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.
Malcolm Young Senior Captain
Malcolm Young started his career in Placencia, where he first gained experience as a Dive Master and boat captain. During this time he spent several months in Halifax, Canada to obtain a Canadian Coast Guard 100t captain license and to become certified as a Diesel mechanic. Over the years, Malcolm has supplemented this training with American Coast Guard 100 ton licensed Captain, STCW and became certified for the maintenance of Custom Dive boats in Florida.
Malcolm worked as Chief Engineer for Nekton Pilot (live-aboard based out of Florida) for 4 years, but ultimately decided to move back to Placencia and take care of his home after it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Iris in 2001. Soon after returning back to Placencia, he began work at Robert’s Grove Beach Resort as a Captain. Malcolm is now a senior member of the Splash Dive Center Team, and brings his wealth of experience and local knowledge to the Splash crew and all the passengers he greets aboard!
On top of his skills as a boat captain, Malcolm is also a PADI Gas Blender, licensed tour guide/ fishing guide, and a First Aid and oxygen provider.
Marco Supaul Dive Center
The world needs more people like Marco! You will find Marco working in the Splash Dive Centre, cheerfully greeting visitors, whether you are a diver, snorkeler or going on a land based adventure. Marco first began diving in 2008 with Splash, and started working at Splash in 2011 as an office team member. Since joining, Marco has completed numerous PADI dive certifications and is now training to become a Dive Master. When not at Splash, Marco is currently enrolled in Business Tourism courses, and hopes someday to complete his university education abroad. Marco’s thoughtful nature, attention to customer service and ready smile make him a true Splash ambassador!
“Meeting new people, working with a fun crew, great leadership and the adventure of diving” are just a few things that keep Marco smiling.
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 Dive Center Front Office
If you think you are seeing double, you might be—Norman is a twin! Norman is a graduate of the Splash Kids Club, and currently works in the Sales office accepting bookings and confirming trip logistics. Norman has recently certified as a PADI Open Water Instructor, and hopes to see you soon on the fleet of Splash boats, whether you are snorkelling, diving or heading out to discover the land-based tours and trips Splash offers. What Norman likes most about Splash is the experience he is gaining in the dive industry, as well as the opportunity to dive with visitors to Belize.
Julio Garcia Dive Center Front Office
Julio is another one of the welcoming faces you will see when you first arrive at Splash Dive Center, whether he is helping you to make a trip booking or ensuring you get on the right boat in the morning. Julio has been with Splash Dive Center since the fall of 2012 and also began diving at that time. Julio is currently working towards his PADI Dive Master certification. 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.
Fredi Arias First Mate/Tank Fill & Inventory
Fredi is the dive center air expert–he ensures all our tanks are filled correctly, inspected and maintained and the compressor is kept in peak performance. When not working in the compressor room, Fredi can be found working as First Mate on Princess Taia, our 48 foot Newton boat. Fredi was born in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, and holds a PADI Dive Master certification. Fredi really ‘enjoys the work I do and helping people enjoy their time with Splash”. Fredi speaks English, Spanish and Creole. He is a great addition to the Splash Dive Center Team. Be sure to say hi to Fredi as you will see him prepping your gear before your next big adventure.
Emelina Vernon Cook
It pays to be nice to Emelina–she is one of our cooks! Emelina works part-time with the Splash crew, ensuring our divers and snorkelers are fed a wonderful lunch on trips out to the Cayes. Emelina brings the meal ingredients out on the trip, and while our guests play in the water, Emelina is preparing a hot BBQ meal with a Belizean twist–you will be sure to enjoy her delicious creations! When not on the boats, Emelina often caters the container lunches you will served by the crew.
Lennox Leslie Captain
Lennox, otherwise known as Chingi, has been with Splash Dive Center since 2013. Lennox has been a boat captain for almost a decade, and has spent most of his working life in the regional commercial fishing community, fishing for lobster, conch and other local fish species. Lennox has also worked assisting with environmental work, acting as a captain for research teams. Chingi enjoys working on the dive boats each day with the guests and Splash Crew; having been born and raised here in Placencia, Lennox has been on the sea ever since he left school. Although Lennox has never worked as a sport fishing guide, his extensive knowledge of the local marine life would be beneficial to anyone considering a fishing trip while staying in Belize!
Richard Paqulul Dive Center Front Office/First Mate
Richard is another one of the helpful faces you will see when you first enter Splash Dive Centre–and he will ensure all your land and water based activities are booked and scheduled when you wish to go. Richard joined the Splash team in April 2013, bringing his hospitality and customer service skills from the hotel industry, which is just one of his many talents. He has also spends much time as a First Mate on Princess Taia, our 48 foot Newton boat, and hopes someday to operate as a Captain, keeping him near the ocean and doing what he loves. Richard enjoys working for Splash as it allows him to provide adventures for the guests, sharing all that Belize has to offer. When not at the Dive Center, Richard enjoys basketball and soccer. Richard speaks Creole and Maya, and will even try his hand at Spanish if necessary!
David Ortiz Offsite Office Representative
David can be found at our booking desk in town, conveniently located on the veranda of Wendy’s Restaurant, and joined the Splash Team in 2013. Born and raised in nearby Independence, David has been in the local tourism industry since 2001, working in several different Placencia resorts before becoming an inland tour guide in 2005. His guiding experience has taken him to ruins, waterfalls, caves and reserves within Belize, which are also adventures he loves doing in his own personal time. Along with inland tours, David has also worked as a snorkel guide for many years, and is a certified Dive Master. When you are in the Village, stop by and say hello to David!
Hilario Tush Dive Centre Rover
It would seem Hilario found his calling by joining Splash, as he loves variety! Hilario has the unique role of doing a little bit of everything here at the Dive Centre-filling tanks, assisting with equipment, gathering guest supplies, center maintenance and pretty well anything else that needs to be done. Hilario joined Splash in January 2013, and has been enjoying a very steep learning curve; he hopes to learn skills that will someday allow him to own and operate his own small business. Hilario is also a certified Dive Master. 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. 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! 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, and hopes to gain numerous dive certifications.
Moses Terry Dive Master
Moses has been working with Splash Dive Center since 2013. Moses brings a wealth of experience as a Dive Master, and 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 5 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.
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!
Cerilo Chun Guest Transportation
Cerilo joined the Splash team in March 2013. Cerilo was born in Toledo, but has been a resident on the Placencia peninsula for 25 years. Along with ensuring you get to and from Splash for all your trips, Cerilo is also an Inland Tour guide, sharing the natural wonders that make up this rich country of Belize. Cerilo really enjoys working for Splash, as he feels that the guest experience is one of the best in Placencia, whether you are a diver, snorkeler or land adventurer! In his spare time, Cerilo enjoys fishing and visiting historical sites with his family. Cerilo speaks English, Creole and Mayan
Santiago Bol Guest Transportation
Santiago joined Splash Dive Center in December 2013. Santiago is originally from Punta Gorda, and has been living in Placencia for 14 years. Santiago has been involved with professional driving for over 8 years; he has driven trucks with livestock, cargo vans and taxi cabs, and has thorough knowledge of Belize’s highways and roadways. And to add to his extensive experience, he will be the first to tell you he also really enjoys driving for the sake of it! When he is not ensuring our guests get to and from their hotels, Santiago enjoys playing billiards in his spare time. Santiago also speaks many languages, making him the most useful sort of tourist resource—English, Spanish, Creole and Mopan Maya are easy, but he is willing to take on Ke’tchi Maya too in a pinch.
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.
Pablo Coc Security/Night-watchman
Pablo 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. Pablo is from San Antonio, and has been living in Placencia for 14 years.