Volunteering in Marine conservation - Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Ratings
Overall
10
Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10
Review

Hello! My name is Ombeline, I’m a 23 y.o French girl living in Switzerland. I’ve volunteered for 8 weeks in the Marine conservation program - Mexico, Puerto Morelos.
I love travelling and exploring the world, so after I finished my Bachelor and worked in the hotel industry for a year, I wanted to go travelling for a few months before doing my Master. I looked in some magazines of a travel agency for some inspirations and there I saw the project.
I didn´t have any experience with marine conservation, but I already had a big interest for the environmental conservation in general (I would like to make a career in the eco-tourism industry). And because I love travelling, taking care of the environment, the marine world, I thought that this would be a lot of fun. And of course I was right!

It was indeed such an amazing experience, so I’m happy if I can help others to also experience it!
 
This is a summary of a day on base to give a good overview of life as a volunteer in GVI:
 
The day usually ‪starts at 7am‬ with morning duties. There are four different duty groups (Kitchen, Communal, Grounds and Boats). In each group, you have to do different tasks, like preparing breakfast, cleaning or preparing diving equipment. Those duty groups change every day and every group has about five people in it. 
‪At 7:30am‬ after finishing your morning duties you can get breakfast (eggs, cereals, pancake or porridge).
‪At 8am‬ you sometimes have some presentations. Those are usually about some training for your target species (fish, coral or invert) or something about the reef.
‪At 9:30am‬ starts kit-up for wave one (the boat leaves three times a day for some diving expeditions, but you only have one or two dives per day). Once you complete buddy-checks, you’re good to go and can enjoy your dive. When you´re back from the dive it´s usually shortly before lunch time. After lunch you may be on coral lab (coral lab will be once or twice a week). The coral lab is also on the base but is not run by gvi. Although they often need our help for cleaning the corals, feeding the corals or sometimes just some maintenance at the lab. But there are also some invertebrates, which you get to work with. (You sometimes participate to Algae’s grab dive to feed the crabs at the lab). After coral lab you may be on wave three or just have some time off. At your time off you can relax, take a nap in the hammock, study your target species or (what you do mostly) spend some time with the other volunteers. The most popular thing on base is normally playing cards, but there are also many different board games, dice, etc.. And of course there is WiFi at base for social media or if you want to chat with your family & friends. 
‪At 6pm‬ dinner is served. After dinner it´s time for announcements. The staff presents the schedule for the next day, gives out shout-outs or walk-of-shames (very funny). After finishing your evening duties (same as in the morning) your work day is over and you can spend the rest of your day as you like. Usually, together with the other volunteers, you do a movie-night, a games-night, relax or just get some beers or ice cream in Puerto Morelos. You just have to take care that you´re back before ‪11pm‬ (as there is a curfew) and don´t drink too much when you dive the next day.  
 
All weekdays are basically the same, just your duty groups, tasks, etc. change a bit.
 
Normally you don´t spend the weekend on base, but go on roadtrips, cenote diving, explore the night-life in the surrounding cities, etc. with other volunteers. The Yucatán is a wonderful region and there are so many things to do & discover!
 
Honestly the volunteers and the staff were super chill, it was so much fun and such a nice atmosphere. The staff is so passionated and dedicated to their job.

I hope I gave a good impression about the program. 
It was indeed such an amazing experience for me so I hope it will inspire others to do the same and go on this crazy adventure!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2021