At a glance
- Help protect critical coastal resources along the Gulf of California.
- Work alongside dedicated professional conservationists and a group of volunteers your own age.
- Get a globally recognised scuba diving qualification included in the price and complete underwater surveys and research dives. No previous diving experience needed!
- Live in a beautiful guesthouse with other teens equally passionate about saving the environment.
Summer/Winter BreakSee Dates
Here is a breakdown of the work you will do:
Learn to dive and gain a certified scuba diving qualification
You’ll start this project by learning to scuba dive! You get a scuba diving course included in the price, and training from our qualified instructors. You’ll learn underwater sign language, correct breathing techniques, how to clear your mask and the importance of equalizing pressure. Once these skills are mastered, your conservation work begins!
Take part in underwater snorkel and dive surveys with professionals
You’ll take part in underwater activities along the coast surrounding the city of La Paz and the Espiritu Santo Island. During these survey expeditions, you’ll record valuable information about the indicator species you see. Indicator species give scientists a vital look into the health of the ecosystem and food chain, so they can determine if and where this chain is breaking down.
You’ll take part in snorkel dives until you finish your dive training. This means you can still take part in the conservation work during your first week while you’re getting to grips with the diving.
Collect scientific data, and observe and monitor marine species
A critical part of this project is collecting scientific data. This data is used to support studies done by local universities. The methodology varies from project to project, for example, how you identify fish underwater may be significantly different to how you observe and monitor coastal birds on land. You’ll be exposed to multiple scientific methods, which will greatly expand your research skills.
Explore the surrounding region on a weekend trip
All our High School Special projects involve a weekend trip included in the price. You’ll travel together with your fellow teens and our local staff. This will give you the chance to explore an incredible part of the world, and take a well-earned break at the midway point of your trip.
We also organise evening activities to make sure that you get to know all of your fellow volunteers. It’s a great way to unwind after a hard day of snorkeling and diving!
Where in Mexico will I be based?
You’ll be based in La Paz, in Baja California Sur, a state in northwest Mexico. You’ll also work in surrounding areas such as Isla Espirtu Santo and Bahía de la Paz while doing internationally relevant research and conservation work.
As its name implies, this town is also referred to as the City of Peace and is known for its beautiful calm beaches and artistic style. There are plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities and stunning beaches to discover.
What is the goal of Marine Conservation work in Mexico?
The main goal of this project is to protect the threatened natural resources of Baja California. We also aim to counteract the encroachment of human expansion and its effects on the surrounding environment.
In Baja California, there are several urgent issues affecting the environment, namely:
- Environmental changes due to global warming (like harmful algae blooms)
The work you do - such as collecting valuable data on marine populations - contributes directly to mitigating the impact of these problems. We also share the data we collect with local universities, to support studies and research efforts.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
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