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Atlantic Whale Foundation

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Volunteer Stories

Lucy: Why I Came Back

This weeks volunteer story comes from Lucy, a returning volunteer!

Why I Came Back

My first trip to Tenerife with the Atlantic Whale Foundation was with college in 2015. I studied travel and tourism and had a large interest for ecotourism and conservation tourism, so this was the perfect place to come and experience. At first I didn’t know what to expect or what it was going to be like. I was already arriving with a large group of college friends so my nerves were calmed. However, when I arrived I knew I had nothing to worry about, and everyone welcomed us with open arms.

During my two week stay, I was able to see different species throughout my time, such as Bottlenose Dolphins, short-fin pilot whales, Bryde’s whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphin and even flying fish.

There are many reasons I decided to come back; the people are so nice and welcoming you feel at home right away, so I didn’t have to worry about arriving after everyone else. The people we met became friends for life, even if I only met them a few days before leaving.

At AWF, you learn so many new things, and are able to do many new and exciting things you couldn’t normally do anywhere else (such as diving, snorkelling with turtles, parasailing, surfing, kayaking, jumping off boats to swim in the ocean, camping and so much more). This helps improve things like CV’s, skills, and experiences, as well as letting you realise what you are really good at, as well as discovering new interests you may not have had before.

In 2015 I stayed with AWF for two weeks, and now I am here for four. With my time I plan to complete an open water diving certification, and hopefully see and experience even more. This experience is a one in a million, and it has allowed me to learn new things, not only about marine conservation and endangered species but also new things about myself and what I am capable of.

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Lisanne: Why I Chose Volunteering with AWF

This weeks story brought to you by our lovely Dutch volunteer, Lisanne!

I studied Environmental Biology back home, in which I focused on ecology and the behaviour of animals. In my study I did internships about the behaviour of birds, large felids and terrestrial mammals in general, but I did not do any project about sea animals. So when I finished my study, I was looking for a project with sea animals to get more experience about the behaviour of this group of animals.

I was also looking for a long holiday in a warm place! I wanted to combine my holiday with volunteering work, but unfortunately, most volunteering work quickly gets very expensive. I found AWF just by googling and was surprised by the projects they offered and the low costs. I also really liked that it is an organisation with many students and that they organize many trips in Tenerife, such as visiting Santa Cruz and snorkelling. I felt it was everything I was looking for!

One week at Tenerife and it is still everything I was looking for 🙂 So far, I have been on the boats (with very nice crew and food), went snorkelling with the turtles at Turtle Bay, went diving for the first time (very exciting!), had much fun in the water park Siam Park and relaxed on the beach of Los Cristianos. While being on the boats, I have already spotted numerous bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales, but was also lucky enough to see common dolphins, atlantic spotted dolphins, flying fish and even a Bryde’s whale! There are many people at the AWF house and that is really nice, because there is always someone you can talk to and go with on trips to explore the island. I would definitely recommend volunteering at AWF and I am excited for the rest of my stay at Tenerife!

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