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Testimonies: Eckerd College Volunteers

March 2020, at the peak of COVID-19 uncertainty

Learn from experience! Take a look into what our past volunteers have to say.

Coralisma interviewed Eckerd College Students who participated as scuba volunteers in the 2020 Chuzum-bul out-plant. Along side Coralisma's crew these students were able to out-plant +500 Staghorn corals back to the reefs of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. They have lots to say about saving the reef. Check it out, and get inspired to dive in Playa del Carmen's restoration sites.

“I felt like an empowered conversationalist handing the corals from site to site. Placing them in their forever homes solidified hopes for the future of the region's reef!”

The Story:

Six Eckerd College students participated in the Spring Break 2020 Coralisma trip (#students #scuba #volunteers). All students were juniors and seniors of the College, majoring in Marine Science and Environmental Studies (#marinescience #marinebiology).The goal of the trip was to out-plant Coralisma's nursery grown corals throughout a week of scuba diving. These students also participated in vital data collection that will assist the team's research. Here are their testimonies...

Kyle Wilson

Kyle is a currently a senior at Eckerd College studying Environmental Studies with minors in both Sustainability and Anthropology. He holds an Advanced Open Water certification. After diving with Coralisma this is what KyLe has to say.


I was a part of the first coral tree out-plant! I was tremendously proud that I was able to help Coralisma achieve a mission they set out to accomplish two years ago! The team of volunteers efficiently handled each dive. The conditions throughout the week were pristine. We could not have asked for less current or better visibility both in the nursery and the reefs in Playa Carmen. I felt like an empowered conservationist handling the corals from site to site. Placing them in their forever homes solidified hopes for the future of the region's reefs!

Laure Lowe

Lauren Lowe is currently a senior at Eckerd College studying Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is an Open Water diver and active conversationalist. Here is what Lauren has to say about her experience with Coralisma.

Testimony: I loved it! Coralisma is a great project who is truly dedicated to their corals. Not only did they teach me a lot about coral restoration but they also made the experience extremely enjoyable. They were fun and answered any questions I had. They also made me feel very welcomed and made sure I felt comfortable with my diving and research experience. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Meaning, we can’t stop climate change completely but we can make sure that we are learning, adapting, and doing everything we can to keep it from destroying our planet.

Zoe Persons

Zoe recently graduated from Eckerd College with a degree in Human Development with a minor in Spanish. She has a great passion to helping others, including the environment. Her great Spanish skills and Open Water certification made her a perfect candidate for this trip. Read a little more about Zoe's experience with Coralisma.

Testimony: I dove with Coralisma for a week during their out-planting of the corals from their nursery in March 2020. After watching the work from behind the scenes, it was amazing to finally see the corals myself and see how much they had grown! We spent the week cleaning, transporting, and out-planting the corals. It was hard work, but well worth it to see the end result. Doing good by the environment and having fun while doing it!

Peyton Ganger

Peyton Ganger is currently a senior at Eckerd College studying Marine Biology with a minor in Spanish. Peyton has volunteered with Coralisma since the nursery set up in 2018. As a Rescue Diver Peyton holds fantastic scuba diving skills which aid in her current position at Coralisma as the Operations Administrator. Read more about Peyton's experience during the 2020 Spring Break trip.

Testimony: My volunteering experience with Coralisma was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so grateful to have been a part of. By participating with this non-profit project I was able to gain a better understanding of all the hard work that goes into conserving the fragile ecosystems that are coral reefs. On top of the incredible knowledge and experience, I gained from these trips, diving throughout my time was absolutely stunning. From the growing corals to the incredible native wildlife that surrounds the nursery. I was impressed more and more with every dive. Don’t think, just do. There are infinite ways to help, start somewhere.

Message for Scuba Divers:

Embark on this Mission with us and Become Ocean Stewards!

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