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Belize Mangrove Conservation Project

Belize Mangrove Conservation Project

Help to conserve the beautiful marine and forest reserves of Belize, and help to enhance the research and protection of these pristine ecosystems.

Prices from $295

Nestled in Central America on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize lies at the centre of the Mesoamerican "biodiversity hotspot". Pristine subtropical forests provide a refuge for wildlife and conceal ancient Mayan ruins. The warm clear waters of the Caribbean lap sandy Cayes offering access to the world’s second longest barrier reef and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its spectacular snorkelling and diving.

‘No shoes, no shirt, no worries’ is the infamous motto for the Cayes off the east coast of Belize. You will have the opportunity to discover infamous barrier reefs, dive the Blue Hole, marvel at an extraordinary array of colourful reef fish and rays, sea urchins, anemones, octopus and even sea turtles feed at luxuriant sea grass beds. You can explore this exquisite, untarnished underwater world as you snorkel off the Cayes of Belize.
You will have the chance to explore, chart and monitor extensive areas of pristine coral and vast seagrass beds, record populations of reef fish and conch and assist in annual reef health check. On shore, you will explore the unique ecosystem which bridges the land and the ocean: the lush fringing mangrove forests, seasonal lagoons and littoral forests of red, white and black mangroves.
Mangroves represent a critical coastal ecosystem that have an incredible impact on our lives. They help in preserving biodiversity as nursery grounds for many marine and coastal species and fisheries. They contribute in protecting coastal communities against extreme weather events such as hurricanes and stabilise coastlines, reducing soil erosion.
Your days will be eventful; the work will be challenging, rewarding and fun. Your discoveries will be of huge benefit to the conservation of these fabulous mangroves and you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped protect these precious natural resources for future generations.
The results from your investigations will supply vital baseline information on the Belizean coastline to enable the sustainable management of natural resources in the region and the protection of the marine wildlife in partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department.



PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS


    Help to preserve Belize's marine and coastal biodiversity
    Mangrove surveying
    Make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories, photos and memories
    Expand your experience in tropical marine and coastal conservation field work
    Environmental education days in the local schools and community groups
    Swim and snorkel off the beach to locate, and explore, the crystal clear caribbean sea
    Discover the effects of global warming on marine communities

FAST FACTS

Location:

Belize, Caye Caulker
 

Transport:


Airport pickup and transfer to the project site is provided for free if you arrive on the 1st Monday of the month.
If you want to join the project at any other time, you can book an airport pick up and transfer from Frontier for an additional $120USD / £95GBP.
 

Accommodation:
Beach camp on Caye Caulker

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go:

Pre-departure support
Travel advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)


In-Country:

All camp accommodation & food
Local orientation & comprehensive project training
Project equipment & camp equipment
Research materials
24 hour in-country support
International HQ emergency support & back-up
Discover scuba dive training courses (extra cost applies) subject to availability & to length of stay 
Free park & reserve entrance fees & research permits if applicable
CoPE qualification available (confers UCAS points) subject to time constraints
Snorkelling and swimming off the diving boats(extra cost applies)
Discounted advanced dive courses may be available (you will need to rent your own personal dive kit including wet suit, fins, mask and snorkel) 
PADI Open Water diver $595
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver $561
PADI Emergency First Response  $221
PADI Rescue Diver  $595
PADI Dive Master   $1,275
 

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

What does the project do?


The aim of the Frontier-Belize Mangrove Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of Belize. Mangroves provide a vital buffer against storm surges caused by cyclones and are an important part of the coastal ecosystem. We conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas, mapping the sea grass beds and mangrove fringes of the region. Once a long term data set is obtained, patterns of resource use can be identified and work with local communities can begin to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.
Mangrove forests are an integral marine ecosystem, providing a number of vital ecological services including; carbon sequestration, protection from erosion and nutrient cycling. In Belize there are 4 different types of mangroves that are associated with a 220 km barrier reef, coral atolls, sea grass beds and coastal lagoons. Despite the benefits provided by mangroves to humans such as timber and fish, mass deforestation continues to threaten their numbers and thus it is vital that we provide education on how to monitor and where possible, replant these species.  “The Bonn Challenge” aims to bring 150 million hectares of the world's deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020 globally,   volunteering with Frontier Belize you  will be able to be an active participant to this process.


What will I be doing?

You will explore and record the organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds and productive inter-tidal areas.
Activities include surveying mangroves which act as a vital buffer against storm surges caused by cyclones and an important part of the coastal ecosystem. You will also be taking part in beach clean ups and forest restoration work. Having survived and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.
Whilst snorkelling in this Caribbean Odyssey, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from colourful reef fish species to nudibranchs, sea cucumbers to cushion stars and spiny urchins to octopuses. By the end of your project you will be capable of identifying a wide range of colourful and patterned reef organisms. If you participate in dive training (extra cost applies) you may also become an experienced and competent diver.
You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?


Volunteers arriving before 2pm (local time) on the first Monday of the month will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. From here it's a short minibus or taxi ride from the airport to Belize City where you will then transfer to the project site via water taxi and be introduced to the Frontier-Belize programme.
You will meet the staff, receive some initial briefings, including an introduction to the science programme and techniques used, as well as health and safety lectures, so make sure your medical kit is complete and start reading your safety and medical briefs.
At the end of your stay we will transfer those of you who are on the monthly program back to Belize City from the camp in time for you to head back home or continue on your independent travels. If you are joining for less than 4 weeks you will make your own arrangements to return to Belize City at the end of your stay, from where you can continue your own independent travel or return home.
Independent travellers arriving on dates other than the first Monday of the month can arrange a separate airport collection (extra cost; $120USD / $162GBP) by contacting the camp staff in Belize.


WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

During the project you'll live in the beach camp alongside other Frontier volunteers and staff. We aim to provide you with a unique and memorable living experience. The Frontier camp was constructed by Frontier volunteers working with local craftsmen, using traditional building techniques and locally sourced environment-friendly, building materials and tents. The camp which is situated in a clearing on the beach has been designed to blend harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun.
You will be staying in tents or locally built huts, your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over an open campfire: so prepare for the basic, virtually footprint less, unencumbered lifestyle! On occasions you may have to journey further to reach a remote survey site, then you will stay in a "satellite camp"; basically a mosquito net pitched on a distant beach.


WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Food on camp is simple and nutritious and consists largely of locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruit, rice, beans and noodles, all of which are purchased from nearby communities thereby helping to support the local economy. Luxuries such as chocolate, peanut butter and drinking chocolate are available in Belize City, so make sure you stock up before heading to your field camp or at nearby stalls accessible only by boat on weekends.
Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking. Creating spectacular meals over an open campfire or baking bread in the campfire oven will become second nature: so get your cookbooks out now and start thinking up recipes! Also, with luck you'll be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to engage with local communities and discover local cuisines and cultures.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES


The Frontier-Belize camp is fun and in your spare time you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play football against the unbeatable local side or try out beach volleyball. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional Saturday night themed camp party, play backgammon, poker or chess, or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of snorkelling and diving you may prefer to relax with a drink and sway in the camp hammock, or sit around the campfire and chat to your new friends.
You will have weekends to enjoy the local culture, excursions, hostels and restauarnts on Caye Caulker or the wider area of Belize. Local tour operators offer the chance to dive at the famous Blue Hole, learn to kite surf, windsurf and sail or relax on locally built boats on sunset tours. These can be organised in country via the Frontier-Belize staff. Alternatively you can travel back to the mainland to visit the renowned Belize Zoo, famous Xunantunich Mayan ruins or lush tropical forests.
Diving:
•    Single Day Snorkelling $17
•    Single Day Dive $51
•    Double Dive $85
•    4-dive package $170
•    10-dive package $340 courses*
•    Discover Scuba Diving $110
•    Open Water Dive Course $595
•    Advanced Open Water $561
•    Emergency First Response $221
•    Rescue Diver $595
•    Dive Master $1,275
*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in all dive courses.


MODERN CONVENIENCES


Caye Caulker
•    ATM
•    Bars / cafes
•    Bicycle hire
•    Daily sailing excursions
•    Hostels
•    Internet cafe
•    Supermarket
•    Western style restaurants
Belize City - 40 minute water taxi at your own cost
•    Attractions; Belize Zoo, Museum of Belize, Belize Tourism Village, Government House
•    Banks / ATMs; Heritage Bank, Atlantic Bank, Belize Bank, First Caribbean International Bank, and ScotiaBank
•    Bars / cafes
•    Bureau de Change
•    Cinema
•    Dentists
•    Hairdresser
•    Hospital
•    Internet cafe
•    Local and traditional restaurants
•    Medical clinic
•    Pharmacy
•    Post office
•    Supermarkets
•    Western style restaurants
•    Western Union
 

COSTS

1 week $1,395

2 weeks $1,695

3 weeks $2,045

4 weeks $2,495

5 weeks $2,895

6 weeks $3,245

7 weeks $3,595

8 weeks $3,945

10 weeks $4,595

11 weeks $4,945

12 weeks $5,145

Christmas week $295

20 Weeks 4295 £ extra week 200

CHRISTMAS OFFER

This project is available for the special price of $255 per week over the Christmas period.  Placements starting on the 24th or 31st of December 2018 are eligible for this price, subject to availability.  Please apply using the orange button below and then tell your volunteer advisor that you wish to take part over Christmas.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Belize City (BZE)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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