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We are very excited to announce the launch of the GVI Membership! It will give you unprecedented access to discounted spots on a range of GVI programs, updated every single month, at up to 40% off! Sign in and know more about here!

GVI Marine Training kit

Please click here to access the online GVI Marine training kit

If you are coming for four weeks click
here to find the training tool that will help you learning your juvenile fish!

Study on the go! Click here for a Caribbean fish id guide application for iphones, ipads and ipods!

Monday, March 24, 2014

New blog page


Hola! 
We know some of you are eager to receive news in this blogspot, we are really happy to have so many followers!! We are in the process of migrating to a new GVI blog page; our team is working intensively to have it ready as soon as possible so we will post the new blog link as soon as it is ready. 


In the meantime please follow the latest blogs and news from the volunteers &


staff from Pez Maya and Playa del Carmen programs on FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/GVIMexicoYucatan AND TWITTER https://twitter.com/gvi_mexico

Hasta pronto! 

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy new year & new blog page!

Thank you for following us! Shortly we will be moving to an improved GVI  blog site so stay tuned as we will be publishing the new web site soon! In the meantime you can follow the latest developments on GVI Mexico marine, turtle, veterinarian, arts, child & healthcare programmes on our facebook page GVI Mexico Yucatan and/or twitter gvi_mexico.
 
We wish you happy holidays, a great end of 2013 and an amazing start of 2014!!



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Monday, December 23, 2013

Pez Maya monthly achievement report

This month we would like to share with you our latest montly report from Pez Maya marine conservation program. Hope you enjoy it!



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Playa del Carmen community monthly report

We would like to share our latest monthly achievement featuring the fund raising support for our local partners: Equine therapy and special needs school in Playa del Carmen, during the PGA golf tournament in Playa del Carmen.



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Friday, December 13, 2013

Last week in Pez Maya has been a blast! by Rodrigo Ville

This last week has been a blast. On the weekend some of the volunteers went diving in Playa Del Carmen to see the mysterious bull sharks. Over the past few years, sharks have been very victimized and turned into voracious predators through cultural stigmas and media like the movie jaws. In fact, humans aren’t sharks natural prey-more people are killed by vending machines than sharks each year. Sharks are beautiful creatures, the apex predator in their environment, and everyone was very excited to see them. We went on two exhilarating dives, and seeing the sharks in their natural habitat was amazing.


As of today we have 8 volunteers monitoring, and have finished two monitor sites. This is quite exciting, and we are aiming to finish two more sites by the end of the week. As for me, the last couple of weeks have completely exceeded all of my expectations. I feel like I am helping the community with the project in Punta Allen, and I am contributing with my monitoring data. I am also sad to see all of the new friends I’ve met leave at the end of the week, but overall I am proud happy and thankful.


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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One of the best parts of living at Pez Maya is...

One of the best parts of living at Pez Maya is the conservation work everyone gets to take part in. There are three main fields that we are trained to monitor here: point intercept, coral communities and fish. This monitoring helps us study key species on the reef. Then, by looking at how healthy these groups are, we are also able to see how healthy the reef is as a whole. In addition, our two newest volunteers, Michelle and Gege, are gathering data for Project Aware´s  coral watch program. Coral Watch studies the health of the coral through color determination. Together, we have completed the data for one site so there is a lot of information being compiled! We are all very excited about this and hope for good weather next week so we can continue the remaining sites. 

Also this week, we had four volunteers go to Punta Allen and work with the children there. Getting involved with the community is very rewarding and volunteers are able to teach basic and advanced English to the locales. Plus at the end of the day, everyone is able to visit the empanada truck which is the perfect ending to a great day.


On Friday, we went to Muyil, to visit the ruins. There was an amazing temple and two very entrances to cenotes that were the size of car batteries! It was nice to go with everyone and experience the local culture and learn a little bit about the history of the area. All in all we are looking forward to our next and final week here in Mexico!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

My first week in the veterinary programme by Terri Adams


I have been doing the veterinary program with GVI in Playa del Carmen for a week now and have to say it has been a fantastic experience. The clinic I have been working at has offered me very unique experiences that I would not otherwise have had. Some of the things I have been involved in are prepping animals for surgery, recovery monitoring, care and assisting with surgery preparations. The people involved could not be more helpful, understanding and kind!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The community internship experience by Georgie!


The first two months of my internship here in Playa Del Carmen have passed and they sure went by quickly! Now that I've been here for two months I am now starting to take on more responsibilities such as taking the new volunteers to the projects, attending the projects on my own and completing some courses in Class Management and Leadership Skills to better prepare me for the months ahead of increasing responsibilities.


This week I was also set the task of helping one of our Childcare volunteers to present a lesson (in Spanish) to the children at the Ludoteca about the different weather climates around the world - we focused on England and Australia which are both quite different to the climate here in Playa Del Carmen however we educated the children on how to stay warm, healthy and safe during the winter months and how to stay hydrated, avoid sunburn and also stay healthy durning the summer months. The children were very helpful when we became tongue tied with our pronunciation and are always a great interactive audience, I look forward to the continuous training I'll be receiving so I can keep up with the teaching of lessons and educating the children on different issues from around the world.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Playa del Carmen community programme monthly report!


Playa del Carmen hub helped out on various activities on the Day of the Dead celebrations. The general objective of Save the Children in Mexico is to “generate and promote a broad movement of cultural transformation in favour and with the participation of Mexican children”. The GVI Mexico community hub is aware of this objective and is supporting their cultural activities as a manner to preserve traditions in Mexican families. You can read more about the report below:

  

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Friday, November 29, 2013

A very uncomon but amazing arrival to Pez Maya!

Hello from one of the new volunteers in Pez Maya! We had a great first week.
Last Saturday I, and the other new volunteer, Michelle, had the chance to meet all the volunteers and staff members of Pez Maya. Everybody was very nice and so welcoming with us!!! We couldn’t return to base for the first 2 days because the road was flooded, so we spent a night in Tulum getting to know everyone and enjoying the new town. The next day, we travelled to Akumal Laguna, Yalkul, for snorkelling during the day, which was super cool. The waters there are crystal clear and full of anemones and beautiful fish. Good weather prevailed, and on Monday we took a boat through the beautiful mangrove trees in order to reach the base. The boat leaves from Muyil, one of the only town that serves as a pier in the Sian Kaan so it was a pretty awesome way to go to Pez Maya, and see a lot of the vast reserve. It felt a bit like a secret passageway opened up before up with each new turn and twist of the boat.



After such an exciting arrival to base, the weather was sunny all week, and we were able to dive twice a day. I was very excited to go diving and start identifying corals, which both Michelle and I started our coral spots after a check dive!  My first impressions of living on base are really good! The place is just wonderful; I love the sunrises as well as the dark night sky full of stars. After a great first week filled with fun, science, and diving, everyone celebrated with a beach party on Friday night.  Late into the night there was amazing food, fun games and dancing on the sand. I can’t wait to see what next week brings!


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pez Maya marine conservation programme monthly report!


For the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal cleanup day, Pez Maya cleaned a ninety meter stretch of the San Juan Beach. The San Juan Beach is an important turtle nesting site and we collected 329kgs of debris. This achievement contributed to our base’s long term goal of raising awareness about environmental issues and our more localised goal of continuing to undertake beach cleans, helping to create to a healthier ocean. You can read the full report below:

   
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Monday, November 25, 2013

First week impressions from a newbie- by Susan Deane



Playa. A much calmer cousin to Cancun on the Mexican shores. After 7 months of travelling I jumped on a Ferry over from Cozumel and landed straight onto a glorious almost-white sand. Avoiding the market sellers touting the cheap sombreros and offering free drinks, I haggled with some loose Pesos, jumped in a taxi to start my Playa del Carmen adventure.....
I started with a week learning basic Spanish as a means to orientate me into the 'Roo lifestyle. Past the infamous 5th avenue, the grid system of streets and avenues seemed mysterious and easy to explore. A wealth of interesting looking bars and restaurants with fascinating combinations of ingredients lay ahead. Without getting too distracted on possible weight gain, I spent a first hectic week in a student accommodation with many friendly enthusiastic ants willing to share my bed. I wonder what the next place will be like? I knew the Community Playa House was central and was eager to get comfortable in my new surroundings and meet some friendly faces.
And the surroundings felt incredibly homely; with the emphasis on responsibility. I wasn't disappointed. Friendly smiles welcomed me. And warm water and fewer ants ready to snuggle up next to me. After a great orientation with GVI staff and some appropriate first aid training to help any bumps and bruises along the way; I was more encouraged to start on the childcare programme straight away.
The great work of GVI in association with Save the Children on the childcare programme ensures that local issues affecting children is maintained through the pastoral and practical support working in the Ludoteca. I had no concept of what a Ludoteca was, so the learning space was a curious port of call. 
On my first day after a collectivo bus journey to work, whizzing past shops and restaurants with fascinating hand painted signs; I landed at a public community space. The Ludoteca itself surprised me in how secure it was. It was refreshing to be welcomed by affectionate children all wanting to say hello and curious to ask more about yourself. It was a great test of the basic Spanish I learnt. Soon after an introductory game, we went straight into homework time. Whilst my brain scrambled at maths, I couldn't help but admire the staff working there on a daily basis. The patience and energy working with the children was challenging. I could only imagine what the Health therapy and Marine conservation programmes were like.
During dinner break, the children happily swapped food and encouraged me to share some of theirs. The combination of mandarin and chilli was a refreshing surprise, and I lapped up the treats offered to politely accommodate me into the settings and their daily almost-home from home environment. It became apparent that as a volunteer even though I was there to help provide practical support to the existing staff to achieve learning goals, simple praise by a child about my snack of an apple and some water to another child highlighted the need to act with due care. 
With an average of 30 children to care for daily at the Ludoteca; I was also responsible for showing them good responsible behaviours. Such a small comment that made me realise the impact an adult behaviour can have. This is what helps shape memories, I thought. After some more play time encouraged to recharge batteries, the daily chores of tidying and housekeeping began. It was a good opportunity to chat to the other volunteers and staff in the field. Although my Spanish was basic, the helpful and positive body language cues and wide smiles made me feel at home. I was told about children that were socially withdrawn and aggressive that became more calm and receptive to their peers. It was obvious that results were being achieved here.
The following days followed a familiar pattern. The children learnt about hazards such as hurricanes and were made to think carefully about these dangers. A visit to the local playground and interaction with Zumba dancingwas also a joyful treat. The days went by quickly and the staff treated me to some amazing Mexican stuffed savoury bread. The myriad of restaurants around 5th Avenue I wanted to explore became an instant blur. 
Reflecting on the end of a productive and enjoyable first week; I still won't forget some gorgeous cake for a volunteer leaving do which I snaffled a little too fast. The post-work food scuffle still makes me giggle. And I'm sure some cream is still lodged firmly in my left ear....
At the end of the week I was offered the chance to attend and assist the Equine Therapy support healthcare programme on the weekend which I eagerly agreed too. More than anything, the first week demonstrated the tenacity of the staff and volunteers to make the children feel welcome, included and at home with their peers. 
They certainly made me feel welcome :)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Very busy bees at the marine conservation programme lately! Dolphins, English classes, health workshops, rescue course and much more in the last few weeks!

We've been having a lot of action in the last few days at Pez Maya. With impressive thunder surrounding base, everyone has had the chance to study and work hard to be able to start monitoring soon. While some of the volunteers just finished their rescue diver certificates, others have already started monitoring.  All of this is very exciting and a little bit sad as we're reaching the end of a phase for some of the volunteers, and saying goodbye to five friends: Yusuf, Alannah, Dannie, Malcom and Maddie,


In addition, we're also advancing on our project in Punta Allen teaching English to children and adults and implementing healthcare seminars. The children in Punta Allen are finally back in school after the teacher strike, so every Monday some of the staff members and volunteers work hard to give lessons of English and marine conservation. We also are just starting a project involving the sterilization and de-parasitism of street dogs in this community.  This is a good way of improving the overall well-being of this town because we are empowering locals to lead and organize the project as well as gather resources.


Last Tuesday we had a memorable experience when we encountered a family of dolphins on the way to one of our dive sites. We stopped to snorkel with them and some of the volunteers were able to dive with them as well! There were at least 8 (6 adults and 1 juvenile) dolphins and they were very playful and friendly. After at least 60 minutes of swimming with the dolphins, we went back to our boats only to see the dolphins’ surface show: a display of amazing jumps and flips. It was truly a wonderful experience.



Everything is going great on base, and as usual after a beautiful sunny Wednesday with lots of fun dives, we had a great Mexican dinner with nachos and tortas de tinga.  We're also very excited to receive our two new colleagues who will be arriving to base on Saturday. We'll all can’t wait to see what new surprises the beautiful Caribbean sea prepared for us in the weeks ahead. As for me, this is all! Good Bye!


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Huh? Golf tournament? In the Playa community programs?

This week the Community Playa House has been busssssaay. Three people, three projects. Plus the Golf; lets just say there has not been a dull moment. 


So you may have been reading snippets about this Golf and wondering "what, that's so random!"


Well, we can shed some light on this. The PGA Golf Tournament is held in Playa del Carmen in the beautiful Mayakoba. The players from all over the world compete for the prize Money of $6 million US; so its kinda a big deal for them! We are involved because our partners in the Health care Project is contributing to the tournament by supplying volunteers to be marshalls. And now it should be making a bit more sense! What's wonderful is that our partners will be getting a donation for supplying us for the four days.



So we're in charge of hole 17, situated just down the hill from the beach front. We make sure people are quiet for when the players hit the ball. It's quite technical, you see, we have to put the paddle up just at the right moment.... Verrrryyyy technical. 




It's only day 2  and we've seen rain, shine, hurricane wind.... But no matter what, we're determined to have a great time (Georgie's already scored a Golf ball from one of the players)!!! Anyways, time to head to the Green... And if anyone asks, we're Golf experts, "experts".

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rescue training, day of the death, halloween and much more!!

The last few weeks have been very busy, with volunteers learning in water monitoring techniques and studying for their tests so that they can begin diving our monitoring sites and collecting scientific data on our fish and coral communities.
2 weeks ago, the volunteers had fun experiencing Día de Muertos. One of our volunteers researched Mayan and Mexican customs and we had an altar for our lost love ones. Then we dressed up for Halloween and danced the night away.

The interns have also been working hard to complete their rescue course and have been going to bed not long after dinner, very tired after a day of rescue scenarios. With just a few competencies left to complete, everyone is feeling more confident that they can help out a friend or stranger in need and are proud to be safer, smarter divers.
It’s coming to the end of the month here at Pez Maya, and that means that 5 of the volunteers are heading off on new adventures and there will be new faces around base and people to meet. We’re not sad though because we are sure we will all meet again someday on a beautiful Caribbean beach, either under sun or storm.

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”                     ― Miriam Adeney



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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who would have thought you could fit so much into a week...

For us at the Community, child & healthcare project in Playa del Carmen, we have been busy, busy, busy.

The week started off with our volunteers helping our cuddly partners Coco’s Cat Rescue give the kitty home a face lift. Among other volunteers, we helped paint 2 houses in no less than 3 hours!

We then had the march down on 5th avenue with what seemed to be all the kids of Playa del Carmen. GVI volunteers were helping only with the kids from the Ludotecas, we’re proud to say we didn’t lose one amongst the crowds of tourists, kids and parents on our 14 block march.

Then we had the special needs Halloween party where we dressed up, played games, ate food and watched cartoons. In between all that was us prying the children away from the new toys that were donated by one of our volunteers, just so they would participate in the activities.


Then we had an excursion with the kids from the Ludoteca to Xcaret, a big theme park to celebrate Day of the Dead. We were lucky enough to be apart of (well, to tag along with the kids) some cultural activities and shows that included pirates and dancing.

We said goodbye to our last volunteer, and hello to a new one.


Finally, volunteers participated in the PGA training meeting to prepare us for the big tournament. As first timers, we’re all a little nervous that we’ll stuff it up somehow – like kicking the golf ball or something… but we’re determined to be there and besides, who can resist the power that comes with controlling the ‘silencio’ paddles! 

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Turtling!

Last week during the early hours of the morning, three volunteers assisted the turtle regulars in their sweeps of two local beaches in the reserve, looking for nests marked by previous volunteers over two months ago. Our aim was to help with the data collection on the health of the turtle population within the area by monitoring the number of eggs laid in each nest and the whether the eggs had hatched. We were given a quick briefing, and set about finding a marked nest. Once located, we had to dig down into the nest often over an arms reach and record everything we found.


With the sun still low in the sky and staff and volunteers alike lying with both arms up to their shoulders in the sand one volunteer struck turtle gold; a newly hatched nest of green turtles. As soon as the first baby turtles were unearthed, the rest of the nest wanted to be free too! However before they made a mad dash for the sea they were counted and given a bill of clean health in between the bouts of obligatory photos. With an eye on the sky for birds of prey, the turtles were given a head start and released just a few meters from the sea. The closer they got to the water the more frantically their little flippers moved, and we watched them swim off out of sight.



That same volunteer (who is now regarded as a lucky charm on base) unearthed two more newly hatched nests that day, bringing the total number of turtles released to over 230, in addition to data collected from over 30 nests. And just in case that wasn’t enough the Mexican weather celebrated with a couple of rainbows. Once back on base all involved agreed it had been another fantastic experience from Pez Maya.


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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thanks Andi for all your work the past 10 weeks!

I have come to the end of my 10 weeks here in Playa Del Carmen on the Health Programme. Time has flown by and I have met some great people and enjoyed some amazing experiences. The Health Programme consists of assisting at a school for special needs kids, doing equine therapy and music therapy; so I got to mix it up more than the Community project. As there are no more than fifteen kids all up who go to the different programmes I got to know them all quite well. Working with special needs kids is very rewarding and an experience I will never forget. Seeing their faces light up at the little things in life and learning new things just makes you smile. As well as volunteering I got to see the area with many day trips including swimming with whale sharks, swimming in cenotes, visiting Mayan ruins and many beautiful beaches and islands nearby.




As I was here for more than 10 weeks I got to do the Equine Therapy on the horse with the kids. I completed riding lessons (without saddles) to learn the balance required and then started doing the therapy. On one occasion a kid actually fell asleep on the horse while his limbs were being moved in therapy! During my last few weeks I also got the chance to take part in the new Vet Programme that is starting. Once a week a few of us have visited Coco’s Cat Rescue where we cleaned and spent time socialising the cats. The rescue centre also provides a neuter and spay service to stray cats and dogs so I also helped out in the recovery area. It’s now time to move on with my travels. I wish the Health Programme all the best for the future, thanks for the experience.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Responsible fisheries management- Kanan Kay alliance


We would like to share the latest report from Kanan Kay alliance to which GVI is proud to be part of and whose mission is to "Bring about a new era of responsible fisheries management in order to restore Quintana Roo’s oceanic zones and artisanal fisheries through the facilitation of collaborative processes and the consolidation of collaborative actions that promote the establishment of a network of fish refuges and other complimentary activities".

The commitment of its members is more than a formality. The Kanan Kay Alliance is made up of individuals that are passionate about what they do. They are also convinced that the Alliance will achieve important results for marine conservation and sustainable fishing 

Click here to read the latest report on its achievements and follow the latest news @allianzakanakay. 



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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monthly report from Pez Maya from our turtle season!

Monthly report on the current turtle season in Pez Maya Marine conservation programme!!


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