Impactrip Portugal divers

Heading off on an expedition in another country, with a group of strangers can be daunting. We spoke with Ana and Sara from ImpacTrip in Lisbon who answered some of your questions about joining their volunteer programme!

Name: Ana Luiza

Job title: International Volunteer Program Coordinator

Name: Sara Martins

Job title: International Volunteer Program Coordinator

Quick Fire Questions

1. Are there any aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?

Ana: Having a positive influence over the volunteers and making sure they know how pivotal their work is. That leads to a great experience, both for the volunteer and the organization they’re supporting.

Sara: This work allows me to work closely with various environmental and social projects and at the same time, as I am working directly with volunteers, I am able to motivate and help them, help projects and see the impact they can have.

2. How do volunteers contribute to marine conservation efforts during their time with ImpacTrip?

Ana: They collect rubbish from the ocean and also help by monitoring diving spots, animals and algae.

Sara: They actively gather ocean debris while also aiding in the monitoring of dive sites, marine life, and algae populations.

3. What safety measures are in place to ensure volunteers are protected while participating in marine conservation activities?

Ana: The volunteers are always accompanied by certified divers to ensure their safety and well-being.

Sara: The volunteers never dive without certified divers to ensure their safety.

4. Can you describe a typical day for volunteers participating in the marine conservation program?

Ana: The day usually starts with a briefing session with the instructors, followed by theory class, training in the pool or an ocean dive. Depending on the weather conditions, the participants may dive more than once in a day.  

Sara: The day typically starts with a briefing session led by instructors, followed by theoretical instruction, pool training, or an ocean dive. Depending on weather conditions, participants may engage in multiple dives throughout the day.

5. Other than the environmental impact of this project, how do volunteers benefit from participating in the program?

Ana: They get internationally recognized diving certifications, meet like minded people and have the opportunity to explore Portugal!

Sara: The volunteers are always accompanied by certified divers to ensure their safety and well-being. In addition to obtaining a certification, volunteers have the opportunity to get to know Portugal and live with other people from all over the world with similar interests. 

6. What level of diving experience is required for volunteers to participate in the marine conservation program?

Ana: No previous experience is required! You can get your certification in Portugal 🙂

Sara: None, they can receive the training while they are here.

7. What advice would you give to a volunteer who is starting the marine conservation program?

Ana: Be flexible, empathetic and committed to the cause you are willing to help.

Sara: I think it comes with an open mind and a lot of desire to learn.

8. Can you share any success stories or memorable experiences from past volunteers who participated in the marine conservation program?  

Ana: The volunteers always get along very well with the project’s staff, so it’s always great to see them interacting, having fun and creating a positive impact together!

Sara: All volunteers who go through this experience create excellent relationships between themselves and the technicians. It’s always wonderful to see them.

Volunteer in Portugal

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