After spending 3 years as an ambassador of GVI, I spent 6 months in Puerto
Morelos, a small town in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, doing the Divemaster
Internship with GVI. I had the most amazing time developing my diving qualifications
and learning about the coral reefs. I specialised in juvenile fish for the first three
months then learnt adult fish, learning how to identify and monitor the fish. We
monitor the recruitment of the fish in the reef alongside coral data on bleaching and
I stayed in what we called our “ware-home”, a converted warehouse with 3
bedrooms of 8 beds, a communal area and a small study area. We also had an area
to store both personal and GVI dive kit. GVI provided BCDs and regulators even
though I did take my own set of regulators which I enjoyed using.
Outside of diving I also had the opportunity to participate and run weekly beach
cleans helping to remove ocean trash and report the data to the Ocean
Conservancy. We also helped our partners at CRIAP with their goal of coral reef
restoration. We worked with microfragments of coral and helped to keep them clean
and healthy so that they could be replanted onto the reef.
I really enjoyed travelling and living with new people from all four corners of the
world, working towards the common goal of marine conservation. I also really liked
being able to travel at the weekends to experience more Mexican culture and
practice my Spanish.
This experience has made me rethink what I would like to do as a career, and it has
also opened my eyes into how easy day to day changes can make a huge impact
into conservation. I have one more year studying Animal Science at Reading
University, when I finish I am going to return to do a 3 month scholarship at GVI
Puerto Morelos as I love the location, the different volunteer and of course the
wonderful staff team.