Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Diving & Marine Conservation Internship

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic show on map
Acquire marine ecology diving qualification and assist with environmental restoration activities, endangered species protection and invasive-species control This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Your professional training starts at zero and will lead you through two complete levels of qualification

Gain basic and speciality training certification in only 9 to 10 weeks before you assist in conserving and restoring the marine environment. Thanks to this exciting diving internship you’ll gain valuable and life-changing experiences while at the same time develop specialty diving skills and help safe the environment! Even if you do not have previous diving experience, you will learn everything while protecting marine flora and fauna.

“Walk away with professional diving certifications and amazing experiences in one of the world's’ most beautiful marine environment!”

Samaná Bay is a significant breeding ground and nursery area for humpback whales from all over the North Atlantic and the most important multi-species fishing ground in the DR. While tourism is an important economic activity its impact on sensitive coastal-marine ecosystems is of particular concern. A major portion of environmental degradation in coastal areas is attributed to large-scale hotel developments in areas of high biodiversity and unregulated tour activities put at risk reproduction sites for whales and turtles. Mangrove deforestation and coral reef damage in turn decrease the resilience of these coastal marine ecosystems and increase their vulnerability to tropical storms. Additionally destructive lionfish (Pterois volitans) are invading coral reefs in the Americas and has been identified as one of the world’s greatest conservation issues. Our program is part of an effort to tackle an invasive species and help reverse coral reef damage!

What to expect

First gain the basic and speciality diving skills and certifications during 9 to 10 weeks, than assist with marine based environmental restoration activities, species protection & monitoring activities as well as invasive-species control for the rest of your 12 weeks internship. All seaborne Diving activities depend greatly on weather patterns and sea conditions and often require changes of plans on short notice. This is a great opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the protection of the marine environment while at the same time becoming a passionate qualified marine ecology diver. No Spanish language skills are are required.

Starting dates are: 7th of January; 1. of April; 1. of July and 1. of October 1, 2019

Internship activities can include but are not limited to

• Gain all important Diving Certification during nine to ten weeks: Open Water and Marine Ecology speciality training as part of the three months diving internship

• Regular theory and practise classes as well as studies and research on marine conservation related subjects will prepare you for the actual conservation work towards the culmination of your internship in the third month

• Day to day work at the diving station with up to five hours of non-diving related work can include helping with equipment maintenance and preparation, assisting with logistics and office work, give a hand with installing a pirate museum and assisting instructors with attending diving students and clients

• Assist actively with the monitoring, protection and restoration of coral reefs and endemic fishes as well as the control of invasive species from week ten onwards for the rest of your internship

Requirements

No previous experiences required to participate in the program. A typical intern should be interested in diving and protecting flora, fauna and marine-life in general. He or she needs to be of good health, enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn and ready for a challenge. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities. You are expected to bring your own personal mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit (shorty/3mm) with you. (Scuba diving equipment is provided)

What is included

  •       Volunteer or Internship placement 
  •       Accommodation of your choice
  •       Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
  •       Free Wi-Fi and use of washing machine at all our facilities 
  •       Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings 
  •       Free  Spanish language lessons on a regular base 
  •       Certificate and/or written reference or student credit 
  •       Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
  •       Information about adventure packages

Volunteer placement or internship: Exclusively as Internship available

Language skills: Conversational English skills are required, Spanish is optional, additional languages welcome

Time Commitment: A minimum time commitment of 12 weeks is required (can be reduced to 6 weeks only for qualified, advanced divers)

Starting dates are: 7th of January; 1. of April; 1. of July and 1. of October 1, 2019

Placement Locations: Las Terrenas

Costs & Benefits  

Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and offers financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution/donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you pay. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! The minimum contribution starts at €125 per week and includes Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments with WiFi and washing machine, free Spanish language classes and a special program donation. If you wish a single room upgrade add €35 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €125 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For an independent Bungalow within an gated residence add €65 per week (only available in Las Terrenas)

Special Offer

Spanish language classes - volunteers or interns receive up to six free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our teaching method enables students to develop four basic skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The idea is to learn Spanish in a natural and spontaneous way, just as students have learned their mother tongue. Our students speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom, the learning process continues as you immerse in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.

Typical day

A typical day in the life of a Marine Conservation Diver can vary, depending on the season and the weather patterns. Working days are normally 9am -  5pm, with two hours for lunch. 

Details on Arrival

Starting dates are: 7th of January; 1. of April; 1. of July and 1. of October 1, 2019

Free-time activities

The town of Samana and Las Terrenas is a scenic, beautiful and peaceful port, with friendly and easy-going Dominicans, living their life with tourism, agriculture and fishing activities, all set to the beat and rhythms of Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music. 

The newly renovated Malecon (seaside promenade) in Samana of two kilometers length is perfect for strolling by day and night. It is the perfect place to while away the evening in a relaxing atmosphere in one of the many surrounding restaurants and bars. Hundreds of fantastic beaches surround the peninsula of Samana, which can be explored during a day trip or for the whole weekend.

  • Las Galeras y El Rincon: A small fisherman's town with beautiful beaches surrounded by nature. Travel by Bus (45 minutes / US$ 2,-)
  • El Limón: Famous waterfall and swimming. Travel by Bus (20 minutes / US$ 1,50,-)
  • Cayo Levantado: Small Island with beautiful beaches just of the coastline in Samana. Travel by Boat (15 minutes / US$ 2,-)
  • Parque National de los Haiteses: Park made of mangroves, caves with ancient paintings and beautiful bays with pristine beaches. Magnificent limestone caves to explore. Travel by Boat 60 minutes / US$ 10,-
  • Playa El Valle: A small fisherman's settlement with a beautiful beach surrounded by pristine nature. Travel by Moto Concho (MotoTaxi) (20 Minutes / US$ 3,-)

There are famous Kitesurf beaches in Las Terrenas and Cabarete only an hour from Samana! The whole Peninsula of Samana is a Wild and precious natural gem! People are extremely friendly and the nature is gorgeous!

From mid-January to late March the bay is home to to some of the world's best whale-watching.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Sightseeing
Diving/Snorkling
Shopping/Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No previous experiences required to participate in the program. A typical Marine Conservation intern should be interested in protecting flora and fauna, biology, wildlife and sustainable tourism. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with soil /mud. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fundacion Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Fundacion Aldeas de Paz (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! 

What is included

  •       Internship placement 
  •       Accommodation at Volunteer Guesthouse, double room
  •       Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
  •       Free Wi-Fi and use of washing machine at all our facilities 
  •       Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings 
  •       Free Spanish language lessons on a regular base 
  •       Certificate and/or written reference or student credit 
  •       Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
  •       Information about adventure packages    

Airport Pickup at Las Americas International Airport

Personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas. Our Driver will wait for you even if your flight is delayed. After you arrive at the placement location, our Staff welcome you and bring you to your accommodation.

Accommodation

The minimum contribution starts at 2295 for the 3 months internship and includes Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments with WiFi and washing machine, free Spanish language classes and a special program donation. If you wish a single room upgrade add €35 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €125 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For an independent Bungalow within an gated residence add €65 per week (only available in Las Terrenas)    

Guest Family Bedroom (Single) Bungalow Bedroom (Double)
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Dominican Republic.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Dominican Republic provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Dominican Republic you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Dominican Republic.
Costs: Prices in USD
12 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,595
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,595
Average fees
$ 216 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in Las Terrenas/Dominican Republic between 12 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fundacion Aldeas de Paz will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Dominican Republic.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Fundacion Aldeas de Paz during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas The Caribbean The Dominican Republic  Las Terrenas, C/Duarte, Las Terrenas

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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