Marine Conservation Volunteer Program

Join us in paradise for a eye-opening, unforgettable experience. Help us generate information to protect and conserve our little piece of the biggest barrier reef in the Atlantic Ocean, the MesoAmerican Reef, which will be your office and playground during your volunteer experience.

BICA’s volunteer program has internationally recognized diving qualifications and specialist training in our ongoing marine conservation programs. Our goal is to preserve and protect the fringing coral reefs surrounding the island. With this program we aim to encourage environmental awareness and individual development both in and outside the water.

Highlights

  • Dive courses offered - Open Water to Advanced Open Water

  • Learn marine conservation protocols and research methods applied in the Mesoamerican Reef

  • Dive in the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef

  • Help actively remove the invasive lionfish from our reefs

  • Hands on field research experience

  • Actively participate in BICA’s Conservation Programs

Our team at BICA is ready to provide you with marine conservation training. As a conservation organization, we recognize that a healthy marine ecosystem is essential in sustaining the livelihoods of the local population, and we invite you take part in our efforts to protect the biodiversity and ecological wealth of the island!

We welcome volunteers to join our conservation team for a 4-week program gaining experience and knowledge. Our conservation work requires all volunteers to be certified divers (minimum PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent). If you aren’t yet certified, this program includes Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications to get you started in marine conservation.

Resident dive professionals and our trained staff will provide specialized training for you to develop the skills required to participate in our conservation activities. You will learn about reef ecology, and contribute to our conservation work in the Bay Islands National Marine Park.

All diving equipment course materials and research/project equipment is provided by us.

What's Included

  • Accommodations for 4 weeks (shared rooms in our Volunteer house)

  • Conservation lectures & discussions

  • AGRRA Coral Identification training

  • AGRRA Fish Identification training

  • Training materials and manuals

  • Dive training equipment

  • Coral BleachWatch survey

  • Lionfish Containment specialty training

  • Welcome dinner and farewell barbeque

  • PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses

  • Transportation between survey sites

What's not Included

  • International and domestic flights and transport on site not related to work

  • Medical, travel, and dive insurance

  • Meals

  • Island Excursions and other recreational activities

Housing

Our volunteer house is located right above our Visitors’ Centre. The volunteer house is a shared accommodation, with three dorms with shared bathrooms, one private room, an indoor/outdoor lounge area, a shared kitchenette with full stove, refrigerator, and cookware. Bed linens will be provided, as well as internet, electricity, water, drinking water, and a laundry area with a washer. Lockers are available for valuables, but please bring your own padlock. Volunteers will be responsible for the upkeep of the cleanliness of the volunteer house.

Meals

Food will not be provided, so volunteers will be responsible for all of their meals.

There are several supermarkets in town with decent selection, however if you have any food restrictions you may want to come prepared with some special items (for example: gluten-free, sugar-free or vegan). There are also several smaller “bodegas” offering a more limited selection, in addition fruit and vegetable stands and a few bakeries in town. Grocery shopping in Utila usually requires visiting more than one shop to get everything you want at the best price, so you’ll become familiar with most of the island’s shops.

There are many eateries on the island, from small street stands selling typical honduran dishes like baleadas (a must try), and restaurants offering a variety of foods from pizza, BBQ, burgers, homemade pastas, and even sushi.

Please do take into consideration your impact on the island when shopping and eating out. We require volunteers to bring their own reusable water bottle(s), reusable shopping bags, and reusable to-go containers (like tupperware, which can be purchased on the island) to reduce the amount of single-use plastics entering the waste stream. We will also introduce all volunteers to the Bay Islands Sustainable Seafood Guide during orientation, which must be followed when purchasing seafood here in Utila.

Impact

As an active volunteer of this program you will gain an inspiring experience. You will learn about and contribute with all our conservation programs which will lead you to engage with the community, and seek to benefit Utila through your actions as well as you will developing your diving and conservation skills, while creating a positive impact on the marine environment. You will become a part of a network of mindful volunteers that will help lead in the protection and conservation of our marine environment while considering  and valuing community participation.You will contribute to various scientific databases that serve for marine conservation management decisions within the Mesoamerican Reef Region. 

 

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