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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Akumal, Mexico
  • Program Time Abroad: Fall, May, Spring, Summer 1, Summer 10-Week, Summer 2, Winter Break
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: GVI 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
May 2021 10/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Winter Break 2021 10/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring 2021 10/01/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer 1 2021 02/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer 2 2021 02/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer 10-Week 2021 02/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2021 03/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Affiliate Provider, Volunteer Click here for a definition of this term Academic Area: Geosciences - Environmental Sciences, Geosciences - Geography, Liberal Arts, Science, Science - Biology
Click here for a definition of this term Language of instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Primary Contact: Affiliate Provider & Exchange Advising (
Housing: Dormitory Classification: Freshman, Grad Student, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:
Service Learning Groups: Marine Ecosystems of the Meso-American Barrier Reef in Playa del Carmen

mexico cover

Dive into a marine conservation course on Mexico’s Mesoamerican coral reef, the second largest reef in the world. Learn about coral and fish identification strategies, environmental issues facing the area, and earn your PADI diving qualification in order to better study the reefs.

The Project: 

During the week the group will learn the art of snorkeling. Guided by GVI field staff they will learn the do’s and don’ts of exploring reef environments without damaging the fragile ecosystem. They will snorkel in a number of environments where they will be exposed to a variety of coastal marine ecosystems and learn about various areas of conservation and environmental awareness. The group will learn basic fish and coral identification, techniques used in marine research and monitoring, take part in beach cleans, and listen to lectures and workshops by GVI field staff and local partners on the effects of tourism and development on coastal ecosystems.

Educational Focus: 

Through lectures, discussion, research, service, and reflection, beginning two weeks prior to their departure and continuing two weeks after their return home, students in this course engage in meaningful, context-driven service-learning at home and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on relating long term project goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience, which will be lead by qualified group facilitators, furthering individual educational development. This course curriculum will be tailored to your students academic level and curriculum, as well as your faculty requirements.


Our projects in Mexico are located south of Cancun on the Yucatán peninsula, close to the beautiful resort towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Located within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a recognized UNESCO world heritage site. The peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo. Best known for it’s stunning Caribbean coastline the area is also a fascinating place to learn about Mayan culture, try complex and variant dishes, and explore the world’s second largest barrier reef.

Your Group Can Expect the Following Highlights on This Program:
  • Hands-on involvement towards vital conservation efforts. 
  • Connect classroom knowledge with real world experiences.
  • Gain an understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  
  • Acquire hard and soft skills useful for both career development and personal growth. 
  • Explore Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and gain a better understanding of Mexican culture. 
If applying for this program to obtain credit from an institution, GVI can supply learning outcomes and support in the application.
Risk assessment available upon request, please contact GVI for more details.

video service learning   
video marine conservation                                      

Because GVI is an affiliate provider, Texas A&M students will receive a 10% discount, up to $500 USD on volunteer programs and internships