Explore an underwater world and do volunteer conservation work in Belize for teenagers. You’ll learn directly from conservationists and be part of protecting the Belize Barrier Reef. You’ll get practical experience, and once you’ve gotten your diving certification, you’ll help underwater. Scuba diving is a magical experience, but diving with a purpose is so much more!
After seeing the beauty of the underwater world yourself, you’ll help raise awareness about how important it is to protect the reef. You’ll share different ways local people can help with conservation efforts.
You’ll work in Placencia and also team up with other teenagers to give back to the local community, like doing a beach clean-up. Help, learn, and explore Belize together.
When you apply you only pay AUD$495, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1300 132 831 to see if we can offer a discount.
Fixed dates during school holidays
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Organised weekend tourism trips
Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day
PADI diving course
Diving equipment rental
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I do as a Conservation volunteer in Belize?
You’ll find there’s a lot of work to do to reduce the impact people have had on the Belize Barrier Reef. Here are some of your main tasks:
- Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification
- Survey dives to collect data and monitor marine life
- Beach clean-ups and salvage dives for a cleaner environment
- Community work like helping prevent beach erosion and planting seaweed
- Discover the cultural heritage of this tropical island during weekend trips
Your work will focus on the following areas:
PADI diving certification
Your first week in Belize is spent getting your PADI Open Water Diver certification. The skills you learn during this course will enable you to take part in survey dives. These dives are critical to our conservation efforts in Belize. With this certification, join the diving community and discover new diving spots around the world for years to come. There are no extra costs. This international certification is included in your project fee.
By collecting data during thrilling survey dives, you’ll be contributing to massive databases that inform the local government Fisheries Department how best to protect the reef. Monitor things like fish species, size, and water temperature to determine which conditions are best for which creatures.
To float in clear blue waters past shoals of tropical fish and colourful coral is a magnificent experience. It’s rewarding knowing that while you dive, the work you’re doing will help to protect the beauty around you.
Salvage dives and beach clean-ups
Have you ever seen a jellyfish bobbing around in the ocean? How about a plastic bag? They look pretty similar, don’t they? Litter and pollution have a devastating effect on marine life. Many creatures eat non-biodegradable plastics or get caught in discarded fishing nets. Thanks to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, the issue of plastics in the ocean has started to get global attention. You can be a part of this worldwide initiative.
Help by participating in salvage dives to collect litter from the reefs. During our beach clean-ups, you’ll pick up plastic and other rubbish before it washes into the ocean. You’ll also pick up litter on beaches where turtles lay their eggs. This clears the path for hatchlings to make it to the ocean.
You’ll also be helping the community as a whole. Help with building barriers to stop coastal erosion or clean up litter in communities. You can also plant seaweed with local fisherman. Seaweed gives them an alternative, sustainable income source.
Discover what Belize has to offer
Belize is rich in cultural heritage and stunning nature. During weekends, hike to sparkling waterfalls, where you can swim in the cool, refreshing water. Go diving in the famous Blue Hole or explore ancient Mayan ruins. And all of this with a group of volunteers your age from around the world.
Our project partners in Belize
This wouldn’t be a Marine Conservation Project without the chance to dive and work at the forefront of reef protection efforts. So we’ve partnered with PADI to make sure you’re fully qualified to dive safely and confidently.
We’ve also partnered with the government Fisheries Department in Belize. We provide them with data that directly influences policy-making. The department doesn’t have enough staff and finances to collect this data themselves, so as a volunteer, the role you play is very important.
Where in Belize will I work?
Placencia will be your main base. During dive trips, you will spend about two nights per week on more remote, unpopulated islands. Be prepared for more modest and basic facilities, but expect a unique opportunity for island living!
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
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