ENDANGERED MARINE SPECIES PROTECTION & ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION - Help protecting endangered species and assist conserving and restoring the environment in a fast growing tourist destination
Fast growing tourism is a serious threat to the Dominican Republic´s flora and fauna. Samaná Bay is not only a significant breeding ground and nursery area for humpback whales from all over the North Atlantic; it is also the most important multi-species fishing ground in the Dominican Republic, a growing international tourist destination, and a commercial port. While tourism is an important source of economic activity and financial income, its impact on sensitive coastal-marine ecosystems is of particular concern. A major portion of environmental degradation in coastal areas is attributed to the establishment of large-scale hotel developments in areas of high biodiversity, unregulated tour activities that put at risk reproduction sites for whales and turtles, as well as mangrove deforestation and coral reef damage from diving and boat tours anchors, which in turn decreases the resilience of these coastal marine ecosystems and increases their vulnerability to tropical storms. Become part of a development program funded by the United Nations and help to protect the beautiful nature of the Samaná province!
Depending on your Spanish skills two different placement options are available:
- ENDANGERED MARINE SPECIES PROTECTION & CONSERVATION
- Internship -
Suitable for Spanish language beginners!
Assist with marine based environmental restoration activities, animal protection & monitoring activities as well as invasive-species control programs. This is a great opportunity to contribute in a meaningful to the protection of the marine environment while at the same time becoming a passionate qualified ecology diver. Your professional training starts at zero and will lead you through three complete levels of qualification (basic, advanced and speciality training)
Our program is part of an effort to tackle an invasive species that has been identified as one of the world’s greatest conservation issues. Destructive lionfish are invading coral reefs in the Americas. Since lionfish (Pterois volitans) first appeared on the eastern seaboard of the United States in the 1980s, the voracious predators have gobbled up coral-reef fish from North Carolina to Venezuela. Officials responsible for protecting reefs have struggled to find ways to control populations and fishing competitions can help to keep the problem species in check.
Thanks to this exciting internship you’ll gain valuable and life-changing experiences while at the same time develop specialty diving skills! Even if you do not have previous diving experience, you will learn everything in this 12 weeks ecology diver internship while protecting marine flora and fauna. At the end of your stay you walk away with your professional diving certification and amazing experiences in one of the world's most beautiful marine environment. (Spanish is optional, English is necessary).
Internship activities can include but are not limited to:
- Certified diving training as part of a 12 weeks speciality diver internship (Certifications: Open Water, Advanced Diving & one speciality like: Rescue, Ecology or hunter/collector Diving)
- Day to day work at the diving station: help with maintaining and preparing diving equipment, assisting with logistics and office work, give a hand with installing a pirate museum, assisting instructors with attending diving students and clients
- Assisting actively with the protection and restoration of coral reefs and the protection of endemic fishes as well as the control of invasive species
No previous experience is required to participate in the program. A typical intern should be interested in protecting flora and fauna, marine-life and diving. He or she needs to be of good health (able to swim 100 m), enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn and ready for a challenge. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities.
Extra donation required: We require an extra donation of € 480,- for the Marine Conservation internship. This donation will mainly be spent to support our Endangered Species Program and also to cover extra spending incurred for didactic materials and logistics.
Language skills: conversational English skills are required, Spanish beginner, additional languages welcome
Volunteer placement or internship: only as internship available
Time Commitment: A minimum time commitment of 12 weeks is required (can be reduced to 6 weeks only for qualified, licensed divers)
Placement Locations: Las Terrenas
- ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
For advanced Spanish speakers only!
You can contribute in developing programs aimed at biodiversity-friendly tourism and sustainable tourism development strategies as well as tools for the application of the legal framework and incentives to adopt sustainable practices.
The aim is to increase the awareness and the training of the public (individuals and community) and to address the lack of knowledge among the tourism sector, the private sector, the land-owners, and the staff of local public institutions. (Advanced Spanish skills are required) Activities that a volunteer can participate in are entirely dependent on motivation and Spanish skills. Our staff will support the participant.
Activities for advanced Spanish speakers:
- Developing and executing environmental awareness raising activities at schools and in the community and promote sustainable and biodiversity-friendly tourism.
- Assist with conservation and re-forestation activities in the Samana province
- Support the certification of biodiversity-friendly destination and tourist services
- Help staffing a tourist information post on the beach side road in Las Terrenas (advanced Spanish skills and additional languages are required)
- Monitoring sea turtle nests (limited participation from March to November) and humpback whales (limited participation from 15 th of January to March)
- Assist actively with the restoration of coral reefs, mangroves, beaches and coastal areas
No previous experience is required to participate in the program. A typical volunteer or intern should be interested in protecting flora and fauna, biology, wildlife and sustainable tourism. He or she needs to be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn, ready for a challenge, and should not be scared of being in contact with soil or mud. Responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance are among significant qualities.
Language skills: Advanced Spanish skills are required
Volunteer placement or internship: Volunteer placement or internship. Please inform us of your school or university’s internship requirements and we will work out your personalized work plan.
Time Commitment: A minimum of 6 weeks is required
Placement Locations: Las Terrenas
Costs & Benefits
Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! The minimum contribution starts at € 110 per week including double room accommodation at our Aldeas de Paz Guesthouse. Add € 30 to the rate per week for a single room. Minimum donation for the host family stay is € 200 per week and includes a private bedroom and two meals (breakfast and lunch or dinner). For more information about costs and benefits check out our webpage.
Spanish language classes - volunteers or interns receive up to six free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our teaching method enables students to develop four basic skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The idea is to learn Spanish in a natural and spontaneous way, just as students have learned their mother tongue. Our students speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom, the learning process continues as you immerse in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.
Contact Person: Manfred Mönnighoff; Project/charity name: Fundación Aldeas de Paz;
Address: Samana, Dominican Republic, Tel: +1 829 7055 123;
- Habitat Restoration
- Aquarium Maintenance
- Environmental Policy
- Environmental Education
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- Minimum stay of 6 weeks