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Made for Meaningful Travel
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GoEco

Manatee and Marine Conservation

Help and protect the West Indian manatee and other marine life like reef fish, sharks, rays, sea turtles and many more.

About the project

The Manatee and Marine Conservation Project is focused on the conservation and research of the West  Indian manatee. Manatees in Belize are listed as highly endangered with their numbers rapidly declining. This species is not only at risk from habitat disturbance and destruction, but also from increased pollution, climate change and tourism. Throughout your volunteer project you will have the opportunity to discover famous barrier reefs and marvel at an extraordinary selection of marine life, including reef fish, sharks, rays, sea urchins, anemones, octopus, sea turtles and manatees. During your free time you will be able to explore the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean, as you learn to dive off the cayes of Belize.


About the location

Nestled on the eastern coast of Central America lies the nation of Belize. Situated between Mexico and Guatemala, the small country of Belize is encompassed by stunning tropical beaches to the east and dense green jungles to the west. The warm clear waters of the Caribbean plays home to the second largest barrier reef in the world. This UNESCO world Heritage Site is renowned for its low - lying islands, better known as cayes, and an incredible array of marine life and snorkelling and diving opportunities.

Volunteer tasks

If As a volunteer on this project you will be responsible for recording manatee sightings and behaviors both in relation to human disturbance and different environmental factors. You will explore, map and monitor seagrass beds for the benefit of the manatees and other species as well as survey and monitor coral reef habitats, and populations of reef fish. Volunteers may even get the chance to monitor local shark populations.
Results from this study will be used to apply further protection to the manatee and the seagrass meadows they rely on. Some of your daily activities may include:    

  • Snorkeling in pristine ecosystems while collecting essential research data
  • Surveying populations of manatees and their vital seagrass habitats
  • PADI dive training and qualifications in your free time (for an additional fee)
Please note: the peak manatee season begins in April and ends in October; sightings outside of this period are expected to be less frequent, but vital work on the seagrass habitats continues year round. 

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

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 (basic level)
Required Documents
If under 18 you need a letter of consent from a parent or legal guardian
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Must be a strong swimmer and/or diver
Fit and healthy
Willing to prepare meals
Hold an interest in marine life and conservation efforts
Able to cope with basic conditions
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with GoEco straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

There are various free time activities available. 

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Sports

Included Services

What's included?
Included in the fees are:
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Airport Pickup on arrival
  • Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
  • Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport Pickup at Philip S. W. Goldson International

Airport pickup and transfer to the project site via water taxi is provided if you arrive on the 1st Monday of the month. If you want to join the project at any other time, you will have to pay an additional fee for a transfer.

Accommodation

Volunteers will stay at a beach camp in locally built huts or tents. The camp is situated in a clearing on the beach and is very simple. Your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over an open campfire. On occasion you may have to journey further to reach a remote survey site, where you will stay at a "satellite camp"; which consists of a mosquito net pitched on a distant beach. WiFi is not available within the camp itself, but there are bars and hostels in the area that volunteers may go to. It is not likely volunteers will have this option every day of the project, however.

Camping
Food & Beverages

Food at camp is simple and nutritious and consists largely of locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruit, rice, beans and noodles. Part of your role will be to help with the cooking and clearing up after meals. Creating meals over an open campfire or baking bread in the campfire oven will soon become second nature.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,900.00
4 weeks
$2,700.00
5 weeks
$3,100.00
6 weeks
$3,500.00
8 weeks (max. stay)
$4,300.00
Average fees
$744.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Gales Point/Belize between 2 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco will let you know about the final price during your application process.
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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Belize

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Belize. Please check the visa regulations for Belize.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Belize.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Philip S. W. Goldson International (BZE) in Belize City. We assist you to find cheap flights to Belize.
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 Belize provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Belize you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Belize.
Gales Point Road, Gales Point, Belize

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