Do Good and Get Dive Certified in Honduras with WSORC

by Kate Wood

Nov 6, 2014

© Alexey Stiop | Dreamstime

Trends / Voluntourism

If you’re looking for a voluntourism experience that offers a chance to make a difference in conservation efforts, the Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center offers a unique opportunity — not to mention the chance to have up-close and personal experiences with these gentle giants of the sea.


Based on Utila, one of Honduras’ Bay Islands, the WSORC monitors and researches whale sharks and is also dedicated to preserving and restoring the extraordinary marine environment around Utila. The warm waters are home to an extensive reef system, and the WSORC is key in working to maintain their integrity. The center often hosts outside researchers, and is a central point for providing environmental data (on the reefs, mangrove forests, fishing stock and, of course, whale sharks) to the Honduran government.


With a one-month commitment, volunteers at the WSORC participate in research dives, help guide excursions, beach and reef clean-ups, educational events and more. As part of the program, you can earn your PADI diving certification (multiple options are available), learn Caribbean reef fish identification, coral reef surveying techniques and work directly on issues related to conservation and eco-tourism. It’s a full-time commitment, but former volunteers attest it is an utterly gratifying one working on issues both local and global.  For more information, including dates for volunteer opportunities in 2015, go to



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