Join an award-winning conservation team to monitor and collect data on native mammal, amphibian and bird species. These research findings are used to guide the management of these protected areas. Explore the rainforest, coral reefs and beautiful beaches in Belize in your free time.
Volunteers spend their time at one or both research bases; Creek Base or River Base, depending on the needs of the project at the time.
Each day will differ and all conservation activities are weather dependent, but volunteer tasks can include:
You will volunteer for 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) between 8am and 5pm on standard days, 4am - 3pm if doing bird point counts or sometimes night shifts e.g. 8pm to 4am for certain species e.g. Hicatee turtles. There are breaks throughout the working day (or night).
There are usually around 1-4 volunteers at one time with a maximum of 4. Volunteers work alongside local experts in the field; Belizean scientists, educators and park rangers.
The project is closed to volunteers between 2 - 15 Oct 2016 and 18 Dec 2016 - 7 Jan 2017.
Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Belize Caribbean Conservation reviews.
Volunteers enable the project to sustain and expand its vital conservation and development efforts by having more people out in the field. Volunteers carry out important field research, education and conservation actions that are making a significant contribution to the project’s mission: protecting wildlife and its habitats, raising awareness, empowering local communities and sustaining natural resources. This means all our volunteer activities make a real contribution to the management of these spectacular areas and benefit the people who live closest to them.
The research and monitoring carried out by volunteers contributes directly to the ongoing, programmed activities at the project. Volunteers work alongside scientists, rangers, and field staff to gather and analyse data, assist in the protection of vulnerable and endangered species, and to achieve sustainable conservation results in protected areas of the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. The work of volunteers makes an invaluable contribution to fulfilling this mission.
“Our science and ranger teams work tirelessly, protecting some of the most pristine and diverse ecosystems in Central America. There is always work to be done and it is a constant struggle to achieve our goals with limited resources. Our volunteers help us to bridge that gap, by providing additional support on the ground where help is needed most, ensuring that we continue to sustainably manage our rich resources for tomorrow.”Caroline, Project Manager
The project is part of a leading non-profit organisation which has the management responsibility for three protected areas and takes a community centred approach to all conservation and development work. They encourage sustainable use of resources within the local community.
Their research findings guide government legislation and decision making to protect the land, flora and fauna. Their findings on the local manatee population has provided empirical evidence to demonstrate that the population is recovering with 10% of manatee sightings being calves, indicating a healthy reproductive and growing population. Their research has providing knowledge on where they breed, feed and their general behaviours.
In response to these findings, the project continues to install ‘no wake’ zones in areas of high manatee presence, research sea grass beds in order to protect their favoured habitat, and plan to obtain satellite tagging devices to attach to individuals to record their movements in the future.
Their plans for the future include empowering communities to manage fisheries, forests and watersheds sustainably; to educate the local community to understand and appreciate how special their local area is on a global scale; and to develop a green economy that enables people to escape from poverty while protecting the natural capital on which their livelihoods depend.
The project’s conservation office is located in Punta Gorda but during the week you will be located on site in the protected areas which are a boat ride away from Punta Gorda.
During the week if volunteers are working at the Creek Base they will stay in simple accommodation within the protected areas. All rooms are shared and basic, but clean and comfortable and have fans. The bathroom facilities are shared and there are communal areas to relax, eat and socialise in. If volunteers are working at the River Base they will stay at the homestay (details below) and travel to the Base each day.
At weekends all volunteers stay on the mainland in a family homestay. Volunteers have their own room or share a room with one other volunteer. Bedrooms are allocated on a single sex basis. There is WIFI available at the homestay.
If you are working at Creek Base, during the week you will be living in a remote location and so you can spend your free time playing football, volleyball, relaxing with a book and getting to know the local team. During the week if you are working at River Base and for all volunteers at the weekends you will be staying in Punta Gorda; a small town with the sea on one side and the jungle on the other. You can visit the cafes and bars or sample Belizean dishes in the local restaurants. It is also a great chance to experience laid back Belizean village life.
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), criminal records check. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.
|1 week||£895||GB Pounds|
|2 weeks||£1325||GB Pounds|
|Extra weeks||£395||GB Pounds|
Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com
"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian
Erin has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!
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“I had such an amazing experience! I was able to learn more than just conservation. I was able to grow culturally, learn new skills and even had time to relax and enjoy the many different sites of Belize!”Read more volunteer reviews
“My 4 weeks in Belize has to rank amongst the most amazing experiences of my (60 year) life. I felt privileged to be working as part of the community research team conducting ongoing valuable monitoring and conservation work.”Read more volunteer reviews
“My 9 weeks have been one of the most enriching and enjoyable experiences of my life. I can’t recommend the experience enough and hope one day I get to do it again”Read more volunteer reviews