INTERN PROGRAM FAQS
Follow the links below to find out more about the internship programs we offer:
Honduras has a bad safety reputation. Is it safe for me to travel to Utila?
Although mainland Honduras does experience a higher level of crime, the Bay Islands (Utila, Roatan, and Guanaja) are a semi-autonomous region of Honduras whose economies depend on tourism. As a result, Utila and The Bay Islands receive an influx of foreign travelers. Although these islands do experience small levels of petty crime, peaking during especially busy tourist periods, they are generally considered safe for tourists and travelers. We recommend that if any interns are worried about traveling in Honduras that they check with their government’s foreign office travel advice for recommendations.
I have no background in diving or marine biology. Am I still eligible?
Our Marine Conservation Internship is designed for people of all educational backgrounds, ages and abilities. The only requirement for volunteers is that they are at least 18 years old, are willing to work within a team, and have a passion for protecting the environment.
English is not my first language. Is this a problem for the Internship program?
Although our working language here at WSORC and on Utila is English, we welcome interns from around the world. A conversational level of English is sufficient, and our staff currently speak Spanish to assist any non-native speakers.
I am not a certified diver, can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply but you do need to have the prerequisite diving certification before the first day of your internship.
As all of our internships heavily revolve around diving, each internship requires a different prerequisite dive certification. For those who need to gain specific diving certifications, we recommend interns to arrive on Utila before their internship start date to ensure that they have enough time to complete the necessary training with our partners at the Bay Islands College of Diving.
Do I need to bring my own dive gear?
Citizen Science and Marine Conservation interns do not need to bring their own dive gear, but it is recommended that they bring their own mask, snorkel and fins. Interns completing their Divemaster or Instructor courses and Research Assistants need to bring all of their own dive gear including BCD, regulators, dive computer, mask, fins, dive compass, and SMB with reel.
Should I bring a laptop?
It is essential for all interns to bring laptops, as your level of contribution to our projects will increase by having your own computer.
Will I see a whale shark during my time with WSORC?
Frequency of whale shark sightings depends on various factors including weather and time of year. We cannot guarantee that interns will see a whale shark during their time with WSORC, but we do aim to run whale shark research expeditions at least once a month, more if there is interest from the public also. Interns will participate in whale shark research expeditions whenever there is space available.
What is the best way to arrive on Utila?
There are regular flights to Utila from La Ceiba, Roatan and San Pedro Sula, and ferries from Roatan and La Ceiba. For more information about internal travel in Honduras, see your Orientation Manual.