Puerto Morelos, Mexico
→ Prices start from $4160 or £2345 for 4 weeks
Volunteering in Marine Conservation
If you are passionate about protecting the world’s oceans and preventing environmental issues like pollution, while learning how to dive and conducting coral reefs research in the Riviera Maya in Mexico this is the ideal project for you!
Volunteering on this project will give you a real chance to learn hands-on conservation techniques and gather pivotal data to monitor the health of the marine environment and support active conservation measures in the area.
You will be snorkelling and diving, as well as joining our sea turtle monitoring project (seasonal) and minimising marine plastic pollution by collecting waste from local beaches and the ocean floor and then recording data on the waste collected
I took part in the marine conservation expedition in Mexico, for 5 weeks. This trip was beyond amazing and utterly rewarding, if I could go back and do it all over again I would go tomorrow! The trip is based around caring for the environment and becoming more aware of environmental issues that are impacting the reef. Being able to scuba dive became a huge focus of the trip as this was the best way to learn about the ecosystem. It didn’t matter if you could already dive as you didn’t miss out on anything, everyone else just had to catch up with their PADI dive course. The diving was incredible, it didn’t take long for everyone to feel confident in the water and we saw some amazing creatures! As well as learning a great deal about the environment, the coral reef and the fish that inhabit this fragile ecosystem, there was a huge amount of socialising. Each day we would have a plan set out so that everyone knew when they were doing what. We always had time to bond with everyone and I was lucky enough to be working on the base which was situated on the beach. It felt like paradise and it was great being able to mess around in the ocean or laze about on the hammocks with your new friends during your free time. We were never bored, that’s for sure! The staff on the trip were brilliant! Young, bubbly, energetic and clearly full of passion! I’ve left with many of them as my friends! Whenever we needed help they were always there to guide us, left whatever they were doing and came to help us straight away!
Puerto Morelos is the oldest port city in the Mexican Caribbean and part of an area home to unique and diverse ecosystems that feature low evergreen jungles, low swamp jungles, savannahs, coastal dunes, mangroves, cenotes, beaches, marine grass, and coral reefs. The reef of Puerto Morelos is part of the Mesoamerican Reef System, the second-largest reef barrier in the world and home to thousands of marine species.
This area is also home to the busiest tourism corridor in Mexico that goes from Cancun to Tulum in a 120 km area. Due to the tourism boom in the area the number of massive hotels, new tour operators that offer snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as fishing, has spiked.
Our main goal is to help protect and conserve our ecosystems so to ensure their survival, by collecting valuable data to assist decision-makers in coastal zone management. Different human factors such as unsustainable fishing methods, unregulated property development, unchecked tourism activities, and climate change have been affecting this area…
Since 2018, a new coral illness, known as a white band, has caused fatalities in over 40% of Caribbean coral in one year. We help by monitoring the corals and the fish through dives and snorkelling. The data on fish we gather helps us determine the abundance and size of fish and understand the changes in the fish community dynamics, while the data on coral is used to understand the rate of recovery of the reef and its overall health.
Our volunteers also participate in several other initiatives looking to conserve the environment such as coral restoration in laboratory and in marine coral nurseries, seagrass ecosystem monitoring, tourist impact assessment on the Coral Reef, incidental sightings of marine megafauna recording, lionfish population studies, weekly beach cleans and outreach work to assist the community and promote conservation practises.
A Day In Your Life
Activities in Puerto Morelos start around 7:30 and finish at about 6 PM (with a break for lunch, Monday to Friday). Evenings and weekends are free for you to relax or explore the area.
- You will have a real chance to learn conservation techniques while diving and snorkelling in one of the world’s most beautiful ecosystems in the Mexican Riviera.
- You will play a huge role in helping reproduce more than 260,000 coral fragments and monitor the health of the reef.
- You will have the chance to earn your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and PADI Coral Reef Researcher Distinctive Speciality Certification.
- You will be involved in activities such as collecting waste from local beaches and recording data so to minimise pollution in the area.
- From May to October, you will have the chance to participate in our sea turtle monitoring programme by taking pictures of them while snorkelling and diving to help with identifying both new and returning sea turtles.
- You will also have the chance to be involved with community work by conducting environmental education programs in the town of Puerto Morelos. Sustainable fishing methods and other means of protecting the natural environment are vital to maintaining the marine abundance that makes both fishing and international tourism profitable and therefore you will be teaching young people and tour operators the importance of protecting their marine resources.
- Immerse yourself in the Mexican culture, learning the language and taking in the Mexican cuisine. Enjoy your free time and discover some of the most amazing locations in the area such as the Mayan Ruins, the cenotes and the eco-adventure parks!
Our start dates for 2019 & 2020 are:
- 19th October 2019
- 16th November 2019
- 11th January 2020
- 8th February 2020
- 7th March 2020
- 4th April 2020
- 2nd May 2020
- 30th May 2020
- 27th June 2020
- 25th July 2020
- 22nd August 2020
- 19th September 2020
- 17th October 2020