On Tuesday, March 29th, I will leaving for the Southern Yucatan to participate in a marine conservation project on the Mesoamerican Reef, the 2nd largest reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. I researched all kinds of conservation volunteerships when I came home from Thailand, and landed with a company called GVI - Global Vision International. They have similar projects all over the world, both marine and land-based. For me, I wanted to be a little closer to home this time. Also, this project allows me to gain experience in research diving, and get my instructor certification all in one, opening up many more job opportunities for me in the future.
The base camp, where I will be spending most of my time, is in the middle of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere, a natural reserve in the Southern Yucatan. It is small and very basic accommodation, as in no electric, wifi or running water. This may scare some, but I'm excited to live a simpler life for while, even the showering in rain water! My days will be filled with diving and studying, my concentration being coral. I have already be tasked with identifying and learning the scientific name of about 47 coral species....I have about 12 down. The base is run by the volunteers, everyone sharing in the cooking, cleaning and dive maintenance duties. After my conservation volunteership comes to an end I will be traveling even further south, to a town called Xalack, on the boarder of Belize for my instructor training and IDC. I'll be a little bit more connected at that point, but not much. Then I will be finishing off my time there, or they will send me back to the base.
My schedule will look a little like this:
March 29: Fly into Cancun and take a bus directly to Playa del Carmen
March 29-April 1: Relaxing on the beach in Playa del Carmen
April 1: Meet up with my group and drive another 2 hours or so to the base camp, Pez Maya
Next 10 weeks: at Pez Maya diving and gathering data with weekends off to travel around the area or head to the city for a real shower or wifi :)
Next 6 weeks: In Xalack training and taking the IDC and MSDT Course
Next 2 weeks: I will either be staying in Xalack or going back to Pez Maya
August 6th - Program ends and I will either head home, or continue traveling for a few weeks more, we'll see!
I'm actually hoping to get a job out of this experience, so fingers-crossed for that. So, that's it....this is my next adventure and I could not be more excited! I'll be honest and say I am not sure I will be posting to my blog much while I am away this time. The only time I will be able to do it is if I travel into the city on the weekends. I'm sure I'll do it every once in a while, but there will be so much to see and do in and around the Yucatan I will not be spending every weekend in the city :) The best way to keep in touch with me and what I am doing is to follow GVI Mexico Yucatan on Facebook, or to follow me/message me on Facebook, because it will be easier when I do have internet access to do a quick update on Facebook than posting here.
I will promise though to take plenty of pictures and post when I can, and for sure when I get home.
So, that is all for now...Adios por ahora!