Reef Conservation International empowers you to take an active role in directly protecting and conserving our oceans that we love via our marine conservation projects and environmental education and awareness program. ReefCI’s conservation work is funded through environmentally minded eco-volunteers, like yourself, who come to our unique island in Belize to assist in our marine conservation projects that protect the underwater world we love. Without your help and funding, ReefCI would not be possible. Our volunteers truly are the change they wish to see in the world. Join us and make a difference!
What Is Included?
5 days/4 nights on private island in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize
3 meals daily during dive week
12-13 dives per week
At least one night dive a week
Training for conservation work and participation in our conservation projects
Island boat transfers to and from island
Accommodations while on the island (Monday thru Friday)
What Is Not Included?
Flights to Placencia, Belize
Wetsuit, fins, booties, dive mask (must bring your own)
Dive gear rental fee (BCD and regulator): 30 USD per week
Sapodilla Caye Marine Park Fees: 30 USD per week
Optional alcohol and soda/pop while on the island (2-5 USD per drink)
Optional PADI certification courses you would like to take while on the island
What Will I Be Doing?
You will learn about the invasive lionfish species that is destroying our native coral reefs and participate in our dives to spearfish and remove this incredibly destructive species. You will also learn all about coral reefs, tropical fish, sharks, manatees, dolphins and many other species from tiny invertebrates to the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. You will participate in our marine conservation identification dives to discover the wonders of the marine world. We also cover many more topics from ocean acidification, climate change, to global warming and you will discover things you can do to combat these issues. Join us and make a difference!
Each week/day will differ but you will be helping and participating in the following areas:
Invasive Lionfish: Spearfish to remove this destructive invasive species that is destroying native coral reef ecosystems. Watch this short YouTube video to experience Lionfish Spearing with ReefCI.
Marine Conservation Education: Learn about coral reefs and marine animals and discover how we can protect our oceans and reefs.
Biodiversity Identification Dives: ID dives (fish, sea turtles, sharks, invertebrates, coral) to increase one’s knowledge and understanding of reef ecosystems.
Beach Clean-ups: Weekly beach and island trash/plastic removal on islands of the Belize Barrier Reef.
Depending on the season and length of stay you might not take part in all of these activities above but it is a good bet that you will experience most of them. Check out our video library to see all our videos to get an overall feel of what you can expect!
Marine Conservation Education Program Schedule and Weekly Itinerary
All new arrivals to the island will complete week 1 schedule while on the island. Those who are with us as rollovers (volunteers with us multiple weeks in a row) will be on our cycle two, three, and four schedules. Please click on the links below to see each detailed weekly schedule that includes dives, conservation presentation topics, and meals.
We attract a vast cross section of demographics from diverse ages, backgrounds, and nationalities. We have singles, students, working professionals, families, couples, and retirees that come to our island! People coming on this type of volunteer experience all have a shared passion for diving and ocean conservation, which makes for great group dynamics. We give the general diver a unique opportunity to learn about and help conserve the marine environment while having a fun volunteer experience. Our trips are for both experienced and non-experienced divers and those wishing to become certified divers. Everyone contributes regardless of their background or experience. The research methodologies we teach are very simple and you will learn all you need to know in our training sessions prior to each dive. You will be spearing the invasive lionfish and participating in our other conservation dives and making a difference!
How Much Will I Be Volunteering?
Our volunteers can choose how much they wish to get involved. Some people want to do as much conservation diving and learning as possible, while others wish to combine the conservation dives with a bit of relaxation and island time. All dives are voluntary so you can choose to relax in our hammocks with a good book, fish from the island, or do a bit of sea kayaking/stand up paddle boarding or immerse yourself in conservation volunteering. The choice is yours! Please visit ReefCI on Tripadvisor for past volunteer reviews.
Scuba Certification and Diving with ReefCI
Our marine conservation volunteer trips are for both non-experienced and experienced divers. Not certified? No worries, many of our volunteers come to the island to learn to dive. Looking to further your dive credentials? Many of our volunteers come to our island to further their diving certification status. Regardless of your diving level, our island is a wonderful place to learn with calm, clear waters and little current. Click here to learn more about taking a dive certification course with ReefCI and find the answers to our frequently asked diving questions.
We Have Lots To Offer On The Island When Not Diving!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Fishing from the island
Conservation help (dissections, data collection)
Volleyball and badminton
Great food and lots of hammock time!
Further your dive course training with us with optional PADI courses
Travel Details and Schedule
Our conservation dive trips are Monday thru Friday – we depart for our island at 9:30am on Monday from Placencia, Belize and return to the mainland (Placencia) on Friday anywhere from 10am-12pm. You will need to schedule your arrival and departure in and out of Placencia, Belize either on a Saturday or Sunday. Please see the Getting Here document which provides the best travel options to Placencia, Belize.
All volunteers will need to book somewhere to stay in Placencia, Belize upon arrival and departure on the weekends. Those staying multiple weeks will need weekend accommodations on the mainland Friday night thru Sunday night in between their weeks with us on the island. So, with ReefCI you get the best of both worlds. Monday thru Friday on a private Caribbean island partaking in diving and marine conservation with ReefCI and your weekends on the mainland exploring all Belize has to offer. Click here for weekend accommodations – there are recommendations for all budget levels. Weekend accommodations are not included in the price of your trip. Cost ranges anywhere from 15 USD to 150 USD a night depending on your hotel preferences.
Weekend Activities and Tours
Besides the incredible diving and conservation experience with ReefCI, Belize has so much to explore on the weekends! From ancient ruins, jungles and nature expeditions, spelunking, repelling, ziplining, cave and river tubing, to cultural tours; there is something for everyone. You are guaranteed a trip of a lifetime in Belize! Please click here to see what Belize has to offer on the weekends.
Individually, We Are One Drop. Together, We Are An Ocean!
ReefCI is a registered NGO in Belize and a registered non-profit in the USA. Our work is funded through environmentally minded eco-volunteers, like yourself, who come to our unique island in Belize to assist in our marine conservation projects and protect the underwater world we love. Without your help and funding, ReefCI would not be possible. Our volunteers truly are the change they wish to see in the world. Join us and make a difference!
Availability Schedule and Duration of Stay
We are open year-round and on all holidays. The typical stay with us is anywhere from 1 week to 8 weeks. Our island is a small picture-perfect Caribbean gem and our maximum number of volunteers our island can hold per week is only 20. Our groups are always small, friendly, and of like-minded people who love the ocean and conservation, which makes for great group dynamics. But space is limited and we often reach capacity, especially during our busy season of March – August, so don’t wait too long to reserve your spot.
Minimum Age to Participate
The minimum age to come is 13 if with an adult. Minimum age to come solo is 16. Anyone under 13 is prohibited from the island. Our trips are not kid friendly and are geared towards scuba divers or those who want to be scuba certified with us on the island.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about our marine conservation trips. We will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Email us at [email protected] or call us at USA phone: +1-513-334-9393, you can also find us on WhatsApp.