from 970€

Excellent 4.8rating (4)
  • Life Below Water
Reopening soon

Marine and Costal Habitat Conservation Assistant

location
1 - 4 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Excellent response rate

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

This volunteer contributes to an ongoing initiative to improve and monitor marine and coastal ecosystem health.

As the Marine and Coastal Habitat Conservation Volunteer you will contribute to an ongoing initiative to improve and monitor marine and coastal ecosystem health. The data collected will help guide the environmental planning of this protected area. 

Your volunteer ...

About the program

As the Marine and Coastal Habitat Conservation Volunteer you will contribute to an ongoing initiative to improve and monitor marine and coastal ecosystem health. The data collected will help guide the environmental planning of this protected area. 

Your volunteer time will consist of marine and coastal habitat restoration work. On land, this includes invasive species removal, reforestation, bird diversity counts and data collection. Work in the water includes snorkeling to conduct fish and seagrass surveys, underwater trash pickups, and invasive species removal (lion fish capturing). 

Your specific tasks will depend on the needs of the community. 

Participating in an IOI project in Cuba offers the incredibly rare, and impactful opportunity to make a profound contribution in a country that is in an exceptional state of transition. 

Cuba is facing a sudden modernization process in communication, tourism, and real estate – all of which will have significant impacts on the local community and culture. As a result, things are moving very quickly, and the island could immediately begin to face environmental and social pressures as a result of trying to accommodate the influx of people and ideologies.

IOI is uniquely qualified to navigate the complex system that is Cuba in order to provide volunteers with real life, real impact programs that empower the local community in a sustainable way. In Cocodrilo, community members are working with local scientists and volunteers like you to protect their natural resources. The volunteer program has given them a reason to switch from fishing to conducting a fish survey or reforestation of native plants. Your participation in our volunteer program directly supports the conservation work. We firmly believe the only way to engage in effective conservation is by working with local communities.

As a volunteer, you will help collect data necessary for the conservation of Cocodrilo's local protected area. Your work will greatly help in maintaining the community's marine and coastal habitat restoration project. That fact that you travel all the way to remote Cocodrilo to help with conservation efforts shows the community that their resources really are worth protecting!



Typical day

Our schedules are based on 20 hrs/week. The normal schedule is Monday-Friday 7:30 – 11:30AM which may be subject to change depending on the tasks at hand.  Volunteer activities on land will fill 3-4 hours of the morning and are based on the needs of the community. The afternoons and evenings are ...

Typical day

Our schedules are based on 20 hrs/week. The normal schedule is Monday-Friday 7:30 – 11:30AM which may be subject to change depending on the tasks at hand.  Volunteer activities on land will fill 3-4 hours of the morning and are based on the needs of the community. The afternoons and evenings are free for you to explore Cocodrilo and it's beautiful coastline.

During your volunteer activities, you will be primarily working with local community members who have years of experience working with volunteers like you. They will make sure you are safe and happy during your time volunteering and that you are doing work that will be valuable to the community. All we ask of you is that you show up on time and are an enthusiastic worker and have an open mind. Many plans in Cuba can change last minute-so be prepared!

Make sure you bring clothes that are appropriate for the tropical weather, so in addition to the normal shorts, shirts, and flip flops, bring lightweight long sleeve clothing to protect yourself from the bugs and sun, sunscreen, bug repellent, good shoes for walking. Also bring your snorkeling gear including a snorkel, mask, and fins. 


Free-time activities

The town of Cocodrilo is small but there is plenty to do, especially if you like to be outdoors! You'll have the afternoon to explore the surrounding areas, from the picturesque beach to the crystal clear waters. We will provide you with a list of optional activities should you choose that you want ...

Free-time activities

The town of Cocodrilo is small but there is plenty to do, especially if you like to be outdoors! You'll have the afternoon to explore the surrounding areas, from the picturesque beach to the crystal clear waters. We will provide you with a list of optional activities should you choose that you want to do something guided by a local community member for an extra cost. There is limited internet in Cocodrilo so it's the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local way of life! 


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak Spanish (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

- Basic level of Spanish. - A genuine passion for marine conservation. - Ability to work independently as well as in a team. - Flexible schedule that accounts for the day to day needs of working with a local institution. - Physical ability to work outdoors with potentially high sun, element, and temperature exposure. - Ability to independently collect data.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 12:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by IOI-Empowering Cuba

The program fee is necessary to cover your cost of living and logistics. Our overhead is covered by other means, and thus, 100% of any funds that exceed your direct cost will go towards the project you participated in. The program fee includes all of your food, lodging, and transportation once on the Isle of Youth, plus one taxi ride to the airport terminal in Havana. 100% of any funds that exceed your cost of living will go towards the Manos para Cuba program.  . *The program fee does not include international airfare to Cuba, your flight to Isle of Youth (about $80 roundtrip), visa, or personal expenses. 

Airport Pickup at Rafael Cabrera Airport

We provide airport pickup from Nueva Gerona, the airport closest to Cocodrilo. Nueva Gerona is a domestic airport and is a short flight away from Havana. We provide clear directions and assistance for booking the flights and can provide assistance in Havana if desired.

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided at Villa Arrecife, our volunteer house. The house has two air conditioned bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and back patio and is located only a short walk away from the ocean and town center. You will share the house with other volunteers. 

Food & Beverages

A private chef comes daily to the house to cook all meals. We can adapt to your dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Rafael Cabrera Airport (GER) in Nueva Gerona. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cuba. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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 Cuba provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Cuba you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cuba. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Volunteers can join our program throughout the year. We encourage all volunteers to stay as long as possible to maximize local and personal benefit. Minimum stay is one week. We encourage longer commitments by discounting each additional week stayed. Maximum stay is one month.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week (min. stay) 970€
2 weeks 1,455€
3 weeks 1,940€
4 weeks (max. stay) 2,425€
Average fees 788€/week

Program fees

788€ per week 1 - 4 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

1 - 4 weeks

Deposit

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

Your final payment will be agreed with IOI-Empowering Cuba during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

IOI-Empowering Cuba

Excellent 4.8 rating (4 reviews)

Non-profit

Verified by Volunteer World

  Excellent response rate

Coordinated by

Monique

Spoken languages: English, Spanish

About the project

We empower isolated communities to grow in a sustainable way. To that end we run projects in Conservation, Education, and Social development.

Meet your organization

Who we are
IOI is a non-profit organization that designs educational adventures that empower isolated communities to grow in a sustainable way. We strive to help establish ecological sustainability and social stability in our host communities. As such, our mission is to provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection. 

 What we do

  • We develop and implement our outreach projects with local institutions to ensure their sustainable implementation. Our projects address pressing conservation needs. Our partners include The Ocean Foundation, La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Oceans for Youth, and University of Havana’s Marine Research Center.
  • We provide volunteer opportunities in conservation, providing our participants with life changing experiences, and our local partners with funding, expertise, and (wo)man power on site.
  • We provide immersive study abroad programs in which students study the local environment and learn the local culture. All our programs are based on cultural integration and service learning. 

Where we work
We work in the community of Cocodrilo on the southern coast of Isle of Youth in Cuba. Cocodrilo is a small welcoming coastal town of 300 residents surrounded by nature. Some of the most beautiful reefs in Cuba are right off shore and sea turtles nest down the coast. Cocodrilo is a laid-back Caribbean town in the middle of paradise!

Our history
Since embarking on our journey in 2006, IOI has evolved into a mature and recognized organization with an innovative design of merging educational travel with conservation and community development. We began in Galapagos and, after 10 years of experience, have expanded to Cuba and Costa Rica.

Vision and Mission 
We Empower Isolated Communities to Grow in a Sustainable Way. It is our Vision to help establish ecological sustainability and social stability in our host communities.  Our mission is to provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection.

Who are we looking for
We are looking for adventurous volunteers ready to travel to remote parts of the world to make an impact on conservation and education projects. Our volunteers should be flexible, understanding, and respectful of the local cultural context. Depending on the position, we ask that our volunteers are physically able to work outside, sometimes in extreme weather conditions (think the tropics!) and be able to work on a team and individually.

Why choose us...

  • It's a unique opportunity to gain insight and firsthand experience in the world of hands-on conservation and environmental management
  • All of our locations are unique and have exceptional beauty and biodiversity.
  • Our sites are slow lane kinds of places. If you need a break, this is your ideal escape.
  • You will learn Spanish and immerse yourself in the community--you'll finish your time volunteering feeling like a local!

4 reviews · rating4.8

Get to this untouched spot of tranquility before it's discovered! If you love water, snorkeling and scuba, plus have a care about this world's coral reef system, this is the project for you! A wonderful balance of work (removing trash in the water/beach, also the invasive species) and cultural ...
Daniela Vanoncini rating4.8

2018 at Marine and Costal Habitat Conservation Assistant

We learned a lot about corals deseases, like infections with mushrums, bacteria, virus and bleaching. Fishes were interested in us and we could observe them easely. Together with Reinaldo we cleaned the beach and sea from plastic and other trash. We were lucky to see the crabmigration to the sea. We ...
I had such an incredible, life changing experience on my trip with IOI to Cocodrilo in Cuba. Pre-Trip communication was clear and my pre-trip questions were quickly responded to. I felt extremely prepared and well informed for my trip. During my trip I felt well taken care of and supported by the ...
Ann-Kristin Konzak rating4.6

2017 at Marine and Costal Habitat Conservation Assistant

I spent four weeks volunteering at IPBio during my semester vacations. The atmosphere at the reserve is very warm and welcoming. Everyone is very supportive and it seems like everyone here at the reserve really enjoys what they are doing! I worked with the communications program and created a ...

Location

Americas > Caribbean > Cuba > Cocodrilo

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Contact Monique
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English, Spanish

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