Logo by Ben Brose, photo by MJ Munsey

Cultivating a Generation of Conservation Leaders

Aventureros is a year-round youth program hosted by the Vermilion Sea Institute that supports local students in discovering and caring for the marine and terrestrial worlds around them. We believe that with exploration comes wonder, with wonder comes inspiration, and with inspiration comes knowledge, care and protection. Through outdoor activities like learning to swim, snorkel, surveying invertebrate species, setting camera traps, beach clean-ups and marine plastic research, our aim is to cultivate the next generation of conservation and community leaders in Bahía de Los Ángeles.

In the last year, our free program has welcomed 52 local students into the field station to learn alongside staff, visitors and volunteer instructors. For us, doing is learning, and the Aventureros participant-driven curriculum is always taking students outside to do something fun! In the summer, water exploration skills are emphasized, including: swimming, water safety, snorkeling and rowing. Winter brings opportunities for hiking, field trips, and campouts!  Team building, leadership and conservation skills are woven into every activity.

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“My dream for each of these kids is that if they wish to stay in Bahía, they can do that – while also supporting themselves, their families, and the natural ecosystems.”

– Meghann McDonald,
Executive Director

Aventureros in Action

Depending on the time of year and on their school schedule, the Aventureros collaborate to create unique adventures that always provide opportunities for participants to grow and learn. Connection to each other and to our natural world is what connects us to the program. But the real objective is to nurture young people who are becoming stewards of our environment and active participants in our community. Together, we learn to communicate with others with whom we may not agree, think critically about complex issues, and advocate for ourselves. 

Call For Volunteer Instructors 2022

Interested in becoming a volunteer instructor? CONTACT US and begin a conversation about how you could bring your own week-long curriculum to VSFS in Bahia de Los Angeles to share with the Aventureros. We can’t wait to learn from you!

And a special thank you to our awesome team of 2021 volunteer instructors! We love and miss you!


In the summer of 2020, our Aventureros began studying the plastics on their beaches. Check out this StoryMap to learn more!


To learn more about the 2020-2021 year click here.


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*One application per child must be completed by parent or guardian to participate.


Community Collaboration

We intentionally partner with local, national and international conservation efforts to learn about, participate in, and promote care for the natural environment. The students have contributed to research on sea turtles with Grupo Tortuguero, microplastics with The Big Microplastic Survey and the University of Washington and other projects through ProNatura and the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegida. Although each partnership is unique, in most cases Aventureros are trained in science protocols and are then tasked with contributing local data to worldwide research efforts.

Photo by Kirk Lightfoot

Photo by Meghann McDonald

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The Story

To engage with the marine bioreserve, one must have the necessary water skills,equipment and resources that few in this community have access to—especially local youth. Recognizing this, we began informally inviting local children to join our data collection efforts when there was an open seat on a boat. Word spread quickly and soon we had a small group of eager participants who jumped at every opportunity to learn about and explore the world around them. Fittingly, they began calling  themselves “Aventureros” or the “Adventurers” and it stuck!

Now, thanks to the support of our donors, the Aventureros are a permanent part of the Vermilion Sea Institute. Each week brings new learning, and we are so grateful for this community of powerful, curious and spunky change agents.

Designed by the Aventureros.
Brought to life by Ben Brose.

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Every contribution is incredibly appreciated and we make sure to stretch every dollar as far as it can go!

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