Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures

About

Blue Ventures runs award winning marine conservation expeditions in Belize, Madagascar and Timor-Leste.

We have a team of dedicated researchers and volunteers who study all aspects of the marine environment.

Our expeditions offer an opportunity of a lifetime and attract volunteers from all backgrounds and ages. Volunteers contribute to our work by collecting data through Scuba diving and by working closely with local communities in education and outreach projects.

Founded
2003
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Tim
10/10

If you are willing to take part and share the workload, you will be welcomed as part of the team. Whatever your skills are, BV will find a place for you. Perfect for conservation or international development interns! I highly doubt that there is a more rewarding experience elsewhere for the money, length of time, location and culture. One of the great perks is the option to stay in the home of local people, where you really begin to grasp the local vezo culture. The food is amazing. The more time you take to spend with local people, the better the experience in my opinion. You'll find yourself trying to find a way to return to Andava!

How can this program be improved?
More vacation time for onsite staff. There are times it seems they get worn out with bigger groups that need more TLC.
Yes, I recommend
Amol
10/10

This was my first experience of any marine conservation programme and had never been diving so prior to joining I was slightly apprehensive. From the outset of the expedition we were made to feel very comfortable and the team ensured any concerns were dealt with very quickly. The dive instructor Bic was really good and made learning the new skill very simple. It was clear the field scientists were incredibly passionate about their work and working with the conservation staff, the impact BV has had on the local area is obvious. Had an incredible time and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in making a positive impact to the area.

How can this program be improved?
Possibly exteding the expedition to 8weeks. 6 weeks is not enough time to really get stuck into the fish surveys especially if some days are missed due to poor weather
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Julia
10/10

It's been a few months since the expedition and I still find myself thinking about it (and keeping in touch with the other volunteers). Blue Ventures did a great job of making sure there was something for everyone (like interactions with the locals, a visit to a manatee rehab centre, a tour of the local village/cenote/bat cave, and amazing diving, of course!).

The cabanas we stayed in were surprisingly comfortable, and we got to wake up to the sunrise every day (and no bugs!!). Diving was done 1-3 times a day, and the rest of the day was for relaxing, data entry and other tasks, and some of the most intense volleyball games you will ever experience.

It's a huge investment in terms of trips (I'm very cautious about the programs I choose), but I assure you BV is one of the most reputable, conscientious, and exciting programs out there.

I surveyed a number of exclusive diving sites, logged 50 dives, became an advanced diver, met the most amazing people, and developed a passion for Belizean fry jacks. Highly recommend!!

How can this program be improved?
There's not much I'd change about the program! The Belize expedition camp was quite remote, limiting access to fresh fruits and vegetables, which might be difficult for some. However there were weekly supply runs with the opportunity to purchase food.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Janna
5/10

The main reason I did this strenuous program was to get a research letter of recommendation for grad school. Apparently, unlike any other program of its kind that I've researched all across the world, they do not give any letters of recommendation. It's weird they would not give me a research letter for grad school as I am going to school for marine conservation, the very principle their program is based upon. Extremely disappointed. Also, Belize is a third world country with first World pricing. Expect to spend a lot more than you think you would while on your trip.

How can this program be improved?
Letters of recommendation
Response from Blue Ventures

We were surprised to read this review after receiving extremely positive feedback from Janna following her expedition to Belize in June.

Janna recently sent us a request for a letter of recommendation, to which we agreed to provide our standard letter of participation. We are happy to offer this letter to all our volunteers who wish to demonstrate their participation in our expedition to interested parties, and will detail the dates they attended the expedition, and the activities they would have been involved in as part of it.

Unfortunately, this letter was not what was required for Janna’s university application, which required a more personal reference, with a comment on her suitability for the course she was applying for. When we were made aware of this, we offered of be a reference for Janna’s University to contact.

We're confident the science training and time spent carrying out research dives at our dive camp will be useful for Janna if she chooses to pursue studies and a career in marine conservation, and we wish her the best of luck with her graduate school applications.

No, I don't recommend
Dawn
10/10

My expedition with Blue Ventures was an informative and incredibly enjoyable experience. There was a good balance between learning and lectures (which covered everything from the various aspects of the work of the charity to lectures on bio-luminescence before our night dive), diving and rest and relaxation time.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the model of the charity, for example for most roles locals are trained rather than Westerners brought in from outside of the community, as well as aspects of local and global marine conservation. Blue Ventures provide the data we collect to a locally managed marine area council and it is the locals who use the data to make decisions on how to sustainably manage their reef. This made me feel like the work we completed was a direct contribution to the sustainable management of the local coral reef.

I was part of an international group of 11 volunteers, we formed close friendships over the course of the expedition and had some great times, whether star gazing, diving or dancing. The trip to the seaweed and sea cucumber farm was a highlight for me, I could see how practical approaches to aqua culture would enable many families to earn an improved living while also ensuring the health of the reef in the future.

Truly one of the highlights of my life, I would highly recommend a Blue Ventures expedition to anyone interested in marine conservation.

How can this program be improved?
Provide resources and lesson plans for the English teaching expected.
Yes, I recommend

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