Programme: Divemaster Internship Tulum Take a marine conservation and scuba diving internship while assisting critical marine conservation projects on the Caribbean coast of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula. The Internship begins with our Marine Conservation Expedition. Applicants will live and work for 12 weeks with a research team, undergoing an extensive training program. Knowledge gained will be put to practice while working to compile crucial research on coral reef and fish species on daily surveying dives.
Applicants will be assessed each week in order to measure progress and suitability for the divemaster programme. Successful applicants will then be offered the opportunity to complete their PADI Dive Master course during a 12 week work placement with a local dive center. This exciting opportunity will provide practical experience in the dive industry. Together with the professional dive qualification applicants will practice leadership scenarios and help dive center staff with the day-to-day running of the dive shop.
This programme runs for 24 weeks. Contact us to find out the 2017 dates and start planning your adventure!
Programme: Marine Conservation Expedition Tulum Our field staff and international team of volunteers work in conjunction with the highly respected NGO, Amigos de Sian Ka’an. As a volunteer on this marine conservation expedition time will be spent diving and monitoring a portion of the spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef; south of Tulum and within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Focusing on fish and coral surveys volunteers will spend the majority of their time exploring this special underwater environment while also witnessing turtle nesting and hatching (seasonal) and the odd dolphin and shark encounter.
This programme runs for 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 weeks and begins January 09, February 06, March 05, April 02, April 30, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 20, September 17, October 15, November 12, 2016.
Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included). During your project dates your accommodation and food are included in the project cost. The base is located on the beach in the Amigo Di Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve just south of Tulum on the Yacatan peninsula. Accommodation is basic and you will be sharing in mixed dorm rooms with bunkbeds. There is limited running water and you can expect bucket showers. Food is basic (rice, pasta, potatoes with fresh veg orders once a week). Volunteers take turns preparing the daily meals in the communal kitchen. There is very limited mobile reception and volunteers are allowed to bring their laptops, however charging times are limited and priority is given to communication equipment.
Does the project require any special preparation? For the Divemaster Internship, applicants need to be at least PADI Open Water (or equivalent) qualified. The PADI Advanced and Rescue Diver qualification are done on base with the Divemaster course taking place at our local dive shop partner.
For the Marine Conservation Expedition, 4 Week volunteers need to have their PADI Open Water Qualification (or equivalent) before their start date. They will do their PADI Advanced qualification in the field. If you are volunteering for longer than 4 weeks you need not be a qualified diver.
Applicants will be assigned either fish or coral and will be required to learn the relevant species before getting to the field.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. Our aim on this base is the collection of data in the northern section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, working with our local partners with the aim to:
Form a comprehensive overview of the ecological health of the reef
Determine the species and breeding success of sea turtles (seasonal)
Develop the expedition base as an “Ecological Research and Awareness Center”
Develop education and awareness programs within the local community
Overall, our monitoring program in Mexico aims to provide a long term record of coral and fish species abundance over time to contribute to the long term survival of the reef.
Volunteers will be involved in data collection on targeted fish and coral species, habitat mapping for coral reefs and mangrove management, development of environmental education and awareness programmes for local schools and communities and the development of terrestrial and marine environmental best practice on in the area. There are also opportunities to get involved in local bird monitoring, incidental sighting recording, lion fish sighting recording and turtle monitoring (May-Oct).
This expedition requires a full time commitment. Applicants can expect to have a few free weekends to explore the surround islands and/or participate on fun dives.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteers need not have any specific skills just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be comfortable and confident swimmers and be physically fit and healthy. In most cases volunteers dive twice a day, 6 days a week weather dependent.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features). Volunteers are welcome to organize side trips for their free time or pre or post their project experience. All associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into the volunteer's own budget. There are endless travel opportunities and adventures along the Yucatan peninsula available to volunteers. Many of these activities involve diving and are located very close to the expedition base; cenote diving near Tulum, diving with turtles in Akumal Bay, wall reed diving off Cozumel island or snorkel with whale sharks off Holbox island between June and September.
Rio Lagartos is also near by and is home to great flocks of flamingos and river crocodiles, while Bacalar is known as the lake of seven colours and is a must see if volunteers are happy to travel futher afield. There are also many ruins and archaeological sites in the region which allow volunteers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich Mayan culture; Tulum, Coba, Palenque and Merida. Volunteers also regularly visit Tulum and Playa Del Carmen on weekends to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, restaurants and shopping.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive). Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.
Volunteers complete an initial training phase where they learn to accurately identify locally targeted fish or coral species. Training will involve snorkel and dive point outs with field staff, as well as learning benthic coral and invertebrate.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate). What's included:
Pre-departure support and discounted services:
24-hour emergency phone
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Long term experienced staff
All necessary project training by experienced staff
All necessary project equipment and materials
24-hour in-country support
Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
Community work workshop
Certification and summary of training and experience received
Weekly evaulation with your mentor
First Aid & CPR training
PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master certifications (not including PADI professional fees)
Use of O2 equipment workshop
Diving compressor training workshop
Coral reef ecology
First Aid & CPR training and certification
Confidential professional reference
PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
PADI Advanced Open Water
Transfer to base location
Teamwork and leadership experience
Leading biological surveys course
Work placement (if successful on training period)
What's not included:
Medical and travel insurance
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
PADI Open Water
Food during work placement
Some equipment is not included
Additional Information. Field staff advise that you enter the country using a tourist visa. For most nationalities this doesn’t need to be arranged in advance. Check with the immigration authorities of the countries you intend to visit.