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Mexico Marine Conservation & PADI Divemaster Internship

Contribute to valuable conservation efforts in Mexico.

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Get your PADI Divemaster qualification and boost your career in marine conservation by joining our scuba diving and marine conservation internship in Mexico’s picturesque Yucatan peninsula. Undergo an extensive training programme and gain in-depth knowledge into the marine ecosystem, then put this knowledge to work when you join a team to compile crucial research on tropical coral reefs and fish species.

Time Commitment

Commitment: Monday through to Friday when on the expedition. When you are completing your work placement at the dive center you will be working 6 days a week and will only have 1 day off

Active Periods

January - December


Work and Activities Description

The Internship begins with our Marine Conservation Expedition. You will live and work for 12 weeks with a GVI research team and undergo an extensive training programme, taking your diving skills through to advanced level and gaining an intimate knowledge of the marine ecosystem. This knowledge will be put to practise while you work as part of a team to compile crucial research on coral reef and fish species.

In the second half of your internship you will proceed to complete your PADI Dive Master course and work placement with a dive centre either in Mexico or in other countries around the world where we operate. This exciting opportunity will provide practical experience in the dive industry as you assist with daily operations.

Typical Day

Your First 12 Weeks:

During your expedition phase expect working days to be long and to start early in the morning. Diving days will begin with preparing the dive boat, followed by a short journey to one of the research dive sites. Depending on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct underwater surveys after completion of your training.

On other days, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, beach cleans, marine debris surveys, environmental education sessions or alternative income training with the local community depending on local and project needs at the time. Other programs which will run throughout the year and which you could potentially form a part of are as follows: Coral restoration nurseries, turtle photo ID sightings recording, lionfish population studies, and our rat eradication program. You may also get involved in beach cleans and teaching English at the local schools in Puerto Morelos. The days are rounded off with an evening debrief, followed by dinner and time to relax, take in the beautiful sunset and share stories.

Your Second Part of the Internship:

You will work in a dive shop and learn and assist with the general duties of running such a job. Your responsibilities could include (but are not limited to) – meeting and greeting the customers, setting up equipment, loading boats, filling up tanks, assisting in planning and leading dives.

Free Time Activities

You will be 2.5 kilometres (1.59 miles), over an 15 minutes away from downtown Puerto Morelos within the National Park Reefs of Puerto Morelos, which can be reached by taxi.

In your down time you will be free to travel in the local area and will have 2 free days per week. Every fourth week, you will be getting a third day off. In your time off you could do day trips such as visiting Tulum or Coba Mayan ruins, do some cenote diving, visit Playa del Carmen, etc. Before and after your program you could go to Merida, Chichen Itza, Chiapas or Central America – the possibilities are endless!

Divemaster and IDC/MSDT Interns going to the dive shop:
During the dive shop placement, you will be based in Xcalak National Marine Park located about one hour away from Mahahual. Travelling to the nearest town can only be done by bus or taxi. Taxi charges around US$40 one way.

Please note that during the dive shop placement you will have one day off per week only.



Accommodation Options


Accommodation Description

Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) dorm rooms with shared bathroom facilities. There is bottled water available for cooking and drinking only. Cold water for showering and flush toilet facilities. Participants share base duties including cooking, cleaning, gear and equipment maintenance, and other chores.​

For Divemaster and IDC/MSDT interns going to the dive shop
Facilities at the dive shop placement are with running water, electricity and flushing toilets, but not always. Accommodation is in shared house with basic kitchens.


Facilities Description



Whenever travelling you should be aware of the risk of opportunist crime and take common sense precautions to minimize the chance of becoming a victim. Project staff are on base and on project with you at all times to facilitate and ensure the safety and security of all participants. Upon arrival to field you will cover a health and safety and risk assessment training to mitigate any potential risks.

Food & Drink

Volunteers prepare their own breakfast from our choice of cereals. During work days lunch and dinner is prepared by a local cook, on weekends participants cook their own meals. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet, with meat available about once a week. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or cereal, lunch is beans, vegetables, pasta and sauce, etc. and a typical evening meal may include lentils, pasta, beans, rice and vegetables. Local restaurants are also an option at your own cost during weekends. For Divemaster and IDC/MSDT interns going to the dive shop; Food is not included whilst at the dive shop. Cooking facilities and restaurants are available. Although there are small convenience stores in Xcalak, they might not have much variety on groceries. If you require special food such as gluten or lactose free products, make sure you get them before arriving to the dive shop. There is a veggie truck that goes to town every other day.

Internet Access

You will have limited connection whilst on the programme due to daily activities. Participants typically buy a SIM card for their cell phones or buy a cheap cell phone once here. Alternatively, you can also use internet in cafes or restaurants in Puerto Morelos to keep in touch. Please advise loved ones accordingly. For Divemaster and IDC/MSDT interns going to the dive shop: Wifi is available at the dive shop.

Phone Signal

Mobile/cell phone reception is available on base depending on your phone carrier. For Divemaster and IDC/MSDT interns going to the dive shop: No reception at the dive shop placement. Reception is more reliable in the town of Tulum or Mahahual.

Nearest Facilities

Airport Pickup

We provide an airport pick up day prior to program start from 8:00 to 20:00.


Language Requirements


Document Requirements

Passport, Criminal Background check, Medical form, PADI Medical Form

Nationality Requirements

Qualification Requirements

Medical Requirements

Please note that GVI cannot provide specific medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider (doctor, GP, etc.) or visit a travel clinic for further information Please be forthcoming about any health issues before you begin the expedition as failure to do so may have serious consequences for you, the staff and other participants, including your removal from the expedition. It is also recommended that you take a credit card to ensure you can get immediate treatment in the event of a medical emergency (if suitable insurance is held, you will be reimbursed by your insurance company). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness. Please inform staff if you feel unwell at any time. Expedition Participants: Your doctor must sign the PADI & GVI medical forms confirming you are fit to dive if you answer YES to any of the questions on the form. For all Divemaster and IDC/MSDT Interns: Your doctor must sign the PADI & GVI medical forms confirming you are fit to dive. It is a requirement for your program to bring the PADI medical form signed by a doctor, even if you answered NO.

Other Requirements

Recommended Gear

A list of essential equipment will be provided upon booking confirmation

Included Services

Before Journey Services / Support

Once you have confirmed your spot on this program, you will be allocated to a dedicated program expert who will assist you as you prepare for your program.

On-Site Support

Project staff on base who facilitate the project, run training’s & assist with any additional health & safety needs if required. 24 Hour emergency phone. Please ask your program expert for more information.


Pricing Breakdown

You will be given the option to pay in instalments for an Instalment Fee of £125 per booking. If you select this Instalment Fee option, a non-refundable deposit payment of £350 is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program, 50% of the balance will fall due 16 weeks before departure and the remaining 50% of the balance will fall due 12 weeks before departure. If you the Participant cancel this agreement, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid.

If you do not select the Instalment Fee option, the full cost of your booking is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program. If you the Participant cancel this agreement more than 16 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of the full amount paid minus £350.
If you the Participant cancel this agreement between 16 and 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of 60% of the full amount paid. If you the Participant cancel this agreement less than 12 weeks prior to departure, the Participant shall be entitled to a refund of £100.

Not Included in Price

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Reviews & Ratings

A Life-changing experience







The GVI base in Puerto Morelos has a true homly atmosphere; it really is like having a second family. The work done here is so importnat for the eco-system and I highly recommend this internship for anyone. The only advice I would give is to make sure you bring lots of insect repellant and be as prepared as possible for the heat!

Review by:

Omar Ibrahim

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