GVI: Volunteer in Greece

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About

Volunteer with one of the most endangered species in the Mediterranean; live in a quiet area near a traditional Greek fishing town; explore nearby nature reserves and admire local architecture in your free time!

Lakonikos Bay, situated in the Peloponnese, is an important nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean. Volunteers will engage in daily morning surveys to record nesting activity and protect turtle nests against inundation by sea water and predation by mammals.

Volunteers will also help provide conservation information to the local community and overseas visitors. Having been inhabited since the Neolithic period, this area on the southern most tip of mainland Greece is rich in history and culture and owing to its location near the River Evrotas the area is also rich in bird life and other flora and fauna.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 4 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Daisy
10/10

Life time experience

Hi I'm Daisy, I'm from Britain and I have just done a month with GVI in Greece working with turtles. I have seen things that I never thought I would see and made life long friends from all over the world. With this program we did a variety of things from seeing turtles laying nests at night to seeing baby hatchlings hatching in the morning, the feeling of knowing you have helped an endangered species is probably one of the best things you can feel.

The day to day life in camp if your on a morning survey is you get up about 5.30 then at 6ish you head off down to the beach. You would check for tracks and nests or for hatchlings etc and then protect and make note of what's happened. Once your morning survey was done you head back to camp this is normally around 9.30 10 then you have free time until about 5.30 which is when you have presentations. For me free time was napping in the hammocks but for most it was heading to the beach and tanning or sitting at the taverna. For the first 2 weeks of your trip there's an education program and this taught me so much about the world and epecially conservation and what effects it so much for example plastic pollution, since learning about that and seeing photos of how it harms turtles I try my hardest not to use plastic. After 2 weeks you do other activities like shading where you put shading up to shade the hatchlings from lights you also do data logging or beach profiling.

You get the weekends off and getting to experience the Greek culture is amazing, the whole GVI environment is relaxed and welcoming, from the moment you meet the staff in the airport even after leaving the camp, the staff are very supportive and extremely passionate about what they do it makes you want to do more. For me it's made me want to go on other GVI programs doing conservation for animals and also welfare for children. The staff are brilliant and very knowledgeable so any questions you have they can answer.

My favourite thing in Greece was being able to see and help the turtles then building protection for them in person, its a once in a life time opportunity. Eventhough the smell was hard to cope with exevations were fun to see and do too, seeing what happens to the eggs and nests after they have hatched is very interesting.

I would totally recomend GVI Greece to anyone who loves conservation or science but even if your like me who didn t know anything about conservation but loves sealife and wildlife it's amazing and now its completely changed my life for the better and the way I see things now. Don't hesitate just go for it.

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

Turtle conservation in Greece

My experience with GVI in Greece was incredible. I never thought I would be able to get so close to loggerhead turtle in their natural environment while helping to protect future generations of turtles. Life in Greece was basic but comfortable, the campsite had clean facilities and the GVI camp was well equipped. Morning and night surveys were great fun and allowed us to protect the turtles in most efficient way possible. Towards the end of my two week trip hatchlings started to appear and nest excavations could be conducted. One morning we saw 14 hatchlings and I've never been so amazed and inspired as I was watching them make there way down to the ocean.

I cannot recommend GVI highly enough, they are an amazing group that provide incredible experiences for a variety of ages. They are helpful and are always happy to give advice about the trip they run. I would really encourage anyone with an interest in any of GVI projects to go for it as it will be one of the best experiences of your life!

How can this program be improved?
The program could be improved by working with locals to educate them about turtle conservation.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Bruno
10/10

My 🐢 experience in Greece

I aint got a lot of experience in writing reviews but if you search a place where you can both spend your summer by doing something useful for both yourself and the planet volunteering is the best possible way there is and I say this one from experience. I enjoyed my time on the program from the first time I put my foot out of the bus. I although I need to admit that the campsite itself is a little different from the place what I’m used to but the program in whole change my life and made me a “greener” person. Turtles are wonderful creatures and helping them is a marvelous experience. Don’t miss this opportunity.

How can this program be improved?
In my opinion there should be more activities/competitions and so on.
Yes, I recommend this program
Madison
10/10

My experience of the best summer spent with turtles, and my new best friends

I truly don't know where to begin this review, the experience has been the best thing I've ever done and probably will remain that way for the rest of my life. I originally paid for 4 weeks on the programme, but I enjoyed it so much I kept extending, ending up staying there for 10 weeks!!

I didn't know what to expect when I signed up to do this. I originally did it for my university placement, but it became a lot more than that. Firstly its already an amazing opportunity to be in Greece working on the conservation of the beautiful Loggerhead sea turtles, but when you get to know the other volunteers who you work with you make such quick bonds; they became my family. And I can happily say I am still in contact with them today! I haven't got one story from the camp that I can share, just too much happened!

In terms of what to expect from the project, I volunteered in Lakonikos Bay in Greece. e did monitoring surveys on the beaches we surveyed, some morning (Seeing the most incredible sunrises!), some in the evening. Running of the beach kiosk getting to inform the public and families about your amazing efforts and letting them know these turtles are right where they are. More things included beach cleans, night patrols, excavations (opening up hatched nests to see egg hatch success rate), strandings (helping those turtles safely out of the eater on the way to Athens rescue center!), and soooo much more. All while camping in a tent with people who will become your bestest friends!

I could talk about my experience all day if people would let me. Happy to answer any questions, I have also blogged about my experience at: http://adventuresatarchelon.blogspot.co.uk/. Feel free to give it a read to hear in more detail!

But I will share a moment that will stick with me forever. I volunteered through from the nesting season onto the hatchling season. And I will always treasure the moment I saw my first sea turtle hatchling making its way successfully to sea to start its big journey of life! Seeing the cute little thing make its way instinctively to sea was incredible, and made me quite emotional honestly. It makes it all worth while hen you truly see what it's all about.

Last bit of advice, if you're on the fence about doing it, or are a person who's a bit nervous about going to a foreign country alone, there are going to be people in the same situation and you will quickly settle in and I promise you'll never regret or forget it.

How can this program be improved?
I would probably make it cheaper, as the other Archelon projects are cheaper but only because Lakonikos Bay is funded through GVI is it so much more expensive.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is an award-winning organisation that tackles critical local and global issues by operating education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world.

Formed in 1997, we have been operating our award-winning...