Are you passionate about protecting the world’s oceans and preventing environmental issues like plastic pollution and coral bleaching? The Mexican coastal area known as the Riviera Maya, is one of the most unique and important habitats in the world. It is home to one of the largest coral ecosystems around the globe as well as critically endangered species such as the Hawksbill sea turtle. Human factors affecting this habitat include unsustainable fishing methods, unregulated property development along the coastline, unchecked tourism activities, and climate change. Since 2018, a new coral illness, known as white band, has caused fatalities in over 40% of Caribbean coral in one year.
Volunteers on this program will contribute to conserving the reef by conducting surveys to determine the health of the reef and growing coral fragments in a laboratory for transplantation onto the local reef to assist with recovery. They will also assist with minimising marine plastic pollution by collecting waste from local beaches and the ocean floor and then recording data on the waste collected. From May to October, they might also participate in a sea turtle monitoring program, depending on the needs of our local partners at the time. Engaging local students, businesses, and community groups, as well as international visitors in environmental education workshops is also an important year-round component of this program.
Your program will start with our professional diving staff and marine conservation experts providing you with the necessary training. Learn how to conduct underwater survey while preventing any harm to the reef. During this time you will be earning your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and receive the Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality segment of the PADI Divemaster course. This unique offering by GVI & PADI teaches you about best practices when conducting underwater coral reef surveys. This is offered to participants staying for 2 weeks or longer.
No previous experience is needed, but if you do not yet have your PADI Open Water Diver you will need to join the program for at least eight weeks or more to ensure you are trained up to the level of skill required to make a meaningful impact by conducting coral reef research. If you already have your PADI Open Water Diver, you can join the program for the shorter duration of four weeks. Otherwise, if you would like to join the program for four weeks, and do not yet have your PADI Open Water Diver you can also complete the certification at home or we can recommend another dive centre in Mexico which you can attend before the start of your GVI program.
- Preserve the unique ecosystem of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
- Participate in a range of other impactful marine conservation initiatives.
- Contribute to UN SDG #14, Life Below Water.
- Learn to dive in the tropical waters of the Caribbean sea.
- Earn your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
- Complete GVI & PADI's unique qualification, the PADI Coral Reef Research Speciality.
- Make new friends when you work with a group of like-minded individuals from around the world.
For full details and how to apply, please visit the expedition page.