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 local team by collecting data on native animal and plant species, reforestation. Volunteers learn about tropical conservation efforts by working alongside passionate local experts in the field.
Get truly off the beaten track in Belize and experience the rich culture including ruins, traditional chocolate making, jungle zip line and river tubing.
Volunteers are needed to assist the conservation team’s efforts to preserve the ecosystem.
The area is a nature lover’s paradise, this is a great project if you want to get involved in grassroots conservation in action.
Volunteers join the local team and work alongside them on their current conservation project.
The volunteer role is varied and can include the following:
Training in research methods and conservation activities is provided when required and is delivered by project staff members who are experts in their fields.
Each day varies but you will generally volunteer for 5 days per week (Monday to Friday) between 8am-4pm, with breaks throughout the day. You may on occasion, start earlier and finish later than this, in order to avoid doing certain tasks in the midday heat.
On your first Monday morning you will be introduced to the team that you will be working with during the week 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!).
At the weekend you will be based in Punta Gorda, relaxing or taking part in some of the amazing free time activities that Belize has to offer.
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.
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.
“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 closed to volunteers between 1 Feb - 31 April every year. The project is closed from the 23 Dec 2018 to 6 Jan 2019 and 22 Dec 2019 to 5 Jan 2020.
Belize is a small country on the Caribbean coast nestled between Mexico and Guatemala. It is a relaxed country and 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:
To find out more, see the Lonely Planet Belize.
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.
When staying at the field bases there are no local amenities, 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 mainland town of Punta Gorda, this is a chance for you have connect back to the internet and is a great opportunity to sample laid back Belizean life in your homestay.
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, visiting waterfalls, zip-lining through the jungle tree tops or tubing down the jungle river. As the region receives a low number of visitors if you are travelling alone you may need to pay for a private tours. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.
Your first night and weekends will be with your homestay family in Punta Gorda. Depending on the location of your project work you may stay at the homestay or a field base in the week.
At the homestay, volunteers may share a room with another volunteer on a single sex basis. There is WIFI available.
At the field bases, volunteers share basic rooms, which are clean and comfortable and have fans. There are communal areas to relax, eat and socialise in.
“I would massively recommend anyone with any interest in conservation. It’s a fantastic organisation with really friendly people and every single day we did something different and interesting, ranging from making signs, surveying in the jungle, helping out with the summer camp field trips to sustainable farms and clearing jungle pathways with machetes. The rangers were constantly sharing their knowledge with us.
A few highlights include holding a tiny turtle that we found in a puddle, going swimming by a waterfall and watching the sunrise over the savanna on an early morning trek into the jungle. The homestay family was an absolute joy to be around and cooked the best food! It really helped me to feel more of a local and less like a foreigner.”
“One of my favourite aspects of this project is how immersive it makes the volunteer. I worked very closely with the local members of the team and really felt as though I was contributing. The setting was so surreal and picturesque. The main goal of my trip was biodiversity monitoring to ensure the health of the surrounding environment and ecosystem. I worked closely with the team to perform tasks such as bird-watching and monitoring that stations transect.
It was fantastic to work so closely with such knowledgeable people. I got the opportunity to work with a bird-watching veteran, who had 13 years’ experience. I got to see or hear almost 40 different species of exotic birds, majority of which are resident to the Belize ecosystem. I couldn’t rate the experience highly enough. Especially Curtis from the local team and Ms. Sylvia from my host family. They made me feel so welcome and really looked after me.”
“We had a great variety of experiences, something different every week! Our first week was spent visiting local schools to look at their conservation projects and we helped the children plant trees. We created a large banner to advertise Reef Week, went on a mangrove-counting exercise on the cayes, helped clear a nature trail, identifying trees and birds and creating signs and information for the trail, and finally we took part in a bio-diversity project.
Our host family was delightful and made us very welcome and we spent weekends exploring the town and on trips including kayaking, snorkelling and a visit to Guatemala. Despite having no previous conservation experience we were keen to make a real contribution to the work of the teams, and they all made us feel valued and useful. All our hopes and expectations were fulfilled, the staff at the project and everywhere were really friendly and helpful.”
“This was a truly memorable experience. I went down there on my own for a short stay and everyone really went out of their way to make my experiencing interesting, relevant and fun. Everyone was knowledgeable and enthusiastic to talk about their work. I was amazed at how much they seem to be doing on such a skimpy budget.
Chez Muschamp was just the warmest place imaginable for a home stay - my fondest to Miss Sylvia and Mr. Julio! Punta Gorda must be the most welcoming town I’ve ever visited. Love their 3-finger wave - it perfectly captures their laid back friendliness.”
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||£995||GB Pounds|
|2 weeks||£1495||GB Pounds|
|Extra weeks||£450||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
"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder
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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