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Marine Conservation Volunteer Program in Spain - Barcelona

Marine Conservation Volunteer Program in Spain - Barcelona

Protect & preserve precious marine ecosystems
Start dates
Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Volunteers aged 18+
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From $1120 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who want to work towards the vision of healthier oceans, happy ecosystems and a clean coastline. You don’t need to have prior scuba diving experience but you will have to gain dive certification before engaging in any underwater conservation activities. This can be done as part of the project.

Project details

Ready to explore underwater worlds as a Marine Conservation volunteer in Spain? International Volunteer HQ’s Marine Conservation project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to provide support to clean-up efforts that reduce ocean pollution and help protect the natural marine environment in Barcelona. Volunteers gain scuba diving and conservation experience while being actively involved in restoring the natural state of the marine ecosystem of Catalonia and the wider Mediterranean and helping make sure it can survive and thrive for many years to come.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Environmental forecasts paint a grim picture for the long-term health of the ocean and predict that by 2025, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Marine Conservation volunteers in Spain have the unique opportunity to scuba dive to reduce ocean pollution and conserve marine life.

As Marine Conservation volunteer, you’ll be based at a local dive club, using and improving your scuba diving skills while being actively involved in efforts to clean up the ocean and protect the marine environment. You’ll help to:

  • Collect trash from the sea
  • Log information on items collected
  • Learn more about the marine ecosystem and how to protect it
  • Observe and identify fish and other marine wildlife
  • If you’re volunteering in summer, you can also help children from disadvantaged backgrounds learn to dive and help the environment.

Please note:

  • If you don’t have any existing diving certifications, it is recommended that you complete at least a 2 week minimum duration as you will spend your first week on the program gaining your diving certification before beginning any dives with an environmental impact.
  • For safety, all diving is weather dependent. Volunteers are required to be flexible if diving cannot be carried out due to bad weather.
  • Commuting from the volunteer accommodation to the diving center can take from 50mins to 1h 25mins via public transport, depending on the traffic.
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water

The ocean regulates and drives global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Marine biodiversity is critical to the health of people and our planet. Preserving threatened ecosystems, as well as tackling marine pollution and overfishing through conservation activities is key to saving our ocean.

Why do Marine Conservation volunteering in Barcelona with IVHQ?

As a Marine Conservation volunteer in Spain - Barcelona you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Supporting local efforts to clean up the ocean
  • Learning about marine conservation and ecosystems
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Gaining scuba and conservation experience
  • Immersing yourself in the Spanish way of life
  • Exploring Spain’s Mediterranean coast

Volunteer requirements

  • When applying for the Marine Conservation project, please note any current dive certifications you have. If you do have certifications already, you will need to send a copy of these along with your diving log book through to our local team in Barcelona prior to your program starting.

  • It is mandatory that all volunteers provide a medical certificate that clears them for scuba diving in order to join the program.

  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Yunzhu Wang
03 May 2024

The local team is very nice and helped to organize everything. The coaches in the diving club were very nice to work with as well, and the work was so meaningful. I'll definitely take part in more volunteer work like this in the future. Barcelona is a beautiful and historical city, it's definitely worth a visit.

Karen Meijer
05 Sep 2023

The local team did an absolutely amazing job! Next to knowing all the answers to our questions about the volunteer program, they informed us about local festivals so we could enjoy every second of our stay! You're in really good hands. You will have an amazing time with your fellow volunteers!

Miles Mattison
06 Jul 2023

The Local Team was very kind and helpful. I loved being able to have a positive impact while doing something I love. My favorite moment was diving with the team of amazing instructors and expanding my horizons in a new culture. Do it, even by yourself you'll have a blast!

Thomas Galella
05 Jul 2023

It may be scary and stressful at first but that’s how everyone feels in their first week in a new country with new people. Once you make some friends, all that stress starts to go away. I met some really good friends that I planned weekend trips with.

Tanmay Kumar
05 Jul 2023

All my queries were answered in a timely manner and I received all the help I needed from my Program Manager. Best staff ever!

The local team was amazingly helpful. They took care of everything and it very smooth sailing. They were available all the time to help. Orientation was a great experience as well. Couldn't have asked for more over all. IVHQ makes it safe and fun. Don't miss an experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life!

Joseph Schofield
05 Jul 2023

The local team in Spain did a fantastic job in assisting me to acclimate to my new surroundings and responsibilities. The program was well organized and I got to work with great volunteers from all over the world. The accommodation was clean and well staffed. The food was excellent with lots of variety and it was very healthy, there was more then enough to eat.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Barcelona, Spain with IVHQ


Catalonia is a region in northern Spain with its own distinct culture. Barcelona is its capital and melds millennia of history with modern life in a way that creates a vivid, stylish city with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s rich with the art and architecture of Gaudi and Picasso; home to FC Barcelona - one of the world’s best football teams; loaded with remnants of its ancient Roman past; stacked with beautiful beaches and parks and known for its mouth-watering cuisine. The IVHQ Spain volunteer program in Barcelona hosts a popular range of meaningful volunteer work. The dedicated local team supports volunteers 24/7 as they’re immersed in local life, helping you to develop an authentic understanding of this iconic destination. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Barcelona. Some placements are up to a 90-minute commute, which can be on different means of public transport.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Barcelona on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN). Your airport pick-up is included in your program fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported via Metro and bus to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Spain prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we will provide you with a time and place to meet the local team in Barcelona on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Spain team in Barcelona. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Spain – an introduction to Spain and Barcelona, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area and a basic Spanish language lesson. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for additional Spanish language lessons and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing .

Volunteer schedule example


After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the specific project that you are participating on.

A typical daily schedule is as follows:

7:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch at the volunteer accommodation.
2:30 PM Volunteers with an afternoon or evening shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
8:00 - 10:00 PM Volunteers usually have dinner around this time. Please remember that you will need to purchase your own dinner from a local restaurant or supermarket.


On your free weekends in Spain, visit Gaudi’s unfinished yet still iconic La Sagrada Familia church, catch a football match, try a local paella, sunbathe on an incredible beach or wander the streets of Les Ramblas to Barcelona’s city center.

Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Spain including; Granada, Valencia, Madrid and many other places. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Barcelona, with the advice and guidance of our local team.

Accommodation and WiFi

Prepare for an exciting stay just a short distance from Barcelona’s bustling city center! Volunteers will be accommodated in a vibrant dormitory-style hostel, offering a lively atmosphere and the chance to meet other volunteers and travelers. Each room accommodates up to eight individuals of the same gender, providing a comfortable and sociable environment.

Expect modern conveniences like shared ensuite bathrooms with hot showers, cozy bedding, reading lamps and individual sockets next to each bed, and air conditioning. Each volunteer will have their own, complete with a provided lock. While towels are not provided, they can be rented from the hostel reception for a small fee, approximately $3 (approximately $3) - $4 (approximately $4), or you’re welcome to bring your own towel from home.

The hostel features communal spaces including a welcoming living room, dining area, fully-equipped kitchen, and a spacious outdoor terrace, perfect for socializing and enjoying meals together.

WiFi is available in the hostel, free of charge, and can also be accessed from many cafes and restaurants in the area. If you would like to keep connected during your stay, it’s recommended to bring an unlocked mobile phone and purchase a local SIM card once you arrive in Spain.

Private room upgrades with shared or private bathrooms can be arranged upon request for an additional cost, subject to availability.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch everyday.

Breakfast is self-serve at the volunteer accommodation and typically consists of fruit, bread, jam, cereal, milk, tea, and coffee.

Lunch is provided at the volunteer accommodation’s restaurant, according to a fixed menu. Meals typically include pasta, rice, meat, seafood, vegetable and salad dishes.

Dinner is not included in the program and you will need to purchase this yourself. You can expect to budget around $13 (approximately $13) - $23 (approximately $23) for dinner, however; prices will vary depending on what type of establishment you choose to purchase your dinner from.

Tap water is safe to drink in Barcelona but if you would prefer to drink bottled water, it is readily available and volunteers should budget approximately $5 (approximately $5)- $8 (approximately $8) per week for two liters of water per day.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when submitting your application so we can make arrangements for you. As you will be living and volunteering abroad, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home; however, the local team will do their best to ensure you are well taken care of.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately $329) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $1,120 Equivalent to $160/day
2 weeks $1,890 Equivalent to $135/day
3 weeks $2,660 Equivalent to $127/day
4 weeks $3,430 Equivalent to $123/day
5 weeks $4,200 Equivalent to $120/day
6 weeks $4,970 Equivalent to $118/day
8 weeks $6,510 Equivalent to $116/day
10 weeks $8,050 Equivalent to $115/day
12 weeks $9,590 Equivalent to $114/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Spain generally find US$100 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including dinner, transportation and miscellaneous spending.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Dinner
  • US$10 per night for the Barcelona City Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Barcelona

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Barcelona! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Barcelona program.

Spanish Language Lessons - Ten Hour Intensive Class
Spanish Language Lessons - Ten Hour Intensive Class

Want to improve your Spanish language skills while volunteering in Spain? There’s no better time or more affordable way to gain confidence speaking, reading and writing in Spanish!

From $326

Check what's required to visit Spain

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Madrid
Population 46.9 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+01:00

Weather and climate: Being such a large country, the climate of Spain is very varied. Barcelona and its metropolitan area has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. Its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) during the day and 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day and 6 to 12 °C (43 to 54 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August, the temperature ranges from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F) during the day and about from 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are very rare.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

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How to get started

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