TENERIFE: Erasmus+ Whale and Dolphin / Eco tourism

Tenerife

Adventure Overview:

  • 2 Weeks
  • 1 Month
  • 6 Weeks
  • 2 Months

There’s no better way to gain marine conservation / eco tourism & leadership experience, meet new friends and get a great tan than joining this amazing programme in Tenerife! Feel the sea spray against your face as you help a team from all around the world to research and support the conservation of Whales and Dolphins in the clear blue waters around the Canary islands

This is an opportunity for two Irish volunteers under the Erasmus+ funding programme starting mid-late August / September for 9 months. You will receive accommodation, food, a monthly allowance, insurance cover, training and support. You will also have your flight costs reimbursed at the end of your stay. To apply you musts be aged 19-30 and available to commit to the full duration of the project. 

Tenerife is one of the top destinations for Whale & dolphin observation in the world. There are resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins which remain here throughout the year, which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year from the giant blue whale to the majestic killer whale. Tenerife’s position in the Atlantic, close to both the tropics and the Mediterranean, gives its sea life a unique mix of the tropical, the temperate and the pelagic. Species more likely to be found over coral reefs mix with cold water species from Northern Europe and those more typical of the open ocean. Combined with the spectacular volcanic make-up of the island, this diversity of life makes it a unique and very special marine environment. Huge tracts of virgin yellow sand, interspersed with lawns of sea-grass exist alongside breath-taking underwater cliffs and jumbles of lava rock.

The project’s core objective is to work towards the protection of cetaceans through education, research and conservation programmes.  It works closely with the island’s whale watching community and tourism infrastructure - hotels, tour operators, local authorities, media, animal and education establishments.

The team’s activities aim to raise awareness of the threats to marine life caused by tourism, human development and climate change.  In addition to the awareness raising work with visitors to the island, they also work with local education and community groups to share information about the threats to marine life amongst various groups of stakeholders on Tenerife.

During your time here, no matter how briefly you stay, you will be involved in the hands on work of the team out on the whale watching boats and in the research centre. You will spend a minimum of 3 days a week on the boats helping to log the whales and dolphin’s viewed.

However Tenerife is not just work work work! Whilst here – particularly during the summer months – you will enjoy extra activities such as Kayaking, horse riding, trekking, snorkeling and diving to name but a few, all at no extra cost. This is a fantastic adventure to enjoy and learn from. So what are you waiting for?! 

What is Included?

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • 24 / 7 Support
  • Training
  • Adventure Package
  • Stipend
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Information Pack
  • Accommodation: : During your time on the project you will be staying at the volunteer house which has been recently rennovated and is located close to the three major harbours from where the whale watching boats launch, with your fellow volunteers and research staff. This house also acts as the field base for conservation efforts so you’ll spend the majority of your work time here when not out on the boats analysing data collected from the morning’s survey. Within the house there is a large living room and balcony for you to relax on after a busy day in the field, an open kitchen with all the facilities you’ll need to cook up a feast. You’ll sleep in bunk beds in one of the volunteer bedrooms with the other coordinators. As well as sleeping, the bedrooms can also be used to relax in after the long hours spent at sea and working on dolphin data. If you decide to venture out the house in your spare time, everything you’ll need is a short walk or bus ride away, including the harbour, supermarkets, bars, restaurants and banks.
  • Food: You will be provided with 3 meals a day as part of this programme. Volunteers typically work together with the research staff to cook and complete all house-keeping duties. 
  • Spanish Lessons: Spanish lessons will be provided. Within the centre itself generally communication is in English but it is good to help learn / improve your language skills whilst you are there too - on the boats all European languages are spoken 
  • Training: All volunteers setting out on an adventure with us receive pre-departure training to help you prepare for the experience ahead. This training covers all the areas you need to think about before you pack your bags. It gives you time to focus and prioritise, and provides you with the knowledge and information you need in order to have a safe, fulfilling and enjoyable adventure. On arrival at your project you will also receive orientation training which will help you to better understand the local culture and support you as you find your way around this new country. On your return we will also support you as you readapt to life back home. We encourage you to keep in contact with us and consider opportunities for you to stay connected to the work you have been part of with Agapé. In addition to all of this training you will also receive a comprehensive welcome pack full of useful information on your project, the country and the culture, as well as detailed safety and communication lists.
  • Support: Agapé Adventures respects that each person is unique, and thus has different needs, and we endeavour to meet those genuine needs as effectively as we can. All volunteers are supported by Agapé every step of the way. You will be allocated a line manager to assist you in the day to day aspects of your adventure and staff at Agapé’s main base who will be available 24/7 for any out of hour’s emergencies. All staff involved in supporting you, work together to provide coordinated, personal and professional support throughout your adventure.
  • Stipend: As part of the Erasmus+ funding you will receive a small monthly allowance of €120 to help you with your personal costs, as everything else is provided you have no bills to pay so this money is purely for you. 

What Isn't Included

  • Visa

What will I do?:

You will be joining the ‘co-ordinator’ team, helping to manage in-coming volunteers. This is an opportunity to develop volunteer management people skills and is always viewed as an opportunity by volunteers.

The AWdF runs an experiential educational framework on its volunteer programme, methods grounded in decades of academic research and application. The approach is exciting, empowering, inspiring and proven. It relies on finding out what an individual is really interested in and then developing and facilitating a personal project around their particular interest. Individuals take ownership of their own work and ‘learn’ through the development and implementation of it. The AWdF provides a robust framework to facilitate their achievement.

WORK on the volunteer programme is in several areas:

  1. Research -guiding on the whale watching boats. Research is conducted during interactions with whales and dolphins usually one to three times on any given trip and each interaction being for a maximum of 15 minutes and often less. Research involves taking photographs of the dorsal fins of whales seen,(‘fingerprints’ that enable the whales to be identified as individuals), and collecting data.  TIME  30 minutes twice a day                                   Hours x1

Guiding involves talking to the tourists about the cetaceans visited and raising awareness of conservation issues, the aim being to inspire tourists to go home actively supporting conservation initiatives.  Currently, we are focusing on the devastating impact of plastic on our oceans.   Time one hour on both trips:                                                                        Hours x2

Volunteers can be expected to be on the boats up to three days each week:Total Hours  x9

 

  1. Meetings at the start of each working day to agree group and individual activity and goals for the day and, in the evening, to reflect on the day’s work and integrate lessons learned into the next day’s activities.         Hours x1   Five working days:                                 Total Hours x5

 

  1. Managing the volunteers on any given day. This task is on a rota basis and normally would be at most once per week. It involves making sure the volunteers’ breakfast are ready in the morning and knocking on their doors to make sure they are awake!; making sure they are ready to be taken to the boats; making sure on site volunteers undertake their cleaning duties between 9-10.00am; assembling on-site volunteers at 10.00am to make sure they know what their project responsibilities are during the day and making sure they have what they need to do their work; assigning two on-site volunteers to help with the cooking in the afternoon and cleaning at the end of the day.  Time involve  in any given day: Total Hours x6

 

  1. Personal project. Every volunteer is encouraged to take on a personal project, something of particular interest and relevant to the project- this is at the very heart of the experiential learning method. This could be in the area of research, conservation, education, social media, film and photography, writing etc.  This aspect of the programme is of particular importance and the remaining time within their 35 hour working week is given over to this.

Incoming volunteers can help with the work involved on these projects giving them further experience as well as increasing the potential of what can be achieved and facilitating further development of team building and leading skills.           Total Allocated   15 hours

It's not all work work work - there's lots of adventure too! In addition to the above there is an on-going programme of daily familiarisation trips which extend over the weekend. These are designed to facilitate volunteers getting the most out of their stay and include an extensive range of treks, scuba diving, horse riding, paragliding, snorkelling, kite surfing, sail boarding, sail boarding, kayaking…… 

 The project team believe that volunteering is an honour, an opportunity to give of yourself for the common good and is something we should all aspire to do and it is something we should encourage in our society as a whole.  We expect all people coming to volunteer with us to be actively interested in volunteering- to have a passion for conservation of whales and dolphins and for helping young people often from disadvantaged backgrounds get more out of their lives through their volunteering experience. We do not expect volunteers to be here to use the project as a cheap holiday in the sun with no interest in either youth development or cetacean conservation. 

The Local Area

Tenerife is the biggest and highest island of the Canarian archipelago with the imposing El Teide that rises over 3,000 metres into the glorious blue skies. 

The lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park is fascinating, reminiscent of the beginning of time and a must-see experience. As the plane comes in to land, chances are you will see this magnificent sight from the air, but there is nothing like getting up close to the world’s third largest volcano. 

This is an island you will instantly love, from the sunshine, the warmth of the welcome and the beauty of the nature around you. 

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