Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) is a non-profit organization at the cutting edge of ecotourism that sends teams of volunteers to survey some of the world’s most endangered coral reefs and forests. Their mission is to ‘provide resources to alleviate poverty through the protection, restoration and management of coral reefs and tropical forests’. Check it out!

They achieve these aims by; providing technical and financial support that countries need in order to produce conservation management plans for threatened reefs and forests; training international volunteers and host-country partners to gather, interpret and monitor the data that’s so crucial for effective conservation; working with host-country governments and other organizations to encourage education and sustainable livelihood opportunities in local communities.

Since 1998, over 1,000 British CCC volunteers have worked in close partnership with ‘Programa Manejo Ambiental Islas de la Bahia’ (PMAIB), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH), the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA) and local communities, to help protect the vitally important but threatened coral reefs of the Bay Islands of Honduras.

In March 2003, CCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Honduran Ministry of Tourism for collaboration with (PMAIB). This event coincided with the launch of the ‘CCC Scholarship Awards’ in partnership with (UNAH).

The ‘CCC Scholarship Awards’ provide extensive and comprehensive conservation education and training opportunities for Honduran citizens, in support of an international initiative to conserve the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef ecosystem, a vast and inter-connected ‘biodiversity corridor’ of coral reefs, stretching for over 700km northwards from Honduras into the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Up to 100 ‘CCC Scholarship Awards’ have been made available to any suitable Honduran citizen wishing to make an active contribution towards the protection and sustainable use of coral reefs in Honduras. Two types of Awards are available:

These short scholarship courses will provide training in both SCUBA diving (to PADI ‘Advanced Open Water Diver’ certification) and in general reef awareness and appreciation. Training schedules are designed to be highly flexible and tailored to the needs and availability of persons concerned, allowing recipients who, for example, might be in full-time employment and can therefore only spare a few weekends to participate.

These four-week intensive residential scholarship courses are aimed primarily at Hondurans wishing not only to obtain SCUBA training certification, but also certification under the ‘CCC Skills Development Training Programme’. These awards are ideal for Honduran citizens who can dedicate at least four weeks of their time to intensive training and who plan to use this training to make an active and effective contribution to the conservation of Honduran coral reefs. University undergraduates are particularly welcome to apply.

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