Internships created for environmental ambassadors

Nonprofit organization Save Cayman is offering a youth internship program aimed at kick-starting careers in eco-tourism for young Caymanians.

The group has partnered with dive company Divetech, Cayman Sea Elements, the Department of Environment, the National Trust and the Blue Iguana Recovery Program to offer the Environmental Ambassadors Programme, starting this summer.

There are four positions, though the group hopes to expand the program. It is primarily aimed at people between the ages of 18 and 25, but high school students can also apply, with their parents’ permission. The internship will run from June 19 to Aug. 11.

The interns will rotate between the programs and learn about culling lionfish, tending coral nurseries and the importance of Cayman’s unique environment to tourism.

Save Cayman administrator Gabriella Hernandez said, “Our aim is to give our young Caymanians the skills, knowledge and experience required to take part in our tourism industry. We believe it is important that we have young Caymanians in the industry that have a well-rounded understanding and appreciation for what makes Cayman unique so that they may share that with our visitors.”

Jo Mikutowicz of Divetech said the interns would receive beginner and advanced open-water dive certifications and learn about the coral nursery program during their time with the company.

She said, “They will also learn how to safely eradicate invasive lionfish from our reefs and learn how to identify different types of marine life. Each course is designed to teach them how to be safe and environmentally aware divers. We hope this will give them the knowledge and skills that they need to carry on to further training to someday work in the diving Industry here in Cayman.”

John Bothwell, senior research officer at the Department of Environment, said “This will help participants get a broader view of how Cayman’s natural resources are both unique and abundant and in need of nurturing.”

Participants will also visit several historical sites and work on resume writing, according to Save Cayman.

Morgan Ebanks of Save Cayman said educating young people about the value of the islands’ environment is a key goal.

“It is hoped that the young Caymanians that become involved in this programme will take away with them knowledge and skills to help create a shift in the way we think about and manage our natural world.”

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