High School Adventures

Yucatan Yucatan Ocean Conservation

Find out what it takes to create a real-world conservation program from start to finish.  Work with locals and contribute to actual conservation efforts in Cozumel! Learn research diving techniques and collect data to help find solutions to threats facing our ocean ecosystems.

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High school students visit cenote studying marine conservation
High school students visit Chichen Itza on conservation summer program
Teen student snorkels with whale shark on ocean conservation summer program abroad

Experience conservation in action in Mexico's beautiful Yucatan!

  • Snorkel with the largest fish in the sea: the massive whale shark!
  • Participate in local conservation efforts led by residents of Cozumel.
  • Visit the sacred Mayan city of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Patrol the beaches in search of nesting sea turtles and help release sea turtle hatchlings into the wild.
  • Learn scientific diving techniques and assist with fish and coral surveys.
June 29 - July 16, 2024$6,980AvailableEnroll Now

*Currently accepting applications from alumni families only. Open enrollment begins September 15, 2023. To join the waitlist prior to open enrollment, click “enroll now”; your payment method will not be charged until the open enrollment period begins.

This conservation-focused marine biology program offers:


Credits Available


Service Hours

Two natural science credits available through Lesley University. 

Course description: This course is designed to provide tangible, real-world exposure to the conservation program planning process. Students will learn about existing conservation efforts in Cozumel from the locals who are actively creating them and carrying them out.  Students will pick a conservation topic and learn more about the program planning, management, monitoring & evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and funding process necessary to make their program a success!

Course objectives: 

  • Be able to use the Conservation Standards as a framework and language for designing, managing and monitoring conservation efforts.
  • Learn research diving techniques and how citizen science data can contribute to global conservation solutions to anthropogenic threats facing our ocean ecosystems.
  • Develop a detailed understanding of current conservation issues and the role of cultural and social issues in conservation strategies.
  • Understand the process of designing and implementing a conservation project, including project planning, stakeholder engagement, project management and program monitoring and evaluation.
  • Gain insight into conservation efforts in Cozumel and Mexico’s Yucatan region.

8 hours of service learning, including citizen science data collection for local conservation organizations and beach cleanups, marine debris sorting and categorization, and plastic debris recycling workshops.


  • Available to students completing grades 9-12.
  • PADI Open Water scuba certification (or equivalent) required.


Days 1-7

Welcome to Mexico!

Let the adventure begin! You and the rest of the group will be greeted by your instructors in the airport arrivals hall. Get to know your new crew and settle into a villa in Cozumel, your home for the next several days. After a refresher dive, you’ll be all set to collect data, including fish and coral surveys, as you learn the basics of planning a conservation project. Assist local organizations with conservation efforts related to sea turtles, plant mangroves and collect ocean plastic.

Days 8-9

Mainland Adventures

Time to take a break from diving for some amazing adventures! You’ll head out from your home base in Cozumel for a couple of days. First stop: snorkel with massive whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Next, head inland for a visit to the sacred ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Make a stop afterward for a cenote, or blue hole, visit. These natural limestone sinkholes are found throughout the Yucatan region.

Days 10-12

Dive into culture

Head back to Cozumel and take in a local market with some town time to explore and shop. Enjoy a visit to a Mayan Bee Sanctuary, where you’ll learn about the relationship between the Mayan people and Melipona bees. In the evenings, continue with academics, including a night walk where you’ll try to spy nesting sea turtles and a night dive.

Days 13-14

Glamping in the jungle

After two weeks of exploring Cozumel from under the water, it’s time to hike into Cozumel’s lush jungle. Spend the night glamping in a nature reserve, listening to the sounds of the trees. Discover the terrestrial environments of the island and how the different ecosystems are interconnected.

Days 15-18

Wrapping things up

As you head back to the villa, it’s hard to believe that you’re in the last few days of your program! Enjoy your last dives of the trip, taking in the underwater beauty that Cozumel is renowned for. Reflect on how much you’ve learned and complete your final projects and presentations with the rest of your group. Cap things off with a visit to a pearl farm originally started as a research project to help the Pinctada radiata, or Atlantic pearl-oyster, species. Now it’s time to head home filled with lifelong memories and friendships.