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Conservation

One of the perks of being advanced open water dive trained is having the option to assist on monitoring of marine species with TIDE. For this field trip I had the opportunity to go out into the Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR) and look for Donkey Dung… yes Donkey Dung. This is the local name for the Holothuria Mexicana sea cucumber which, rather unfortunate for itself, does look a little like donkey dung. Due to indications of possible overharvesting for the

In June 2015, Ridge to Reef expeditions hosted Individual Placement volunteers Adam Graves and Danielle Day for 6 weeks as part of a study abroad program with Drake University, Iowa. During their time here they carried out a community based project and took part in many other Ridge to Reef activities, getting stuck into the work we do here in Toledo. Here, Adam explains how Ridge to Reef was able to support his course requirements while also providing him with

Indulging the environmental scientist in me, I donned my hiking boots and long trousers and got stuck into two days of terrestrial field work, accompanying TIDE’s rangers, Mario and Elmar into the field. The sun was hot, the work was hard but I had the most incredible time experiencing some of the work that TIDE does and learning how this is applied to the bigger picture in terms of natural resource management and environmental protection and conservation. The work we carried out

One of the defining pieces of this Ridge to Reef expedition—and one which communicates quite a bit about the values of its parent organization, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)—is the commitment to having a local Belizean student on each expedition. Javier Alegria went through a competitive application process to be here, then helped with the crowd-funded online campaign to cover the cost. His presence has made our experience in Belize that much richer, more interesting, and fun. Jav

Ridge to Reef created the Individual Placement volunteer program for the traveler who is more interested in studying Belize’s ecosystems than resorts, but needs more flexibility than Ridge to Reef’s eight-week-long expedition. Individual Placement Volunteers can come for a period of time that fits their schedule, and have more personalization in terms of the activities they choose. Alison Shepherd is the first Individual Placement Volunteer. She’s getting quite used to personal firsts this year—in February, the 58-year-old completed the notoriously challenging

The eight weeks of the first ever Ridge to Reef expedition flew by. It’s only now that it’s over we can begin to reflect on what the experience has meant, and how the vast amount of memories, skills, and relationships we’ve cultivated over the last two months have impacted us. The video below shares footage from our favorite expedition moments, from cliff jumping to mud fights, and touches on the major themes this amazing experience has embedded in all of us—lessons

The sea turtle monitoring component of Ridge to Reef has quickly become one of the most clearly impactful program activities…it’s also the most emotional. First, some context on the incredible journey sea turtles go through to make it into the world. When everything goes according to plan, females lay their nests of more than 100 eggs on the same beach where they hatched years before. The nest incubates for 90 days underground, until the newly hatched eggs scurry out to the

This expedition, Ridge to Reef, is quickly proving to be aptly named. Our team has been traveling all over the southern part of Belize, from the Maya Mountains, to remote Caribbean cayes, up rivers and lagoons, to the Lowland Savannah, learning about the various ecosystems as well as their unique conservation strategies and challenges. There’ve been too many moments to share them all with you, so here are our top five experiences from the first three weeks of the Ridge