Indigo Expeditions is a UK-based conservation research organisation. Our expeditions are designed for wildlife enthusiasts with a passion for exploring the tropics. We specialise in the reptile and amphibian groups, and are experts in the field of herpetology and ecology. All our expeditions are based on sound scientific principles, and our research contributes to global biodiversity targets, in particular for reptiles and amphibians.
Our expeditions explore remote areas, and are character building, and so by their very nature may be challenging mentally, emotionally, and physically. We believe these challenges are confidence building, and encourage teamwork, leadership skills, and the spirit of co-operation. We believe your willingness to participate, and to contribute to something greater than your individual self, is all it takes to make the world a better place.
Top 10 Indigo Values:
- Trustworthiness “have the courage to do the right thing”
- Respect “treat others with respect & be tolerant & accepting of others”
- Responsibility & accountability “always do your best & set a good example”
- Fairness “play by the guidelines, take turns & share!”
- Kindness & Caring “work for the benefit of the common good & express gratitude”
- Community “co-operate & do your share to make the group better”
- Connection with nature “care more about other people and our environment“
- Respect for all life “understand that we are all inter-connected”
- Integrity “be mindful with our words, thoughts and actions, every day“
- Willingness “never give up”
Our Vision: Our Vision is of a world where the inter-connectedness of all life is honoured & appreciated, bringing humankind into harmonious relationship with Nature, the Earth and all Creatures in the web of life.
Our Mission: Our Mission is to be of Planetary Service, effecting Positive Change for humanity, by addressing wildlife conservation needs, and demonstrating an Appreciation for All Life.
Our Commitment: Indigo Expeditions is committed to the principles of deep ecology, world humanism, and unity in diversity. We encourage our volunteers and field staff to adopt what we call the ‘Indigo Attitude’ – working with integrity and a respect for all life.
- We are catalysts for positive environmental change and adopt a win-win approach,
- We are advocates for the conservation of biodiversity and focus on reptile & amphibian groups,
- We are cocreators, working in partnership with local communities, non-government organisations, and governments in host countries,
- We are ecologists with a passion for exploring the tropics and protecting habitat, ecosystems and species, for future generations,
- We are teachers in the field of ecology and herpetology and strive to train & inspire field biologists.
Guidelines for Behaviour
In order to maintain our integrity as a conservation research organisation, we ask that all volunteer researchers and field team conduct themselves in a respectful manner.
Remember that each of us represents not only Indigo Expeditions, but our own countries, and organisations, as well. Our presence leaves an impression and we strive to set an example of respectful and mindful behaviour, setting a good example for international researchers. We ask you all to follow the guidelines and if you are unsure of anything, please just ask!
We accept and acknowledge that we may not be able to guarantee 100% happiness for 100% of our volunteer researchers… but we will certainly do our best to make it so! If there is a problem, we encourage volunteers to speak up on site and let us know so that we can find a solution. We believe there is always a win-win solution and we strive for all of our volunteer researchers to have an amazing time.
Code of Conduct – the ‘Indigo Attitude’
The aim of the Code of Conduct, or Indigo Attitude, is to create a positive, supportive, and safe environment for all our volunteer researchers and field staff. We strive to provide clear guidance and instruction when necessary, and to support safe and enjoyable wildlife surveying. It is important to us that any individual goals are met, as well as the goals of the Project, always adopting a win-win attitude.
Due to the remote nature of the expedition, and the potential for contact with wild animals, it is crucial that all volunteer researchers and field team staff agree to the Code of Conduct, and in addition agree to undertake the Health & Safety Training and Risk Assessment provided in the field. *** Not doing so will result in being asked to leave the expedition. *** If you have any concerns whatsoever about safety procedures do not hesitate to contact us before you make your application: firstname.lastname@example.org
No Alcohol: Our expeditions take place in remote areas and potentially dangerous locations. In general we adopt a ‘no alcohol’ policy, however please observe the site specific rules. We also request that NO alcohol is given to the local staff under any circumstance. Anyone disregarding the site rules, will not be able to participate in field work and may be asked to leave the expedition.
No illegal activities (including ANY form of drug taking): We have a zero tolerance policy relating to drugs. Suspected possession of use of any illegal drugs will be asked to leave site immediately. In Guatemala, the law states that possession for personal use can lead to a prison sentence of 4 months to 2 years, with fines of up to 10,000 GTQ (around £1,000) and potential deportation. Just don’t do it!
No acts of violence: We expect our volunteer researchers and field team staff to learn to work together, and to develop respect and trust. Any acts of violence, physical or verbal, or any threatening or bullying behaviour, will not be tolerated. We adopt a policy of non-violent communication, and encourage honest and open communication, without the need to blame or judge others.
Do not put others at risk: Health & Safety Training and Risk Assessment is provided in the field, and guidelines must be followed. The safety of our volunteer researchers is a top priority. Any behaviour that endangers others will be taken very seriously and may lead to being asked to leave the expedition. We expect our volunteer researchers to look out for each other and take safety as seriously as we do.
Appropriate Relationships: Relationships between Staff and Volunteer researchers is strictly not allowed. We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our volunteer researchers, and in the case of inappropriate behaviour the field staff may be asked to leave site. If you are on an expedition with a partner, please be mindful to respect the local culture, and the Field Staff will brief you as to what is appropriate behaviour.
Respect the local traditions & customs: Remember you are guests in the host country, and we ask that you respect the local way of life. You are also an ambassador for your own country and have the opportunity to lead by example. Please note, in Guatemala, the taking of photos of local community members, in particular children, is a sensitive issue, and we ask that no photos are taken to respect this.
“Take only photographs and leave only footprints”: We strive to minimise the impact our expeditions may have on both the environment, and the local culture. At all times we ask you to be mindful of your presence, and avoid any behaviour that may have a detrimental effect.
Safeguarding Children: There may be volunteers under the age of 18, and there are often children present at the Research Stations from the local community. It is our responsibility to protect children from harm, injury or abuse of any kind. Any danger to a child is not acceptable.
Equal Opportunities: We strive to conduct our expeditions safely with respect for all regardless of gender, age, religion, sexuality, culture, or ethnicity. We are committed to celebrating unity in diversity and avoiding discrimination.
Use of Photography and Video Footage: Indigo Expeditions may use photographs or film footage taken on an expedition or research project for the purposes of publication and/or marketing including: brochures, flyers, website and social media, to promote the conservation of biodiversity. If you do not agree with these terms of usage, please provide written notification to Indigo Expeditions. It is your responsibility to remain out of shot when photographs or video are being taken in the field. We will make every attempt to respect your wishes and expect the same courtesy in return.
Working with Wildlife Guidelines
All conservation expeditions and research projects are covered by a research permit issued to Indigo Expeditions by the relevant host-country regulatory body. All participants and field staff must comply with the terms of the permit.
At Indigo we strive to minimise disturbance to wildlife & their habitats. We expect all participants and field staff to be sensitive to the needs of animals and respect their space. Disturbance includes unnecessary handling, teasing, damaging habitat, or any action that causes stress to an animal. We take our responsibility to respect wildlife very seriously and expect Participants to follow our guidelines.
Wildlife Photography: Indigo encourages the use of photography to document species, to identify individuals, and to inspire others. We ensure that no animal is unduly stressed including, but not limited to, avoiding the use of flash photography. The welfare of the animal is of paramount importance.
Collection of Specimens: Any collection of specimens (including bones, DNA, tissue samples, plants, insects etc) is strictly prohibited.
Illegal Wildlife Trade: The illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife curiosities is an issue that Indigo Expeditions takes very seriously. In many souvenir shops such items can be found for sale (e.g. jaguar claws and dried sea turtle hatchlings). Purchase of these curiosities could lead to substantial fines and potential prison sentences. We ask participants to be aware of the origin of any souvenirs they may encounter, and to avoid purchasing items from shops that sell illegal wildlife products.