Mnine d’Mar: Connecting Children to the Ocean


Learning to use a Global Positioning Service device and accurately recording field data are some of the many skills that students receive during the Mnine d’Mar course.

It’s dawn when Mohammed wakes up in the Barraca (Portuguese for slum) where he lives in the back of Sal Rei, the capital of Boavista, Cabo Verde. He can just catch sight of the ocean glinting in the morning light beyond the saltpan as he finds a quiet spot on the edge of the slum to do his necessities. Although the small desert island of Boavista is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, most of the people living in the Barraca, where Mohamed lives, rarely get the chance to swim and many only know the animals living there when they are served up on a plate.

The arid climate in Boavista means people are dependent on the surrounding ocean for food, and living costs are high, as nearly everything else has to be imported. Additionally, house prices are inflated by the surging tourism industry, meaning many families cannot afford to rent. As a result, although there are only 15,000 people on the island, barracas (slums, lit.huts’) comprise nearly half the population.

For many of people living in the Barraca the choice is simple – either work in the hotels or become a fisher. As growing tourism, drives further population growth from continental Africa, the sea is inevitably coming under greater pressure. And sharks, which are still viewed by many as the monsters perpetuated by Hollywood, are some of the first species to disappear. There is empathy driven by misperception. The irony is, it’s these maligned predatory species, which maintain fish and even ecosystem health and, losing them is likely to impact the small-scale fisheries on which these people depend.

It is in this context that we began our Mnine d’ Mar educational project, to strengthen the connection between local children and the ocean with a focus on sharks and rays. The program has provided us with great opportunity to raise awareness and breakdown common misperceptions at an early age. In doing so we hope to build a generation that values sharks and rays for their role in the marine environment and who can benefit directly from their survival.

The program runs across three days, developing from a classroom environment, to experiential in-situ learning and ultimately culminating with practical sessions at sea. The first day sets the scene, using a combination of theoretical, interactive and practical learning; we encourage participation and try to steer towards group discussions, games and interactive activities.

The Mnine d’ Mar starts off in the classroom and transitions to the coast and then the sea.

On the second day, in the shadow of an acacia on the beach, we discuss perceptions, environmental issues and marine conservation putting it in a local context. On the third day, we take the kids to sea to conduct scientific monitoring in the bay next to the city, using UVS (underwater visual census) snorkeling and BRUVs (baited remote underwater videos). On the one hand, it is a chance for the kids to explore the marine realm with their own eyes, something many on the island rarely, if at all, get the chance to do. On the other, it allows them to get to ‘know’ their local species and establish a connection something essential if empathy is to be surpassed and conservation is to be successful.

Cintia Lima orients the students on the beach of Boavista during one of the Mnine d’Mar training exercises

The Menin’ de Mar Class of 2017 at the ready for the marine component of their course led by Cintia Lima (in blue)

Time to apply all the classroom based learning to the work on the sea monitoring fish for species diversity and abundance.

Mohammed grins while watching himself swim underwater along with family members as part of the follow through post marine training in the Mnine d’ Mar program

By providing knowledge and first hand experience we hope to captivate an interest in marine ecology and encourage thinking about conservation and sustainable management of marine resources, something extremely pertinent in Boavista, where the Sahara meets the sea. We envisage a future where big fish and sharks thrive and in which people like Mohammed benefit from their conservation, if not directly then at least from the knowledge that this wildlife exists and helps keep the oceans healthier. By raising awareness and cultivating skills for science at an early age we hope to build the foundation and a professional demand for marine science and conservation in Cabo Verde and create a generation connected to the sea that surrounds them and the sharks and rays that live there.

Kevin dos Santos (aka the future of sharks in Boavista) learning some cool shark and ray facts.

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Asistente de comunicación (Internship)

MarAlliance es una organización internacional sin ánimo de lucro registrada en EE.UU., Belice, Panamá y Cabo Verde, cuyo objetivo es explorar, facilitar e inspirar cambios positivos para la fauna marina amenazada, especialmente tiburones y rayas, sus hábitats críticos y las comunidades humanas dependientes. Nuestra misión es amplia y ambiciosa, y trabajamos en tres idiomas y en siete países de tres regiones. Ante el declive de muchas poblaciones de megafauna marina, estas especies necesitan una voz fuerte, eficaz y con base científica que las represente para ayudar a los socios dependientes a dar forma a las estrategias y acciones de gestión y conservación para invertir el declive.

Resumen del puesto:

Buscamos a un becario (6 meses) proactivo, con conocimientos digitales y excelente capacidad de redacción y edición de textos, que apoye la creación de contenidos escritos de alta calidad y recursos multicanal para difundir el trabajo que MarAlliance realiza a través de sus plataformas en línea (sitio web, redes sociales, boletín, entre otras) y fuera de línea, y que interactúe con nuestro público externo para contribuir a nuestros objetivos generales de comunicación y marketing. El Asistente de Comunicación dependerá directamente del Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing, y trabajará en estrecha colaboración con el resto del equipo para apoyarles en los elementos de comunicación de su trabajo.

Las funciones y responsabilidades incluirán, entre otras, las siguientes:

  1. Proporcionar apoyo creativo, editorial y operativo a los proyectos. 
  2. Apoyo en la organización, etiquetado y etiquetado del archivo fotográfico y gestión del archivo de vídeo.
  3. Gestión de la comunidad: Gestionar activamente los canales de medios sociales, así como identificar nuevas tendencias y oportunidades de colaboración. Generar reels y visuales.
  4. Apoyo en la redacción de artículos de blog (SEO) y contenido de boletines. 
  5. Ayudar a construir y desarrollar materiales, herramientas y acciones para campañas (online y offline).
  6. Ayudar en diferentes tareas relacionadas con la comunicación trabajando mano a mano con contratistas externos (desarrollador web, diseñador gráfico…) para mejorar el compromiso de las audiencias externas.
  7. Apoyo en la elaboración de informes de campañas y comunicaciones (Google Analytics, métricas de redes sociales, informes de marketing por correo electrónico).
  8. Como parte del Equipo de Comunicación de MarAlliance, apoyar al Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing en cualquier otro proyecto de comunicación, coherente con las habilidades y experiencia del titular del puesto, en circunstancias no rutinarias.

Experiencia, conocimientos y aptitudes requeridos:

  1. Licenciatura en comunicación, periodismo, marketing o cualquier disciplina relacionada.
  2. Experiencia en comunicación digital o marketing.
  3. Pasión e interés por la naturaleza, la vida marina y la conservación.
  4. Capacidad demostrada para redactar y presentar comunicaciones creativas.
  5. Presencia y conocimientos de medios sociales y digitales.
  6. Capacidad para realizar múltiples tareas y detectar buenas historias.
  7. Capacidad para trabajar a distancia y cumplir los plazos establecidos.
  8. Conocimientos de diseño gráfico deseables, pero no necesarios.
  9. Conocimientos de edición de vídeo deseables pero no necesarios. 

Salario y prestaciones:

Estipendio durante 6 meses.


Español, con fluidez en inglés


Nacionales o residentes de Panamá, Belice, México, Honduras, Guatemala.

Este contrato será a distancia dentro de las zonas horarias de América, flexible, a tiempo completo y desde casa con hasta un 10% de viajes ocasionales locales e internacionales.

Cómo presentar la candidatura:

Por favor, envíe su currículum, portfolio si lo tiene, y carta de presentación a con “MAR-CA_Apellido” en el asunto antes del 21 de marzo, 2024. No se admiten llamadas.

Communications Assistant (Internship)

MarAlliance is an international non-profit registered in the US, Belize, Panama and Cabo Verde that aims to explore, enable and inspire positive changes for threatened marine wildlife – notably sharks and rays – their critical habitats and dependent human communities. Our remit is broad and ambitious, and we work in three languages and across seven countries encompassed by three regions. In the face of declines in many populations of marine megafauna, these species need a strong, effective, and science-based voice to represent them to help dependent partners shape management and conservation strategies and action to reverse declines.

Position summary:

We are seeking for a proactive, digitally savvy Paid Intern (6 month) Communications Assistant with excellent writing and copy editing skills, who will support the creation of high-quality written content and multichannel assets to broadcast the work MarAlliance does through its online (website, social media, newsletter, among others) and offline platforms, and engage with our external audiences to contribute to our overall communications and marketing goals. The Communications Assistant will directly report consistently to the Communications and Marketing Coordinator, and work closely with the rest of the team to support them on the communications elements of their work.

Duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  1. Provide creative, editorial, and operational project support. 
  2. Support organizing, labeling and tagging the photo archive and video archive management.
  3. Community Management: Actively manage social media channels, as well as identify new trends and collaboration opportunities. Generate reels and visuals.
  4. Support with writing blog articles (SEO) and newsletter content. 
  5. Help build and develop materials, toolkits, and actions for (online and offline) campaigns.
  6. Assist in different communications-related tasks working hand in hand with external contractors (web developer, graphic designer…) to improve the engagement of external audiences.
  7. Support in campaign and communications reporting (Google Analytics, social media metrics, email marketing reports)
  8. As part of the MarAlliance Communications Team, support the Communications and Marketing Coordinator with any other communications projects, consistent with the skills and expertise of the post holder, in non-routine circumstances.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or any related discipline.
  2. Experience working in digital communications and or marketing.
  3. Passion and interest for nature, marine life and conservation.
  4. Proven ability to write and deliver creative communications.
  5. Social Media and digital presence and knowledge.
  6. Ability to multitask and spot good stories.
  7. Capable of working remotely and meeting established deadlines.
  8. Graphic design skills are desirable but not required.
  9. Video editing skills are desirable but not required.

Salary and benefits:

Stipend for 6 month.


English, Spanish are mandatory.


Panama, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala nationals or residents. 

This contract will be remote within the Americas time zones, flexible, full-time and home-based with up to 10% occasional local and international travel.

How to apply:

Please send your resume, portfolio if you have one, and cover letter to with “MAR-CA_Last name” in the subject line by 21st of March, 2024. No calls please.