Caribbean ConservationBelize

Our award-winning Caribbean Conservation team in Belize work to conserve the local ecosystems. Their research findings guide government legislation and decision making to protect the environment.

You will assist the team by collecting data on native animal and plant species and helping with reforestation. Volunteers learn about conservation efforts working alongside passionate local experts in the field.

Get truly off the beaten track in Belize and experience the rich culture including Mayan ruins, traditional chocolate making, jungle zip line and river tubing.

Volunteers are needed to assist the conservation team’s efforts to preserve the ecosystem.

Apply

Key Info

key info
  • Location: Toledo District
  • Start dates: Every Sunday
  • Duration: 1 – 12 weeks +
  • Age requirement: 18+ (12+ for families or groups)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £895 / €985 / $1110 - see fees table below
View More Photos

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

The project manages 22,000 acres of forest that forms an important wildlife corridor, and has been awarded the United Nations Development Program’s prestigious Equator Prize for sustainable development. The area is a nature lover’s paradise and an amazing opportunity to get involved in grassroots conservation in action.

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.

The volunteer role is varied and can include the following:

  • Manatee, amphibian and crocodile survey and monitoring
  • Habitat survey for seagrass, pine and palms
  • Bird mist netting, banding and monitoring
  • Yellow-headed parrot nest box installation, and roost count monitoring (mainly December to February)
  • Camera trap collection, monitoring and photo study
  • Clearing and maintaining trails, protected area boundaries and field bases
  • Reforestation – including clearing areas around reforestation sites, collecting seeds, assisting in the tree nursery and planting trees along the riverbank
  • Education and outreach – creating signs for nature trails, assisting in charity events and children’s summer camps
  • Assisting with data entry
  • Designing and painting signs for protected areas

Training in research methods and conservation activities is provided and is delivered by project staff members who are experts in their fields.

“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

Typical day

On the Sunday that you arrive, you will be taken to your homestay where you will be introduced to the family and given time to settle in.

On your first Monday you will be introduced to the team and given a presentation on the protected areas and research you will be assisting in. You will have a tour of the mangroves by kayak, which is a great introduction to the ecosystem and birdlife (and you may also see an iguana or two!), as well as a tour of the town.

Each day varies but you will generally volunteer for 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) between 8am-4pm, with breaks throughout the day. Sometimes you may start earlier or finish later, in order to avoid doing certain tasks in the midday heat.

At the weekend you will be based in the coastal town of Punta Gorda, relaxing or taking part in some of the amazing free time activities that Belize has to offer.

Other volunteers

There are usually around 1-4 volunteers at one time with a maximum of 4. Volunteers work alongside park rangers who are local experts in the field.

Local support

Chalita is the volunteer coordinator who will carry out your induction and is there to support you. She is based in the office in Punta Gorda. During the week you will be supported by the team at the field research bases.

Accommodation

Your first night and weekends will be with your homestay family in the colourful coastal town of Punta Gorda. Depending on the location of your project work you may stay at the homestay or a field base in the week.

Belize homestayAt the homestay, volunteers may share a room with another volunteer on a single sex basis and bathrooms are shared. There is WIFI available.

At the field bases, volunteers share basic rooms between 1-4 volunteers, which are clean and comfortable and have fans. Bathrooms are also shared. There are communal areas to relax, eat and socialise in. There is no WIFI at the field bases.

field base hut

Meals 

All meals are provided throughout your placement. Here are typical examples of the food you may have: 

  • Breakfast – bread, toast, jam, fry jack (Belizean doughnuts) 
  • Lunch – sandwiches, rice and beans, traditional pies or tortillas with cheese and beans 
  • Dinner – traditional Belizean meals of rice and beans with vegetables and chicken, stews, or burritos 

When at the homestay your family will cook your meals for you and you can get involved in the cooking too if you’d like to learn how to make some local dishes.

Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and can be catered for.

Drinking water is provided at the field bases, office and homestay.

Location and free time

You will be based in the South of Belize in the Toledo District. It is one of the few places left in Mesoamerica where you can still see unbroken forest stretching across the horizon. Mammals and bird life are abundant, and you may spot howler monkeys at the river side, manatees in the lagoon or jaguar tracks on the savannah.

The conservation team’s work stretches over many ecosystems, including tropical jungle forests, mangroves, lagoons and pine savannahs. There are 3 field bases which you may volunteer or stay in depending on the work required.

sunset over lagoon in Belize

When staying at the field bases there aren't any local amenities but there is a relaxed atmosphere and volunteers spend their free time playing football, volleyball, bird watching, relaxing with a book and getting to know the local team.

The homestays are in the relaxed coastal town of Punta Gorda, a chance for you have connect back to the internet and sample laid back Belizean life in your homestay. In Punta Gorda, there are restaurants and bars as well as internet cafes, shops, market and ATMs.

There are lots of activities in the area which the local team can help you with. You can explore the Maya temples, visit a Mayan village eco-farm and chocolate tour, visit waterfalls, zip-line through the jungle tree tops or tube down the jungle river. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Travelling in Belize before or after your placement

Belize is a tropical small country on the Caribbean coast nestled between Mexico and Guatemala. It has a relaxed vibe and is a great place to volunteer and explore the beautiful scenery and diverse nature.

With over 60% natural forest cover, and 40% of its land area under protection, Belize is one of the most pristine countries in the world. Popular activities in Belize include:

  • Visiting the Maya ruins
  • Exploring the cayes (offshore islands)
  • Diving at the Blue Hole

For more information on Belize and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Belize country page. This also features all our other Belize volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime!

Belize Mayan ruins

Climate

Belize has a tropical climate meaning that it’s generally hot and humid all year round. Temperatures usually between 15–35°C, averaging 26°C but due to the humidity (approximately 85%) it can feel much warmer. The cooler months are from December to February. The dry season with higher temperatures runs from March to July whilst August to November normally sees the heavier rains. 

Dates

Start dates are every Sunday. The project is closed to volunteers between 19 Dec 2021 and 8 Jan 2022. 

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Airport pick up (Punta Gorda) and return transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Food - all main meals
  • Induction and conservation training
  • Bicycle for weekend travel in Punta Gorda
  • Kayak tour of the mangroves
  • Mobile phone or sim card for use during placement
  • T-shirt
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Donation to Pod Environmental Fund supporting reforestation in Belize and solar lights in Ghana
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Criminal record / police check
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Living costs - snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
1 week £895 GB Pounds
2 weeks £1395 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £400 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £100 discount for any family members who are under 18
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

Where the money goes - financial transparency

Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis.  For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

Apply

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Read volunteer reviews from the Caribbean Conservation project

Ross – 2018

“I've had an incredible time helping out the rangers in a range of conservation activities. Everyone I worked with are really easy to get along with, fun and knowledgeable - you'll learn so much about the local wildlife by being with them!

My host family looked after me really well - overall I'd highly recommend this experience! Go for it - you'll learn so much about wildlife and how conservation activities work!”

Kyra – 2018 

“This project was a great experience in another culture! It was fascinating and wonderful to be able to be a part of and observe conservation work in action for yellow-headed parrots, which is a species I have always loved. 

The experience was a great way to experience another culture and see how conservation efforts take place in a different country. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who would like to see how local rangers are tackling conservation issues in the field.”

Elizabeth– 2018

“I could not have asked for a better experience! The application process was so smooth. Pod made sure I was well prepared before I left. The travel guides are absolutely on point! Gemma answered my questions quickly and thoroughly. 

I was blown away by the passion and commitment of every team member. Everyone - the rangers, the management and office staff were clearly invested and excited about their work. I worked with the conservation team and - wow! - what an incredible organization.”

Suzie – 2018

“I loved seeing all of the interesting habitats and wildlife in the protected areas and national park. It was so interesting to learn about the diverse people that live in Southern Belize and enjoy local foods and culture.

For me Payne's Creek National Park was the most amazing part of the trip. The habitat is so varied, and the location in remote. I love that! The wildlife was incredible! Even though it was very hot, the cabins had fans and good ventilation, so it was very tolerable.

The project are fantastic programs! They do a lot for conservation and education in Belize. They work together with scientists and the community to come up with solutions that benefit the environment and the people.”

Read more reviews

22,000

acres protected

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Ros

Pod UK Specialist

Apply and you'll hear from Ros soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Belize Caribbean Conservation volunteer – Adam

    “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
  • Belize Caribbean Conservation volunteer – Alison

    “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
  • Belize Caribbean Conservation volunteer – Hannah

    “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

SIMILAR PROJECTS

We have other projects you may be interested in

Conservation

Conservation

Madagascar FIND OUT MORE
Amazon Conservation

Amazon Conservation

Peru FIND OUT MORE

COMBINE PROJECTS

You can also combine projects to make the volunteering trip of a lifetime!

Caribbean Reef Conservation

Caribbean Reef Conservation

Belize FIND OUT MORE
Caribbean Wildlife

Caribbean Wildlife

Belize FIND OUT MORE

AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal