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Caribbean Reef Buddy

About

Caribbean Reef Buddy is a non-government organization (NGO) based on the island of Carriacou, near Grenada, in the Caribbean West Indies. Our ongoing projects include coral reef monitoring, lionfish containment and coral regeneration, as well as working in the community to raise awareness of the importance of conservation. Our Mission is to work with and in support of local communities to assist in the protection and preservation of a healthy, diverse and sustainable marine ecosystem.

Partnered with Deefer Diving Carriacou, a PADI 5 Star IDC centre, our team of biologists and dive professionals strive to deliver the highest quality of dive training in conjunction with internationally recognised research and data collection techniques. Thus empowering our partners, students and volunteers with all the 'tools' to pursue a career in diving and coral reef conservation.

Founded
2015
Headquarters

Main Street, Hillsborough
Carriacou
Grenada

Reviews

Default avatar
Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After diving for a month with Deefer Diving, my buoyancy control, fin kicks and air conservation has drastically increased. Diving with several dive master or becoming-dive masters has definitely increased the challenge and allowed me to strive for better. By having a certification means little, it is more on the experience that you build up.

Everyday we get at least 2 dives. Some on the weekends when we go to tobago cays (soooo many sea turtles!!)

There are other specialties like night diving, rebreather, nitrox, wrecks for very reasonable prices found nowhere else!!

The locals all speak English and the exotic environment allows all kinds of tropical fruits, I really really recommend Soursop smoothie, its literally the best thing ever.

What would you improve about this program?
More outings together as a group would be more fun!
Jeremy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Our Canadian college partnered with Caribbean Reef Buddy (CRB) to run a marine conservation field course. The Caribbean experience was unlike anything I have done before. The setting is quaint with a variety of excellent food choices and moderate shopping convenience. The staff are incredibly supportive. Local residents are friendly. The scenery and recreational opportunities are fantastic. Everyone on this trip experienced hands-on learning and made lifelong memories.
Caribbean Reef Buddy staff went out of their way to provide flexible instructional supports to different skill and ability levels of our participants. CRB was also very constructive in providing or suggesting additional social/recreational opportunities in the Island of Carriacou.

Default avatar
Edward
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 8 weeks improving my diving skills from Open water all the way through to Divemaster whilst completing a plethora of specialties on the side (Fish I.D., Nitrox, Deep, Lionfish Containment and Coral Watch). The easygoing yet experienced staff made adapting the program to my personal preferences incredibly easy and their good sense of humour and banter made for a very pleasant and fun experience. I found the accommodation to be perfectly fine and all meals provided were more than enough to satisfy a hungry diver! On top of all of this the incredible diving experience. is underscored by a strong and coherent environmental effort by the entire team, doing their utmost to protect the wildlife they love so much! Overall I would thoroughly recommend this program to those who are looking for a bit of an adventure within the relaxed comfortable lifestyle of a Caribbean island; utter paradise!

Default avatar
Rhea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I cannot express how much I loved my time during the Caribbean Reef Buddy Program! I came into the program with no experience with being under water and in no time I was diving alongside the other volunteers without any trouble. Within my four weeks, I gained a number of certifications from PADI Advanced Open Water to Caribbean Lionfish Containment. The staff is extremely experienced in diving and their dedication towards marine conservation is amazing.
The island itself is quite literally paradise. From beautiful beaches to stunning dive sites, every moment feels like a picture from a postcard. The locals are extremely welcoming, making the island feel like home.
I could keep raving about this program but I'll keep it simple by saying that the only downside of my experience is that I was not able to stay longer. If you are looking for a program to begin diving, learn more about marine conservation or make amazing memories then this is the program for you!

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Bob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Divemaster course that CRB offer is undeniably an extraordinary experience. From gaining multiple PADI qualifications to helping take care of the delicate ecosystem myself, it was a truly unique and rewarding experience. As well as being under the water, there are plenty of other activities offered above it. We climbed the highest peak on the island, had a beach BBQ on Sandy Island, traveled north to Tobago Cays (where we found Baby Blacktip Reef Sharks!), and more. The Divemaster course is spread out over a very manageable 3 weeks, so there is room to change plans around if need be, and the tuition received from all of the team at CRB has made me a far far better diver. Inevitably, the island got under my skin and it didn’t take long for me to extend my stay to 3 months. Carriacou - a true tropical paradise, is free of chainstores, huge supermarkets or any urbanisation. The locals (known as Kayak’s) encourage a safe and friendly atmosphere, making your stay more relaxing and even more enjoyable.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Maisie Wise

Maisie is a 17-year-old from England who is interested in studying Marine Biology at university.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program as I wanted to improve my diving skills in tropical conditions with many species of fish.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I booked the trip though Working Abroad and they communicated with Caribbean Reef Buddy to book my place, including accommodation. All I had to organize was flights and accommodation in Grenada for a night before traveling over to Carriacou via boat.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure you buy an insect repellent called Odomos as soon as possible. The mosquitoes out there will bite you as much as they can and this seems to be the repellent that works the best.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

You dive twice a day every day possible except Sundays. Some of these dives are fun dives which you can take a camera and just enjoy the scenery whereas some are training dives such as lionfish containment, underwater photography or reef surveillance. On Saturday nights, there is often a trip to a beach bar called Off the Hook which is great.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was meeting all of the new people. After the first day I realized how kind everyone was and so that problem went away very quickly. I don't have any worries about traveling whether it's by myself or with family. As a young female, I got hit on by a lot of men, which did make me nervous sometimes although as I got used to it I realized that they didn't pose a threat and wouldn't do anything to hurt you.

What's the food like?

There's lots of chicken served in many different ways and a lot less fresh fruit and vegetables than you would expect. They also serve quite a lot of lambi (conch) which I've heard is supposed to be very nice although I didn't try it myself. To buy food at the supermarket is very expensive, costing two or three times the price it does at home.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Katlynd Treiber-Vajda

Job Title
Dive Instructor/Wildlife Biologist/Equipment Technician

Tell us about yourself, Katlynd.

Originally in Carriacou on a temporary basis to work with nesting sea turtles, I fell in love with this beautiful island and it's pristine marine environment and decided to stay for good.

As a Wildlife Biologist and Dive Instructor, I strive to share my deep-seated love for the marine environment with Caribbean Reef Buddy volunteers by delivering high-quality dive training and internationally-recognized marine conservation programs.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is taking the SVG flight to Carriacou for the first time. As this is a small island, there is no tract of flat land large enough for an airbus runway, so we have a positively teeny 9-seater airplane. You are weighed with your baggage and listen to the pilot's briefing directly as he turns around to greet you from his seat. It's an adventure every time!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

When I came to work for Caribbean Reef Buddy I was a new dive professional with little real-world experience. I have since taught hundreds of courses and led thousands of dives.

I am continuously learning new things in preparation for our ecology-based training programs, and can't wait to share them with volunteers. Since working for Caribbean Reef Buddy, I have also become the equipment technician, and am now responsible for maintaining our safe and reliable dive equipment.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Generally, volunteers appreciate the program and move on to dive as well-trained and knowledgeable divers, however not uncommonly, there are those that are so smitten with this place that they do what they can to return as soon as they can.

One of these individuals had joined our 4-week program to try something different over her summer but loved the island and our team so much that she quit her job and returned to do her dive professional training with us. She is now a dive instructor who is dedicating her life to dive training and marine conservation.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

As a dive professional, my personal favorite is our 4-week program.

During this time, participants achieve a wide range of important and generally useful dive training, as well as a refreshing variety of marine conservation-related diving specialties. They also complete survey training in Reef Check, and collect incredibly important data regarding the health of our beautiful reefs.

Not only do participants gather a wealth of information and skills throughout this program, but they actually utilize each component of their training to better themselves as divers, and aid in monitoring the delicate reef systems surrounding Carriacou.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our company is unique in that we are based at a 5-star PADI Dive Resort, and our team consists of quality PADI dive professionals. None of our training is outsourced, and we are capable of tailoring programs to individuals with the very large range of additional PADI training programs we have the capacity to deliver.

The programs are inherently flexible and there is always time to complete more training, or relax and enjoy the beauty of the island. Want to skip the CoralWatch specialty and sit on the beach instead? No problem! Want to be trained to dive with Nitrox as well? We can do that for you!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think the biggest factor for success is having a great, high-functioning team that can work together, but do their parts as individuals. Everyone in this organization has a specific set of responsibilities and training abilities, and together we form a single, effective entity.

More Interviews