[Coral-List] Sustainable Marine Tourism Internship
vgalvan2000 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 08:20:27 EDT 2015
Sustainable Marine Tourism Internship
*Project Background: *
Beaches and coral reefs along with other coastal marine ecosystems
represent the most important tourism attraction in the Punta Cana area, as
well as the Dominican Republic in general; nonetheless, over 60% of coral
reefs in the Caribbean are now considered endangered or threatened. Coral
reef ecosystems contribute significant social, economic, cultural and
recreational services to coastal communities providing a source of protein
and employment opportunities; especially for to poor rural communities with
few job alternatives. Despite the important services that coral reefs
provide, there exist several different human activities that threaten these
services. Amongst these activities are coastal development, pollution and
poor fishing practices. Additionally, the overfishing of marine species is
significantly altering the ecological balance resulting in continued
decline and/or exclusion of other important species that are fundamental
for the continued existence of coral reefs.
In the Dominican Republic, two study areas, one with a high volume of
tourists like Bavaro, Punta Cana and the other whose primary economic
activity is fishing like Punta Rusia, reflect the causes that are affecting
coastal marine ecosystems. Aside from the negative impacts generated by
climate change, these two communities nonetheless share three human
impacts: i) coastal development for urbanization or tourism purposes, ii)
coastal contamination resulting in disease outbreaks, and iii) destructive
In 2004, in an effort to help protect the endangered *Acropora* corals, the
PCEF teamed up with Counterpart International to develop an *in-situ* pilot
coral garden program within the Puntacana Resort and Club reef area. Coral
Gardening is an active restoration technique used to propagate and
asexually reproduce coral fragments in a protected setting for eventual
restoration efforts. The objective of Coral Gardening program is to prevent
*Acropora* corals from a potential local or national extinction utilizing a
strategy that involves tourists and local communities. The coral gardening
program has been very successful in Punta Cana and has now been expanded to
additional locations that include Punta Rusia, Sosua and Bayahibe. The work
area for this internship primarily includes Punta Cana in the southeast and
Punta Rusia in the northern Dominican Republic.
*Objectives of the program:*
The project, within its activities, contemplates the creation of economic
opportunities in the communities surrounding the work areas. In this
respect, the project is attempting to develop non-traditional tourism
products that focus on the conservation and restoration of coral reefs
through the promotion of coral gardening as an alternative to sun and beach
tourism in which tourists and community members can get actively involved.
For this reason, several activities have been design and are being
implemented to protect coral reefs that include the creation of new SCUBA
diving certification courses, snorkeling excursions that hire local
fishermen, creation of trails to local attractions, identifying and
improving on already established tours and excursions, and conceptualizing
and developing interpretation centers and interpretative material.
*I. Basic Functions of the Position:*
The Puntacana Ecological Foundation is currently accepting applications for
mid to long term internship positions to help with the coordination,
conceptualization, design, interpretative research and implementation of
non-traditional tourism products and tourism circuits that are focused on
the conservation and restoration of the endangered *Acropora* corals.
Candidates will be working on a variable but full-time basis determined by
the intern’s direct supervisor. The candidates are expected to work outside
normal established hours, independently and under minimal supervision and
to assist with other unscheduled events depending on the needs of the
internship program. Interns will be rotating periodically between the
communities/work areas of Punta Cana, Bayahibe and Punta Rusia. Duration
and times at each work area will be developed once in the Dominican
*The selected candidate(s) will be collaborating on a daily basis with the
project coordinator and project consultants to achieve project goals. *
*II. Duties and Responsibilities:*
*Coral Restoration Field Work: (weight 10%)*
1. Working with the Project Coordinator and local community
members/cooperatives/associations to locate and prepare potential sites for
establishing new coral nurseries within the 3 work areas.
2. Assist the Project Coordinator in activities related to the
maintenance and upkeep of the coral gardens in the Dominican Republic.
3. Participate in, lead, or implement environmental education courses,
workshops, and/or training activities related to coral nurseries and
*Non-traditional Tourism Products and Tourism Circuits: (30%)*
1. Work with local community members, tour operators, resorts, dive
shops, promotional agencies, travel agencies, government ministries and
other interested groups to conceptualize the design and potential
attractions for new tourism tours, excursions and tourism circuits, keeping
the coral gardens as a cornerstone of these circuits.
2. Identify needs (i.e. infrastructure, access, personnel, etc.),
improvements, material, and equipment necessary for the implementation of
the tours, excursion and tourism circuits.
3. Work with project consultants, other interns, and local
communities, develop a budget for the development and implementation of the
conceptualized tour, excursion or tourism circuits.
4. Work with project consultants and other interns to identify
personnel, service providers, specialized and skilled laborers for the
implementation of the tours, excursions and tourism circuits.
5. Supervise and/or implement the infrastructure and courses necessary
for the development of the tourism circuits.
*Investigative Research and Design: (60%)*
1. Work with other interns to research and investigate relevant
historical and interesting information pertaining to the tours, excursions,
and tourism circuits. This investigative work can incorporate personal
accounts, government registries, published articles, and known folklore.
2. Prepare a written report containing the investigative work for each
tour, excursion or tourism circuit designed.
3. Work with other interns and consultants to conceptualize and design
interpretative centers and their functionality.
4. Work with other interns to design, illustrate, draw, and/or
photograph potential layouts, material and context for the interpretive
centers. This can be achieved through poster boards, paintings, audio
recordings, video clips, and the likes.
5. Work with Grupo Puntacana’s Public Relations and Marketing
Departments to promote, raise awareness and disseminate information
pertaining to the tours, excursions and tourism circuits. Along this line,
work with the public relations, publicity and marketing team to
conceptualize and design the content needed for promoting the tourism
circuits on tour operators websites, excursion websites, and other
agencies/businesses social media sites.
*a) Education *
We are looking for candidates that are highly motivated, responsible, and
able to work independently and are well organized. A strong background in
one or all of the following areas is preferred: ecology, environmental
education, journalism, marketing, public relations, library science,
graphic design, management, tourism, ecotourism, geology, or geography.
The ideal candidate would have experience working independently and under
minimal supervision with strong communication skills in Spanish. Prior
experience with investigative research, interpretation, and nature program
design is highly desired. Experience working with the design of
interpretative centers and educational material design is beneficial. The
ideal candidate would be able to work comfortably in remote communities
with potentially limited resources and interact on a daily basis with
community members. The applicant must be able to work efficiently, problem
solve, and adapt to changing situations. Interns must complete assigned
tasks on time and with quality; must be punctual and represent the best
interest of the institution. Knowledge of Microsoft Office is required.
Advance Spanish minimum
The length of the internship is negotiable but a minimum of 4 months is
required. This is a full-time internship with selected individuals
traveling between the communities of Punta Cana (25%), Bayahibe (15%) and
Punta Rusia (60%). Interns will arrive in Punta Cana where during the first
week, they will undergo training and complete any require documentation.
After the first week in country, interns will travel with the project
coordinator to Bayahibe and to Punta Rusia where they will eventually
reside. Interns will spend approximately 3 consecutive weeks in Punta Rusia
and 1 week a month in Punta Cana (subject to change depending on the needs
and progress made) where they will provide updates and reports to the
d) *Compensation and Benefits:*
· Interns are not illegible to receive the same benefits as
· No vacation is awarded but days off can be flexible. Currently a
maximum of 6 days off a month is contemplated for this internship but can
be subject to change depending on progress.
· While at the Punta Cana field site, interns will be provided with
dorm room style lodging.
· Meals will also be provided during their stay at Punta Cana.
· Office space, office supplies and a desk will be provided.
· While at other field sites, interns are expected to pay for their
housing, meals, and other personal necessities. Interns should NOT expect
24 hour electricity and running water.
· If available, a company phone will be provided for improved
communication between the project coordinator and interns.
· Supplies for other field sites can be arranged but needs prior
· Under certain situations and will prior written approval, some
items are eligible for reimbursement.
· The Puntacana Ecological Foundation can assist interns in
locating lodging at the Punta Rusia site.
· A small stipend currently at RD$22,250 (US$500) per month will be
provided to each intern to help cover travel, lodging, meals, and other
personal expenses. Payment dates are subject to change but tentatively
scheduled as followed: A third (1/3) of the total stipend paid within 30
days after PCEF signs off on the internship offer; another third of the
stipend (1/3) at the start of month 4 and a final payment at the end of
month 5. This stipend is your net take home after taxes (covered by PCEF).
This amount is approximately 11% higher than the average income in the
Dominican Republic and significantly higher in the community of Punta
At all levels and stages of this internship, you will be sharing a house,
dorm, or office space with at lest one other intern. Interns should be
comfortable working closely with other individuals.
· Interns must be able to travel by boat to and from work if
· Occasionally, interns will be asked to assist in the coral
restoration work at any of three sites mentioned.
· Interns will have the opportunity to get involved in other PCEF
programs depending on the progress made towards their scope of work and
· In Punta Rusia, interns are expected to share housing expenses.
Interested Candidates please send your resume with a brief letter of
intent to the following email no later than April 10, 2015. Please
highlight relevant skills as stated in the duties and responsibility
section of this document:
Puntacana Ecological Foundation
Att: Marine Tourism Circuit Internships
Email: vgalvan at puntacana.com
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