Helping with Cave Fauna Exploration: Studying a Fascinating Underground World
Cave Exploration Project in Mexico
Memo is a speleologist that has cherished exploring caves for more than 25 years, experiencing different surroundings and emotions. From soft whisperings as the water flows through what seems an infinite, and intricate maze lying beneath the surface, to the amazing sceneries that are displayed before his eyes even when darkness is the most omnipresent element and yet at the same time enjoying the silence that exists below us, which holds somewhat of a comforting effect. What Memo did not know was that his work would pave the way for what was needed to be able to carry out the biospeleology work that enticed Alberto and Diana. For them, being able to work in the underground caves network that was recorded by Memo and the team, was a dream that sprung up as they learnt of the intricate and interesting caving system in a good part of this southern state of Mexico. On the other hand, for Memo it was an eye-opening experience where they witnessed an array of life in the underground and came to understand more about what they had discovered. They searched and sampled meter by meter and at times centimetre by centimetre. Their diligent and determined attitude has not only paid off but has also made a good impression on Memo and many others, including students that would otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn about cave fauna.
Devoting time to an activity we like is just natural but coming across a new perspective from somebody with whom one shares the same pursuit takes us to a new level of enjoyment and appreciation.
Whether you enjoy speleology or you have an interest in learning about a different and distinctive kind of fauna as the cave fauna certainly is, or are just keen to have a completely new experience in one of the most fascinating caving systems in the world, come and join us in South Eastern Mexico, knowing that you will be helping to raise awareness of the underground ecosystems here.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s) 2030 Agenda
|Gulf of Mexico
|+ 18 yrs old
|From 2 weeks
|From 69 USD/DAY
** Registration fee to secure your place: 75USD when sending application + 224USD when accepted
|Studio apartment or host family
|Full-board except Sunday when breakfast is the meal provided for
|From main city airport to final destination (4 hour drive)
As a spearhead project in the area, this outstanding project incorporates previous work that has led to the recording of an astounding caving system in central Mexico. Learning and raising awareness about the fauna in the underground system is paramount to understanding its interaction with the environment. Only then will we be able to set better practices to manage local ecosystems.
The program welcomes international volunteers who are interested in getting involved in speleology activities and the fauna you may encounter in these underground ecosystems.
If you are keen on challenging outdoor activities, exploring underground caves and interested in preserving the environment, including lab activities such as entomology and microbiology practices; then come and join this proactive and fun team to work with in the Gulf of Mexico.
- To identify the cave fauna of the underground system in central Mexico at selected locations
- To create a database of the identified fauna
- To understand the importance of the contribution to the underground ecosystems to the overall ecosystems in central Mexico next to the Gulf of Mexico
- To raise awareness for the need of healthy underground ecosystems
- No previous experience nor specific education required
- Interested in the environment especially wildlife
- Keen on outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing
- Curious about exploring underground cave systems
- Willingness and desire to help and learn from others
- Team player and able to follow instructions
- Level of Spanish: Intermediate. English is desirable but not required.
- Helping with birds monitoring and insect sampling during field visits at selected points of the underground cave system
- Monitoring environmental conditions inside the caves
- Assisting with sample processing and data reports at the laboratory based at the organization premises
We are deeply commited to helping you be as prepared as possible to enjoy and fulfil your expectations for joining a program in Mexico. For that reason, there is an orientation process comprising of three distinct aspects prior to your arrival. Dates and time will be agreed upon the HUV team and the volunteer in advance.
The aspects to cover include:
- Mexico and its culture
- Volunteering in Mexico and learning about your chosen destination
- Follow up throughout your chosen project
Arrival and Onsite Orientation
Coach ticekt from the nearest city airport to your project city & local transport at your final city destination.
You will be instructed to arrive at the nearest main city airport. A coach ticket will be provided to transfer to the city where your project. A member of a local transport service will meet you at the coach station. He will be happy to help you with any immediate needs you may have. You will be driven to the city of your final destination about 1.5 hours away. Arrange for a flight that arrives no later than midafternoon. If your arrival is before midday, once the transport has driven you to your accommodation, you will be given the option to meet a member of your host organization shortly after or later in the early evening. If your arrival is in the afternoon, the transport will drive you to your accommodation for a well-deserved rest. The following morning you will be joined for breakfast by a staff member of your host organization.
Orientation will take place on Monday morning after a light breakfast.
Accommodation and meals
Volunteers will be hosted at a nearby studio apartment or host by a family (based on accommodation availability) nearby the organization. In either case volunteers will be place at single rooms. They are basic, but they have all standard amenities for a comfortable stay.
All meals are included (full board), except for Sunday when only breakfast is provided. Some of them are self-service and others will be taken at a local and small family-run restaurant where breakfast and lunch are served. Mexican people have a high appreciation of mealtimes, and it is a special time to relax and socialize, thus be ready to enjoy the experience.
Project Availability: All year round
Duration: You can choose dates from a minimum of 2 weeks up to 24 weeks. Arrivals are expected on a SUNDAY, and you can choose the minimum stay and subject to availability (and visa conditions) you can extend your stay through arrangements with the local team.
** if the fees for the time you are interested in volunteering for the project of your choice is not listed, please send us an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Volunteers will travel with the team on a field trip once a week. The field trip requires detailed planning and preparation. They run from early in the morning to mid-afternoon although exact times vary depending on the location of the caves.
The days at the organization premises can be also very interesting as samples are processed and reports prepared. The typical day below shows you the activities when a day is spent at the organization facilities.
Breakfast at designated location
Office/lab activities start. They may include database entry, data processing, labelling, taxonomy classification, microbiology samples processing, data representation.
Climbing practice will be also part of your activities especially at the beginning of your volunteering experience.
Lunch at designated location
You are back at the organization premises to continue with the lab activities for the day
Your activities at the organization finalise and you can enjoy personal time at your own leisure before dinner.
Light dinner at designated place
Registration Fee to secure your place
- 75 USD when sending application
- 224 USD when accepted
Included in the program cost
- Project Placement
- Onsite follow-up & support
- Orientation: cultural, at placement and safety
- Airport pick up on arrival
- Accommodation as described (see details)
- Meals as described
Additional to consider
- Round International Flight
- Domestic flights if required/chosen
- Visa if required
- Local transport (if needed)
- Return airport transfer
- Personal items
- Mobile expenses
- Additional meal and snacks
- Any other cost not listed above (“included in the cost”)