to be in high temperature and high levels of sun exposure
  • Physical ability to spend many hours in the ocean at a time
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to collect and register data independently
Cuba and its islands are rich in history as well as in scenery. If time allows, explore what this island has to offer by visiting the beaches, museums, and more!
 
Playa Bibijagua:
Bibijagua Beach, located in the northern part of Youth Isle, is the island’s most popular and only black sand beach. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It is located close to the popular tourist attraction, the Presidio Modelo.
 
Presidio Modelo:
The Presidio Modelo is an attraction for those who are interested in learning about the history of Cuba. The now-museum was once a prison in which Fidel Castro was held. 
 
Criadero Cocodrilo de Nueva Gerona:
For our volunteers who are animal-lovers, a trip to the Crocodile Farm of Nueva Gerona is a must! The hatchery has about 500 crocodiles at at time, and releases them back into the wild at the age of 7.
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