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Advanced Divers Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico

Advanced Divers Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
From {{totalPrice}} EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
29 dagen
Begint in
Cancun
Eindigt in
Playa del Carmen
Grootte van de groep
Maximum 24
Develop your diving skills to the next level while discovering Mexico’s Mesoamerican coral reef and its abundant wildlife. As a member of the advanced diving team in partnership with highly regarded organisations, you will be able to skip go and dive right into vital marine conservation projects.
Our marine conservation expedition will take you to the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea, complete with pristine white beaches and tales of lost treasure. Put your advanced diving skills to the test while working on and monitoring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world.

The project will see you sharing accommodation with novice divers and other volunteers. However your team will consist of fellow advanced divers, who you will be working with on vital conservation surveys such as directly monitoring the overall health of the reef. All the information gathered will go to our partners and play a vital role in sustainability plans for the reefs fragile eco-system. Building on your advanced diving skills, you can look forward to gaining in-depth knowledge on species identification, coral reef and fish monitoring as well as once in a lifetime experiences such as swimming with the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle.

This project works in conjunction with several highly regarded organisations such as CEA Centro Ecologico Akumal which has been working in the area for over 25 years. Through such partnerships, advanced diving volunteers can be sure their efforts are making a serious and measurable impact under the water.

Highlights Include
As a member of the advanced diving team, you will be learning about the Mesoamerican coral reef and how to identify the wildlife it supports against the backdrop of a practically untouched tropical paradise. During your regular monitoring dives you may be able to see mega-fauna such as turtles and with the possibility of seeing dolphins and sharks while exploring different sites along the coast. While on land you could be joining in with community programmes; teaching English and raising the environmental awareness of the local community.

Scuba Diving Requirements and Additional Courses
This 4-week minimum programme is exclusively for advanced divers, you are required to have an Advanced Open Water PADI qualification, or equivalent. If you don't have this take a look at our beginner program in Mexico or ask us about upgrading your diving qualifications.
Reisroute

Advanced Divers Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico

Project Life

Situated in the village of Akumal, the base allows for some fantastic diving! Although very rewarding, days can be long and tiring which you should be prepared for.

The main focus of the programme is to equip you with professional survey techniques for underwater data collection on the health of the reef. Volunteers will specialize in either fish or coral research techniques during their initial training to prepare for their dives. Training will include learning to identify the various species and learning how to take measurements underwater as well as an introduction into marine conservation. After training has been completed and dependent on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct your underwater surveys.

Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education sessions or alternative income training, depending on local and project needs. Although working at night means that you will need to skip some diving, as well as the work itself being quite challenging, it is an incredibly unique and very rewarding experience!

The project base is located in Akumal on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is a unique location as it is an optimal feeding, nesting and breeding habitat for marine turtles.

When not working, you can take the opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of the reef and marine species, relax with your fellow volunteers or just take in the stunning sunsets that have to be seen to be believed.

Project Details

You will be collecting data in the Akumal reefs which are part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and working with local partners with the aim to:

- Monitor, assess and restore the Akumal Coral Reef
- Evaluate Akumal as a Fish refugee area and assess the success of the Fishing non-take zone area
- Assess the Lionfish population in Akumal

Overall, our monitoring programme in Mexico aims to provide a long term record of coral and fish species abundance over time to contribute to the long term survival of the reef.

About Your Location

You will be based in Akumal, a small village on the coast on the Yucatan Peninsula near the jungle, coastal dunes, mangroves and coral reefs.

How This Program Makes a Difference

Over time and with the contributions of volunteers, we have been able to amass one of the largest databases in existence on the condition, health and changes of any section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

The presence of our volunteers helps to reinforce the protection of the reef and has assisted with reducing poaching numbers of endangered species. Without the man power that our volunteers provide to our partner Amigos de Sian Ka’an, they would lack the manpower in order to partake in night patrols during the turtle egg laying season. We are also affiliated with The Kanan Kay Alliance which is involved in the process of identifying and decreeing non take zones in the region.

As a result of our work, our partners have been able to continue with the protection of the Sian Ka’an reef system.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
PADI Open Water certificate
Police Clearance Certificate
Basic level of competency in English
Copy of return flight itinerary
Acceptance subject to availability

Inclusions

24-hour emergency phone
24-hour in-country support
Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
All necessary project equipment and materials but not your own personal diving gear, the full list of requirements is included in the field manual for example, wetsuit, diving mask, fins etc
All necessary project training by experienced staff
Community work workshop
Coral reef ecology
Diving compressor training workshop
First Aid & CPR training
Live and work in a protected reserve surveying deserted reefs under our research permit
Location orientation
Long term experienced staff
PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
Transfer to base location
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
Use of O2 equipment workshop
Welcome meeting

Temperature: Wetsuit use varies based on personal preference and how much individuals feel the cold. Jan - March the water is around 24-26 degrees Celsius - depending on how much they feel the cold either a 3mm or 5mm full length suit will suffice. April - June the water is around 27-28 degrees. July - Sep time is around 28-30 degrees and most people dive with just a rash vest and shorts though some people will wear a shorty or 3mm full suit. Nov-Dec is around 26-28 degrees a 3mm full length suit is preferred by most.

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Activiteiten

Free Time
Volunteering with us not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your programme. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with us. Our Yucatan field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Mexico!

Optional Side Trips
As a large and vibrant country, Mexico can seem daunting at first, but here are a few ideas to get you going in the Yucatan Peninsula on your weekends off:

In this region you are spoilt for choice in the number of opportunities to try out different dive sites away from the expedition. Dive or snorkel within the unique cenotes (the underground river systems); dive Cozumel, where the wall dives along the island have been voted as part of the world’s best top ten diving locations; or, for a full weekend, try Isla Holbox, a small island off the north of the peninsula. It’s a beautiful, tranquil place, great for a quiet weekend away. Whale sharks (the world’s largest fish) migrate up near the island from June to September and snorkelling alongside them while they filter feed is a truly breath-taking experience!

Alternatively, if you are looking for a break from the water, make your way to Río Lagartos where flamingos flock and river crocodiles abound; visit Bacalar - known as the lake of seven colours due to the various shades of blue; or visit prime breeding areas for the hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtle (May to October).

Immerse yourself in the surviving Mayan culture of the area and visit remote and untouched Mayan archaeological sites, such as the famous and easily accessible sites of Tulum and Coba, or visit the beautiful and majestic Mayan ruins of Palenque in the Chiapas region. And finally, the colonial city of Mérida is the peninsula’s cultural capital and the local artisans of Izamal will be sure to offer you some souvenirs of your trip.

Accommodatie

Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) dorms with shared rustic bathroom facilities. There is bottled water available for cooking and drinking only. Cold water is used for showering and there are bucket flush toilet facilities. Participants share base duties including cooking, cleaning and other chores.​You need to bring your own mosquito net and bedding for example a thin sleeping bag liner.

If you need to stay additional nights before or after your project you need to book these separately, ask your travel consultant for help.

Lokaal vervoer

Most volunteers arrange international flights to arrive at Cancun International Airport the day before expedition starts. You can request a GVI staff member to meet you at the airport 14-18:00, and help you get to your accommodation via public transport. On the morning of the expedition the meeting time is 10.00 am at Hotel Colorado in Playa Del Carmen.

At the end of the expedition it will be your responsibility to get to Cancun Airport. Remember you need to wait 24 hours between your last dive and flying. We recommend you do not book a flight out of Cancun until at least 18:00, though you may want to leave time to explore a little more.

Maaltijden

Meals while on project are included. Participants take turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet, with meat available about once a week. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or cereal, lunch is beans, vegetables, pasta and sauce, etc. and a typical evening meal may include lentils, pasta, beans, rice and vegetables.

Houd er rekening mee

You will have limited access to long-distance communications whilst on the programme. Internet is not available on base, but you will be able to reach a store with WIFI within 10 minutes by foot. Please advise family and friends that they may not hear from you on a weekly basis. Mobile/cell phone reception is limited on base. Reception is more reliable in the town of Tulum.

Advanced Divers Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico

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