Conservation volunteering in Belize
Families can join this project with children from 12 years old.
Description of Conservation volunteering in Belize
This incredible week of conservation work in Belize will appeal to volunteers longing to make a difference in one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. Belize is home to more than 100 species of mammal and well over 300 different species of bird. Reptiles and amphibians are also abundant in Belize with the rainforest-covered slopes of the Maya Mountains offering an extensive environment for indigenous animals, many of which fall under global conservation concern.
Volunteers will be invited to help conserve this magnificent Mesoamerian world through research, construction, maintenance and data collection under the expert eye of conservation project team members. Training for volunteers will be given whenever necessary with conservation duties changing on a week by week basis.
Training in research methods and conservation activities is provided when required and is delivered by project staff members who are experts in their fields. You will also be working alongside scientists, teachers and park rangers. Volunteer roles include: monitoring camera traps, maintaining nature trails, and constructing boardwalks, bird nesting houses and information signs; other duties revolve around reforestation, education and office administration tasks (once a week or when it’s raining). Local kids’ camps also require volunteer help and assistance during July.
At no point will conservation volunteers be touching animals although – for the majority of your time - you will be working outdoors in a completely wild environment from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.
Support will be given to conservation volunteers both on-site and in the UK – via phone and email. There will also be a 24hr emergency contact and a mobile phone provided which is suitable for working in Belize. Before you go you will also be given full support from the UK team which will also include a vetting procedure to ensure you are right for the role, and to also make sure that the role is right for you. An in-depth volunteering guide will also be provided as well as access to advice and recommendations – including ideas for fundraising and information on special offers and further resources.
PlanetThe project is part of a leading non-profit organisation which has the management responsibility for three protected areas and takes a community centred approach to all conservation and development work. They encourage sustainable use of resources within the local community.
Their research findings guide government legislation and decision making to protect the land, flora and fauna. Their findings on the local manatee population has provided empirical evidence to demonstrate that the population is recovering with 10% of manatee sightings being calves, indicating a healthy reproductive and growing population. Their research has providing knowledge on where they breed, feed and their general behaviours.
In response to these findings, the project continues to install 'no wake' zones in areas of high manatee presence, research sea grass beds in order to protect their favoured habitat, and plan to obtain satellite tagging devices to attach to individuals to record their movements in the future.
Their plans for the future include empowering communities to manage fisheries, forests and watersheds sustainably; to educate the local community to understand and appreciate how special their local area is on a global scale; and to develop a green economy that enables people to escape from poverty while protecting the natural capital on which their livelihoods depend.
PeopleSocial responsibility: Before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed volunteering guide on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs.
Economic responsibility: For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.
This is a locally run organisation, providing employment for local Belizean staff. While volunteers are in-country, they stay in locally owned accommodation and homestays and we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.
Environmental responsibility: While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment. And at our office in the UK we try to recycle as much of our office waste as possible, use recycled products where available, avoid printing (no brochures) and minimise energy usage.