Coral reef conservation holiday in Honduras
Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.
How Coral reef conservation holiday in Honduras makes a difference
The Cayos Cochinos are a group of two small islands (Cochino Pequeno and Cochino Grande) and 13 small coral cays situated 30 kilometres northeast of the town of La Ceiba on the northern shores of Honduras. In November 1993, a Presidential Decree designated the Cayos Cochinos a Natural Protected Area and the Honduras Coral Reef Foundation (HCRF) as the managing agency responsible for the conservation of the islands. In August 1994 a second Presidential Decree confirmed the protected status of the islands. In November 2003 a Legislative Decree declared them and the area around them a Marine Natural Monument. The protected area covers 460 km2.
The Cayos Cochinos form part of the world’s second largest barrier reef system, known as the Meso-American barrier reef, and have been identified by the Smithsonian Institute, The Nature Conservancy, the Word Wildlife Fund and the World Bank as one of the key sections of the barrier reef system to preserve. The reefs are the least disturbed ecosystems in the so-called Bay Islands complex and HCRF have been working with local communities, private sector bodies and government organisations to help manage the reefs and their fisheries over the last 10 years
In 2004 HCRF published a new management plan for the area, which has been discussed extensively with the various stakeholders and has now been adopted by the Honduran government. We have been invited to help with the implementation and development of this plan.
We are a multi-award winning (including multiple awards from Responsible Travel), not-for-profit organisation committed to running real wildlife conservation research expeditions to all corners of the Earth and says
Our projects are not tours, photographic safaris or excursions but genuine research expeditions, promoting sustainable conservation and preservation of the planet's wildlife by forging alliances between scientists and the public. Our goal is to make, through our expedition work, an active contribution towards a sustainable biosphere. We believe in empowering ordinary people by placing them at the centre of scientific study and by actively involving them out in the field, where there is conservation work to be done.
We always work in close conjunction with local people and scientists and try our best to ensure that the fruits of our expedition work benefit our local helpers, their society and the environment they live in. Adventure, remote locations, different cultures and people are part and parcel of our expeditions, but also the knowledge that you will have played an active role in conserving part of our planet's biosphere. We exist for those who, through their hands-on work, want to make a difference to the survival of the particular species or habitat under investigation, and to the world at large. We invite everyone to come and join us out in the field, at the forefront of conservation, to work, learn, experience and take responsible guardianship of our planet.
To achieve this we will wherever possible: + collaborate with reputable scientists, research institutions and educational establishments (wherever possible from the host nation) who are experts in their field + collaborate with organisations and businesses which operate in an ethical and/or sustainable way + operate in an ethical and sustainable way, minimising negative impacts on local cultures, environments and economies + publish results and recommendations based on collaborative work together with those who helped gather data and draw conclusions.
Our main partner on this expedition is the Honduras Coral Reef Foundation (HCRF), a Honduran-registered non-profit conservation group that administrates the Marine Protected Area we work in. Other partners include the Honduras National Fisheries Department (DIGEPESCA), the Honduras Protected Areas Unit (DAPVS/ ICF), the Honduras Ministry of Defense (Naval Base), Secretaria de Recuersos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA), Honduras Tourism Board (IHT), Instituto de Conservacion Forestal (ICF), Sociedad de Inversiones Ecologicas (SIEC), WWF, MARVIVA, USAID, The Nature Conservancy, the Smithsonian Institute, SAM - Meso-American Barrier Reef Project, as well as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) and Operation Wallacea. We also work with local subsistence fishermen communities and local schools.
All missions are developed with local partners and scientists, as well as community representatives where appropriate. This consultation serves to minimise negative impacts on local cultures. This is often developed through a more complete integration into the local community, by working alongside them to achieve a conservation objective.
Accommodation varies from fixed camps, jungle lodges to tents. Where applicable, these will be owned locally.
Where possible food is sourced from locally supplied produce and ideally from organic sources.
Where applicable, team members are encouraged to spend their relaxation time using local facilities and resources.
We always work in close conjunction with local people and makes sure that the fruits of our work benefit local helpers, their society and the environment they live in.
Briefings before the start of the mission and leaders during the mission highlight relevant social issues and offer best practice examples to team members.
Coral reef conservation holiday in Honduras