Volunteer in Cuba with IOI: Intercultural Outreach Initiative

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Come diving in Cuba with IOI!

Join us for a week of scuba diving and learning about Cuba's coral reefs and marine biodiversity in the famous Gardens of the Queen! Located off the southern coast of Cuba, Gardens of the Queen is the largest marine protected area in the Caribbean. Dive in this pristine ecosystem and learn from Cuban scientists about the local flora and fauna and about what Cuba is doing to protect this unique region.

About

Live in a remote coastal community in Cuba and volunteer helping with a local marine conservation initiative. You will live in Cocodrilo, on Cuba's Isle of Youth. The community is very friendly and open and the crystal blue water coast is full of marine life. We offer volunteer opportunities in: sea turtle conservation, coral reef restoration, and coastal habitat restoration.

Highlights
  • Live in a picturesque Cuban coastal community and learn about Cuban culture.
  • Participate in a marine conservation community initiative, protecting Cuba's important natural resources.
  • Bond with other volunteers, staff, and community members.
  • Spend time under the water either snorkeling or diving or walking along the beach.
  • Explore Cocodrilo and Cuba's Isle of Youth--a truly hidden treasure!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 2 reviews
  • Impact 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar
Jamie
10/10

An amazing experience!

I had such an incredible, life changing experience on my trip with IOI to Cocodrilo. Pre-Trip communication was clear and my pre-trip questions were quickly responded to. I felt extremely prepared and well informed for my trip.
During my trip I felt well taken care of and supported by the IOI Cuba staff. More specifically, my time spent in Cocodrilo was a perfect mix of beautiful, safe, and exciting. The volunteer opportunities were very accurately advertised and the diving and snorkeling were breathtaking. I gave the social scene a 10 because I loved interacting with locals, heading to the "circulo" to listen to music and talk with locals.
The house in Cocodrilo (Villa Arrecife) is very comfortable, the community is nice, safe, and engaging. The food was really amazing - delicious, filling, and healthy!
It felt so empowering to be a part of this program and to be able to help. There is so much to do and so much to see in this small town! I was in Cocodrilo for 3 weeks and could have stayed longer. I cannot wait to be involved in another program with this organization!

How can this program be improved?
There is really nothing I can think of in the realm of improvement.
Response from IOI : Intercultural Outreach Initiative

Thank you very much for your review, Jamie! We are happy to know that our communication with you before the trip was clear and that you felt prepared to travel to Cuba. We are also happy to see that you felt empowered and that your experience was a blend of conservation and cultural experiences. That's exactly what IOI strives for. Please come back any time. The community of Cocodrilo missed you!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Alexandra
10/10

Amazing experience in Cocodrilo

If you are looking for a really meaningful opportunity to gain experience with on-the-ground community-based conservation in Cuba, I highly recommend going to Cocodrilo with IOI! I had the opportunity to be involved in and learn firsthand about the innovative marine conservation/education programs being led by local community members in conjunction with IOI. Cocodrilo is an incredibly unique place with a really special potential to serve as a model for eco-tourism benefitting both the community and the environment. Not only was it wonderful to get to know such a great town, but also once you see what's underwater you will be mesmerized. A truly beautiful place.

How can this program be improved?
Have more vegetarian options at meals.
Response from IOI : Intercultural Outreach Initiative

Thank you for the positive feedback, Alex! It's true as a volunteer in Cocodrilo, you'll see firsthand the exciting marine conservation initiatives and be able to participate in them. I can speak for the community members when I say they loved getting to know you! And since you've been there, the chef has really expanded the option for vegetarians. You were probably one of the first vegetarians Cocodrilo has seen (!) but now the chef can accommodate all restrictions--from vegetarians to vegans.

Yes, I recommend

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Meet the Alumni

About IOI : Intercultural Outreach Initiative

Mission: To provide international education programs that support the education, conservation, and social development of isolated communities by assisting local institutions in sustainably handling the human-environmental intersection.

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