Brand New Certified Awesome Divers!
So what are the perks of being a Marine Student Volunteer at the ERI? Well dive training is a major part of it! This past December 2014, twelve of our marine student volunteers took part in an exclusive Dive Training Program sponsored by the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute led by Jon Fajans.
The course taught the fundamentals of scuba diving, including dive equipment management and dive techniques. The program included a few days of knowledge development sessions, first aid training and a couple open water dives near the Calabash Caye Field Station. We caught up with one of the volunteers and here’s a preview of what she had to say about her experience.
Allana Barillas : “Going to the Calabash Caye Field Station as an Advance Open Water Diver my mind was open to learning more about what UB ERI would want to accomplish with my skills. I am more than grateful for the experience at Calabash Caye to further my dive career as a Recuse Diver/Scientific Diver.
The Institute to me personally did a good job by recruiting young people like myself to get into the fields and experience the actual work that is being done to properly manage our natural resources. Nothing is better than getting young people involved in the actual work that is going to benefit all of us in the future. These young divers can definitely make a change in not only helping to manage these natural resources but to help inform other young people what’s on going in their own fields, and help them note the changes that can be made to better manage the resources. Also it is a good way to help young students to vividly experience what is being done in different classes. I am hoping that as new divers for UB ERI we can all give our time to help in the different research and monitoring programs that this institution does. Personally I am hoping to contribute as much time as I can to give back to the institution considering that I am also attending UB. Diving, research, young people, educated lectures, team spirit, and great enthusiasm make a perfect and learning field trip experience.
Upon completing the training program, all volunteers received different levels of certification.
Certified Rescue Divers: Allana Barillas, Javier Alegria and Kenneth Esquivel
Certified Advanced Open Water Divers: Alexander Navarro, Elton Guevara, Joshua Borland, Joshua Morey, Kevin Novelo, Mateo Coy and Shantel Espadas
Certified Open Water Divers: Daryl Romero and Dustin Cardinez