2019 Kids in Action Youth Scuba Summer Camp begins

Friday, July 19th, 2019

The 2019 Kids in Action Youth Scuba Summer Camp officially began on Monday, July 15th, with an orientation session at the San Pedro High School (SPHS). The two-week summer program has enrolled 30 island children and is organized annually by the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) in collaboration with the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA).

The camp aims to teach and certify children in diving so they can better appreciate the natural marine resources surrounding Ambergris Caye. After certification, the new divers will be able to assist and volunteer in the different marine projects held by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and other environmental organizations. Many tour operators get involved by taking participants out in the field for diving classes. Aside from learning diving, participants also learn volunteerism and information about marine wildlife around the island and within the barrier reef. President of the SPTOA and organizer of the camp, Everette Anderson stated that they are looking forward to a successful camp, where the children will not learn only to dive but also the importance of marine life and the environment. “The vision of the SPTOA is to act as an educational platform, teach the kids to scuba dive and engage them in marine conservation and connect them with dive shop early, so if they choose to work in the tourism sector or study in marine science,” he said.
The diving program has been around for a decade now, and it aims to pass down skills from older professionals to the younger generation of today. The camp costs over $33,000 BZ to conduct; however, thanks to kind volunteers and donations from the many businesses and dive shops on the island, the annual event is free to the lucky students.
Instructors for this year’s camp include Adolfo Ayuso, Rolando Caceres, Billy Leslie, Felicito Castellanos, Rudy Duran, Jaime “Chino” Vasquez, Yamin Tillett, Steve Bowen, Joshua Morales, Everette Andersen, Enes Ramirez, Neftalie Lemus, Juan Guillen Zain Tillett, and Ernest Leslie.

The SPTGA and the SPTOA would like to thank all its participants, volunteers, and sponsors for making the camp possible once again. The summer camp is expected to culminate next week when everyone successfully completes the program and receives their diving certification. Special thanks goes out to the sponsors: SPTOA, SPTGA, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Divers Alert Network (DAN), PADI, Ramon’s Dive shop Dive Shop, Amigo Del Mar, Ambergris Divers, Belize Diving Adventures, Belize Pro Divers, Island Diver, Scuba School Belize, Sea Star, Chuck and Robbies, Reef Adventures and Tuff-E-Nuff.

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