Situated in the stunning Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in the heart of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the reserve allows for some fantastic diving! Although very rewarding, days can be long and tiring which you should be prepared for. The main focus of the program is to equip you with professional survey techniques for underwater data collection on the health of the reef. Volunteers will specialize in either fish or coral research techniques during their initial training to prepare for their dives. Training will include learning to identify the various species and learning how to take measurements underwater as well as an introduction into marine conservation. After training has been completed and dependent on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dies/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct your underwater surveys. Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education session or alternative income training, depending on local and project needs. Between spring and late fall, you will get the opportunity to help with turtle surveys, a great chance to contribute to the conservation of these species by monitoring their nightly journey to the beach to lay eggs, and watching the hatchlings race for the ocean weeks later! Although working at night means that you will need to skip some diving, as well as the work itself being quite challenging, it is an incredibly unique and very rewarding experience! Our base is situated about an hour and a half from the nearest town in a secluded area within a protected reserve. Although living conditions will be basic (there is no running water or electricity), you will be staying on a protected reserve that is not open for diving to the general public. The seclusion of the area means that you will be able to experience a unique and untouched marine eco-system that few people can access. You will also be required to complete base duties on a rotational basis. When not working, you can take the opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of the reef and marine species, relax with your fellow volunteers or just take in the stunning sunsets that have to be seen to be believed.