Working with Whales and Dolphins



The International Volunteer Program has been running for 10 years and has been recruiting young professionals from around the world to join the activities, actions and campaigns for a predetermined amount of time. We have had volunteers from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, USA, Spain, Hungary, Mexico and Portugal.

We give volunteers the opportunity to experience working within a small civil society organization, and you are encouraged to work as part of a group to learn, grow and achieve. We offer academic training and research opportunities related to historical, cultural and social aspects of communities.

The recently approved Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary (September 2013 is imperative to design and promote actions that will generate an increase in public awareness, improved governance and public policy for the conservation of marine biodiversity. Whales and dolphins are the flagship species. One species is the Franciscana Dolphin which is seriously threatened along with the Bottlenose Dolphin which is suffering the consequences of the fishery reduction. The volunteer program is for people who are committed to the cause, various professions and creeds (not necessarily biologists, conservationists or ecologists).

The International Volunteer Program for Research and Conservation in the Sanctuary covers two areas:

Monitoring cetacean (right whale, bottlenose dolphin, dolphin Franciscan). Objectives: photo-Id, quantification of behavior (habitat use), population ecology and conservation measures.

The acoustic and biological characterization in 3 coastal areas (Punta del Este / Laguna de Rocha / La Paloma).

Objective: Make oceanografic samples of Zooplankton, submarine acoustics, observation and photography of marine birds and cetaceans using the company's research equipment.

Tours: Travel through the whale and dolphin zones or go looking for them. This includes being in the ‘big bay’, the islet, ‘La Pedrera’ and the area surrounding the Rocha Lagoon.

To qualify, certain skills are required and these can be seen below.

Over 18 years old

Capable of living as part of a group for a prolonged amount of time

Good problem solving skills and organization

Ability to clean and maintain the home

Share a same-sex room (max 3 people)

Resistant to rigorous climates (extreme temperatures between 0º C/32ºF-40ºC/104ºF winter-summer) and daily climate changes

Basic knowledge of the Spanish language (written and spoken). 

Have studied biology and marine ecology at a basic level. Otherwise, you can request assistance for distance-learning (extra cost) (intensive courses from 15 to 30 days)

Proof of fitness, medical certificate and national health insurance

Capability to navigate the ocean

Have a laptop available to you with basic programmes

Have accepted the terms and conditions for volunteering that we will send you before you arrive.


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