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The Gap Year Blog

Feeling at Home in Belize

15 Jan 2020 11:30 AM

The marine life around Caye Caulker is outstanding

Caye Caulker is full of incredible marine life even on the lowest days. The area surrounding the island is full of a variety of sharks, rays, fish and invertebrates that are spectacular. The highlight of this week was that we were lucky enough to experience a close encounter with a pod of dolphins. The first time was on the way to the south island. We witnessed two dolphins fishing and playing around our boat. They were so close we were able to make out the characteristics of the individuals. The second encounter was on our return to base a few hours later. This time we observed a larger pod fishing and playing along the mangrove coast. We were able to observe them dipping above and below the water line and jumping out for around half an hour before making our departure. It was a very humbling experience and a clear reminder of how important it is to protect this area. 

You experience things you wouldn't as a tourist. 

Being part of a project like this enables you to go to areas that tourists don't have access to. You're given the opportunity to learn a great deal about the area and take part in regular surveys. Having this enhanced knowledge creates a more rewarding experience in the water. 

You're contributing to the long term improvement & protection of the area. 

During your time here you fall in love with the habitats that surround you and the creatures that rely on them. It's reassuring and uplifting to know that your involvement plays a part in protecting it and its long term survival. 

The locals of Caye Caulker are an attraction in themselves

The locals here are the best people. Everyone you encounter is their own character as well as being exceptionally friendly and kind. From the kindness of everyone at the sports bar to the cheery demeanor of all the neighbours or the relaxation in Namaste Yoga Cafe. You're sure to find someone who's welcoming and makes you feel at home. 

Matt & Sophie make the best of every situation

Coming to the project during the winter months means that not everyday is brilliant Caribbean sunshine. When it's cold and wet and windy we're unable to get out to the reef. Matt and Sophie always manage to keep us busy and contributing in all weather conditions.

The project alters your perspective 

The true benefit of all the things you learn here is that it alters your perspective permanently. Having a better understanding of the many threats to the ecosystem here, changes the way you behave permanently. You learn what is and isn't damaging to marine ecosystems as well as the impact just a small change can make. 

Volunteering with Frontier Belize will change your perspective for life!

APPLY NOW! Help save the planet with Frontier!

By Jeniffer Armes - Frontier Belize Volunteer

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!