Meet the team of Splash Dive Center
The Splash Team
Patty Ramirez and Ralph Capeling are committed to establishing Splash Dive Center as the best dive center in Belize. As owners of Splash Dive Center they want to ensure that our customers have a memorable experience in Belize and that our customers become ambassadors for Placencia, Belize and Splash Dive Center. They are here because of the beauty of Belize both on land and in the sea and are committed to protecting this very special environment on land and underwater. They form an innovative management team open to environmentally friendly ideas that focus on generating employment with a strong emphasis in valuing local labor and skill, continuous support of staff training and programs geared towards community development and education. Through the past 12 years that Patty has lived in Placencia she has become very acquainted with this small community that has led her to put together a great environmentally conscious team. Splash staff and guides are all licensed Tour Guides by the Belize Tourism Board. We invite to you to get to know a bit of ourselves and to venture with us into some serious fun underwater and topside.
Licensed Belize Tour Operators and PADI Divemaster and Instructors
Patricia Ramirez Owner/PADI Course Director
Patty holds a Finance degree from the University of Honduras with 10 years of banking experience, courses in interior design and 20 years in sports, swimming, marathons and triathlons. “Patty PADI”, as we call her, learned to dive in the year 2000. It was not until 2001 that she decided to go further in her diving career and while working for Nekton Pilot Diving Cruises she became a Dive Master. She advanced further in 2003, becoming a certified Dive Instructor and Emergency First Response Instructor. 2007 was a great year for Patty as it was the culmination of the love for diving and discipline that earned her the title of PADI Course Director becoming the only woman in Belize to achieve such a title. In 2012, Patty won the recognition of ‘Hero of the Sea Award’, which is an honour Scuba Diving magazine bestows upon dedicated dive shop owners who give back to their communities and the local marine environment.
Patty keeps herself fully occupied between Splash, her involvement in community projects, her efforts to enhance children’s lives through her Splash Kids Club and her recreational diving. Patty fell in love with Belize’s marine diversity, inland attractions, the melting pot of cultures and languages, and geographical beauty. Patty wants to show you its natural wonders and amazing people.
In 2012, Patty was recognized as a Sea Hero by Scuba Diving Magazine. Scuba Diving Magazine honours individuals in diving who give back to their communities and the local marine environment.
Patty keeps herself fully occupied between Splash, her involvement in community projects, her efforts to enhance children’s lives through her Splash Kids Club, her recreational diving and taking care of Ralph. Patty fell in love with Belize’s marine diversity, inland attractions, the melting pot of cultures and languages, and geographical beauty. Patty wants to show you its natural wonders and amazing people.
Ralph Capeling Owner/PADI IDC Staff Instructor
Belize is not just a country with one of the lowest population densities in the world but it is also a country with an excellent environmental strategy. Twenty five percent of Belize’s land area is protected by law. We have the 2nd largest Barrier Reef in the world and the most diverse ethnic melting pot in Central America. This is what brought Ralph Capeling to adopt Belize as his home in 2005. He retired to Belize from Canada after a very successful 40 year career in the oil business that has taken him to all the continents in the world except Antarctica. He learned to dive in Indonesia, did the Rescue Diver course in Canada, Dive Master Certification in Belize, and became a PADI Instructor and Staff Instructor in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras.
Ralph is an avid diver who became acquainted with Splash through Patty’s Splash Junior Club that teaches and certifies local children whose parents cannot afford diving lessons. Ralph was so impressed with the community, environmental commitment and ethics of Splash that he became an investor in Splash. One thing led to another, and now Ralph and Patty are man and wife – there goes Ralph’s retirement plan! Ralph is now focused on helping Patty move the Splash Team to become the top diving operation in Belize and the Caribbean.
Nedia Chaplin Instructor/Dive Master
Nedia has been Dive Master, Dive Instructor and Licensed Tour Guide for almost a decade. Nedia is a soft heart who is always willing to help, learn and share what she knows with all her guests and students—her seniority as a PADI MSDT provides considerable understanding and patience when working with new divers. She is particularly impressed with Splash’s commitment and willingness to teach diving to the children from Placencia that are the future custodians of our beautiful marine environment.
Norman Leslie Jr Instructor
Norman Leslie Jr is his name – he is not a junior instructor! Big Norm is a graduate of the Splash Kids Club. He started diving with Splash when he was 10 years old and has progressed through all the PADI certification levels up to and including instructor level. He also did the Belize Tour Guide course while working at Splash.
Julio Garcia Instructor
Julio joined Splash in the fall of 2012 where he was one of the welcoming faces you will see when you first arrive at Splash Dive Center. Julio learned to dive with Splash as part of the Splash program to develop workers and steadily progressed from the PADI Open Water Course through to becoming a PADI Instructor and doing the Belize Tour Guide course. Julio also has experience with gear rental and maintenance, which was his first role when he joined Splash Dive Center. And should you want to know more about the Maya way of life here in Belize, Julio is the person to speak to! Julio speaks Spanish, English, Creole and Mayan fluently.
Hilario Tush Instructor
It would seem Hilario found his calling by joining Splash, as he loves variety! Hilario started out with Splash in the role of doing a little bit of everything here at the Dive Centre-filling tanks, assisting with equipment, gathering guest supplies, dive center and equipment maintenance and pretty well anything else that needs to be done. You seldom see Hilario not doing something! If he is not out teaching diving or leading a dive tour, he is in the office getting something done! Hilario joined Splash in January 2013, and went through a very steep learning curve as he learned to dive as part of the Splash worker development program. Hilario speaks Spanish, English, Ke’ tchi (Mayan) and Creole.
Eugenio “Oscar” Maquin Equipment Rentals
Oscar joined the Splash Team in April 2012 as your go-to person for all dive gear rentals, and takes special pride in fitting you with new, well-maintained equipment in our air conditioned rental room. Oscar also ensures all equipment is cleaned and accounted for at the end of each day, ensuring we will have the all the gear you need, when you need it. He also manages to find time to pick up guests at hotels in the village and to buy the groceries needed for the dive trips Oscar was born in Indian Creek Village, and speaks fluent Ke’ tchi (Mayan), Creole and English, but takes special pride in his Mayan Culture, which he hopes you will ask him about! Oscar is a licenced Belize Tour Guide. He loves working for Splash as it allows him to learn new skills, meet people from all over the world and to help grow our great company. In his spare time Oscar loves to play football and volleyball.
Moses Terry Instructor
Moses has been working with Splash Dive Center since 2013. Moses brings a wealth of experience as a Dive Master and Instructor. He has spent years working in the waters of Belize as a snorkelling guide, Dive Master, Snuba operator and kayaking guide. Moses has worked in numerous locations around Belize, such as South Water Caye, Glovers Reef and Half Moon Caye, often spending weeks at a time in these locations while guiding kayaking excursions. Moses was born in Belize City, but has made Placencia his home for the last 7 years. In his spare time, Moses enjoys spear fishing, and his love of being near the water has provided the opportunity to experience it in many different ways. If you want to learn how to hunt down lion fish – Moses is the one to learn from. Lion fish are not native to our waters and present a real danger to the health of marine life and the reef and we encourage our guests to join our lion fish safaris.
Andria Villanueva Dive Master
Andria is a self-professed ‘Water Girl’, who claims that being the Pisces she is makes her a natural for all water based activities. Andria has worked for Splash for over six years, mostly as a part time snorkel guide during the whale shark season. However, in 2013 she made the leap to full time Dive Master, and has been wowing her divers ever since. Andria especially likes to work with guests who may have reservations about snorkelling and diving, and seeing the expression on their faces when they overcome their inhibitions. When not in the water, Andria loves to travel to all the national parks within Belize and gain local knowledge she can share with her guests. Andria was born here in Placencia, used coconuts as her first ‘life vests’ as a young child and cannot imagine a better place in the world to be!
Thomasa Coc Dive Center Housekeeping
One of the first things you will notice about Splash Dive Center is our beautiful building and how welcoming the reception area and dive shop are—we take pride in providing you with a clean, organized and well maintained environment. And one of the main reasons the dive Center stays so clean is Thomasa, who leaves no chair unturned until the place is spotless. Thomasa is from San Antonio, which is a Maya cultural center here in Belize, and although Thomasa may appear bashful, she is great resource if you would like to know where and how to visit the ancient and modern day Maya communities. Thomasa has been living on the Placencia peninsula for 13 years.
Pedro Beltran Security/Night-watchman
Pedro holds the large responsibility of ensuring the building, boats, equipment and customer gear is kept safe each evening, by patrolling the grounds during the evening and early morning hours. Pablo also works on ensuring the Dive Center grounds are kept clean and tidy, and during the busy season, helping out with filling the dive tanks.