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Philippines - Marine Conservation Expedition

Itinerary

Philippines - Marine Conservation Expedition

Schedule & Activities

Your day starts around 07:00 with breakfast. After breakfast the plan for the day is reviewed. Some volunteers on longer stays will be doing scuba courses, others will be out doing marine research, underwater cleanups or community work. As a four week program participant, you start with a scuba refresher and check out dive, and then you will concentrate on learning how to take part in the scientific work. You will either join the coral monitoring team or the invertebrate group, and practise for around two weeks, before you will be ready to take part in the real work. Once your back from the days diving (we dive six days a week). We’ll usually have lunch around one or two o'clock - if you’re doing work far from our base, you’ll eat your lunch at a local market there. After lunch we often continue with our various activities till sometime in the afternoon. Typically this consists of entering survey-data on computers or various base work.

The evenings are different. At times you will be at work analyzing data collected on the dives or studying, but often you’ll just want to relax and unwind with fellow volunteers. What you do after dinner in the evenings is very much up to yourself. You may want to organize a game or movie night, share a drink and a laugh, get people around a camp fire or something completely different. Other options would be to go on a night dive, go for a run, catch up with friends and family at home using our free WiFi, work out in our gym or just quietly read a book. It really is up to you.

Sunday is always a day off. No volunteers or staff do any diving, except during unusual circumstances. Obviously food needs to be cooked, but other than that nothing happens on Sundays, unless you organize it yourself. (When’s the last time you went swimming in a mountain lake, visited a faith-healer or sung karaoke anyway?) Many people go out and visit waterfalls, lakes or laze by a pool in a nice resort.

4 Weeks Program

- Introduction to underwater survey methodology, data collection and entry
- Reef biology lessons
- Reef and beach clean-up
- Base duties
- Likely involvement with community work (this goes up and down, depending on needs.)
- Support and supervision
- Lots of diving (averaging 40 to 50 dives in your four week stay)
- Includes rental of complete diving gear, (including dive computer)
- Free use of snorkeling gear
- Possibility of doing the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course (85 USD extra)

This is only meant as a guideline or description of what a typical volunteer stay entails. Opportunities that we need to seize may present themselves; weather and local conditions, local fiestas, public holidays and many other things affect the project in a fluid, organic way that sometimes alter plans. As such, apart from the diving which is guaranteed, this is not an exact check list of activities you are guaranteed to take part in, but should give you a solid idea of what generally goes on, and what you’re likely to experience.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age to participate in this program is 18 years. Travel insurance is compulsory.

We ask volunteers to remember that the support of the local community is of absolute importance to our environmental efforts. We are the guests and must behave accordingly. With enthusiasm, a willingness to learn new things and consideration for people and culture you’ll come a long way. Upon arrival at the expedition base, you will be briefed on local culture and customs.

As a participant in the Marine Conservation Program, it's your responsibility to read the two liability documents BEFORE departure, as you will be required to agree with and sign them when you arrive at the base in the Philippines. If you do not agree with or sign the forms then you cannot participate. Please be aware that if you have any medical conditions, requiring you to answer 'yes' to any question on the medical questionnaire, you must get clearance from a doctor before you can dive. To ensure you can participate, we strongly suggest you do this prior to departure, as clearance is not guaranteed.

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.

Summary

What’s included?

Extra expenses at the destination
None

Accommodation

You will live in a spacious and cozy dorm with up to five other volunteers. It’s possible to stay in either a mixed dorm or a single-gender dorm. The charming thatched roof cottages are built of natural materials and are shaded under old mango fruit trees. All have lockers, fans and mosquito nets. There is a separate toilet and bathrooms.

Local transport

Return airport transfer to/from Dumaguete in included. It's highly recommended to arrive as early as possible and no later than 10:00. This gives you the opportunity to settle in before your info briefing, getting sorted with the equipment and meeting the staff and other volunteers. If your domestic flight arrives after 10:30, it is recommended to spend the night in Dumaguete and meet at the airport the following morning at 10:40 or spend the night in Manila and take an early domestic flight the following day, MCP will be waiting outside the terminal.

Meals

3 daily meals and snacks - vegetarian and vegan options always available. You can help yourself to fresh fruit and snacks whenever you want.
Free water, tea and coffee. Carbonated beverages available from an honesty fridge, just settle your bartab before you leave.

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