Gain real insight into marine conservation work and methodologies through hands-on conservation training and work experience, while also having lots of fun!
Reef Conservation International is a fantastic way to experience real world conservation efforts, while having great fun! You will get hands-on experience for marine conservation work and gain real world insight on what it is like to actually work in the field of marine conservation. You can even shadow our two Marine Biologists while with us and soak up as much from them as possible. It would be a great learning experience for you and help inform you on your possible career choices.
The only real difference between our regular volunteers and our long term (internship) volunteers is the length of time you stay with us. Typically, we find our long-term volunteers/interns tend to be one of three types:
What Will I Be Doing?
We have different projects we run that are all under the same umbrella/program and a part of what we do at Reef Conservation International. Hence, each day will differ but you will be helping in the following areas:
Depending on the season and ocean conditions you might not take part in all of these activities above but it is a good bet that you will experience most of them :)
Dive Certifications and Courses Offered on the Island
Our volunteer trips are for both non-experienced and experienced divers. Not certified? No worries, many of our volunteers come to the island to learn to dive. Looking to further your dive credentials? Many of our volunteers come to our island to further their diving certification status. Regardless of your diving level, our island is a wonderful place to learn with calm, clear waters and little current. We swap the cold swimming pool for the Caribbean Sea and the classroom for a hammock under a palm tree!
PADI Certification Courses Offered on the Island
PADI Specialty Certification Courses Offered on the Island
*Please Note: The PADI Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Dive Master, and Underwater Photographer require the PADI eLearning prior to arrival. All other courses do NOT require the PADI eLearning prior to arrival. You must be a fully certified Open Water diver before taking any PADI Specialty Courses
In order to be certified on the island, you will need to complete the PADI eLearning portion of your course (Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Underwater Photographer, or Divemaster) prior to your arrival to our island. PADI is the world’s leading scuba diver training organization that governs and regulates scuba standards and diver certifications. You can get started immediately with the classroom portion of your certification course and work at your own pace using the PADI eLearning system at home. With this convenient online study option, you will complete the classroom/theory portion and theory exam of your course before your arrival to the island. At the end of the eLearning program, you must print out your eRecord and bring a copy of it with you to the island. Once on the island, we will finish off the appropriate in-water diver portion of the course. PADI charges around $185 USD for the eLearning and the cost is paid to PADI via their website. We find our guests like to avoid the book work and theory portion of certification courses while on the island and this provides the best option to get in the water immediately upon arrival to our island.
One can volunteer anywhere from 1 week to 12 weeks with us on the island. Below is a typical 4 week schedule of what to expect.
Week 1: Primary Focus: Diving Skills and PADI Certifications
Week 2: Primary Focus: Invasive Species
Week 3: Primary Focus: Reef Ecosystems and Marine Identification
Week 4: Primary Focus: Marine Conservation Surveys
Potential Additional Activities:
PADI certification courses and specialty courses
*The above itinerary and activities are subject to availability and weather conditions.
Our volunteers can choose how much they wish to get involved. Some people want to do as much conservation diving and learning as possible, while others wish to combine the conservation dives with relaxation and fun dives. All dives are voluntary so you can choose to relax in our hammocks with a good book, fish from the island, or do a bit of sea kayaking/stand up paddle boarding or immerse yourself in conservation volunteering. The choice is yours!
We have lots to offer on the island when not diving!