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
After graduating from the University of Honduras with a Finance degree, Patty embarked on a career of accounting, banking, consulting and as owner/manager of a gym and as a professional trainer. At the same time she was very active in sports with the Honduras National Team in swimming marathons and triathlons. “Patty PADI”, as we call her, learned to dive in the year 2000. She became a Divemaster in 2001 while working for Nekton Pilot Dive Cruises. She spent two years on the Sundancer and Aggressor liveaboards. In 2003, Patty became a PADI 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 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.
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. 47% 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 course 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 local kids whose parents cannot afford diving lessons. Ralph was so impressed with the community, environmental commitment and ethics of Splash that he asked to become an investor of Splash. Splash warmly welcomes Ralph and thanks him for his contributions not only to the community but for his efforts to move the Splash Team to one of the top diving operations of Belize and in the Western Caribbean.
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 tons 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.
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 has been with us for 5 years as a Dive Master, Dive Instructor and Licensed Tour Guide. Nedia is a soft heart who is always willing to help, learn and share what he knows. He 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.
James recently joined Splash, and brings with him a wealth of Instructor and Dive Master experience. James has worked in the dive industry for over 15 years, in various locations and resorts around Belize, including Caye Caulker, Hopkins, South Water Caye and San Pedro. James provides all his students with a patient and considerate approach, ensuring every student is at ease with the theory and practical aspect of the dive certification they are completing. He brings this same calm and understanding nature to his Dive Master leadership.
James is thrilled to join the Splash team “as the Splash policy is to keep the crew to guest ratios very low, allowing the crew to enjoy a personal interaction with each guest”.
Raised in Belize and in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, which is just south of Belize's Southern border, Pablo is part of our Dive Instructor team. Captain, Guide and Instructor, with a passion for the sea, Pablo provides knowledgeable guidance when it comes to making your time on, and in, the water such a pleasure. Pablo has been with Splash for 3 years, starting as office staff and eventually acquiring the necessary PADI courses and experience needed to become an Instructor. When asked why he has decided to become an instrumental part of Splash, his reply was short and concise, "Learning and success." Pablo speaks English, Spanish and Creole fluently.
Bryan will meet you with the biggest smile in Belize and have you laughing with him in no time at all. It is impossible to not like him! He joined Splash as a dive master 3 years ago after spending 12 years on the Placencia peninsula, 8 years working as a snorkel guide. Bryan always wanted to be in the snorkel and scuba diving business and says "I am now living the dream". He can cook too, and if you are lucky you will get to experience his excellent barbecue chicken! Eventually he wants to become a dive instructor but says he is having too much fun doing what he is doing right now. When asked why he joined Splash, he said “Splash is 'the best', the boats are fantastic and the rest of the great Splash crew make it fun to work each day. Bryan speaks English, Spanish, Creole and Garifuna fluently.
If ‘Cool’ wore sunglasses and a wetsuit, then Lennox is the Dive Master of cool! Lennox has worked for Splash as a Dive Master for 4 years, and has a sharp eye for identifying underwater marine life. Lennox is from the Placencia peninsula and has been a Dive Master for 12 years, so brings a wealth of local experience to every dive. You will also find Lennox acting as boat captain—a man of many hats. Lennox speaks English, Creole and Garifuna fluently.
Ian is a very seasoned boat Captain, who has also worked as a licensed snorkel, kayak and fishing guide, and leading trips to Monkey River. And if this wasn't enough, he is also training to be a Dive Master! Ian started working with Splash in 2012, and is quickly earning his stripes by assisting on recent dive trips. Ian is very familiar with the waters around Placencia, and has captained many tours over his 30 years on the water. “I think Splash is the most professional dive center in Placencia, and there are plenty of opportunities for crew members to advance their skills and education” are two of the reasons Ian is very pleased to work for Splash.
Edlin Leslie Jr.
Edlin joined Splash 6 months ago, after having worked as a Captain and snorkel guide at the Placencia Hotel and Turtle Inn for over 12 years. Born and raised in Placencia, he has seen and experienced the growth of our tourism industry as well as the changes that are gradually taking place and shaping the uniqueness of the Placencia Peninsula. And if you are looking to gain some local historic knowledge, make sure you start up a conversation with Edlin--his family has a rich past in Placencia. Edlin enjoys working as a Captain "to take care of the guests and to be out on the water every day." It would seem the ocean captured him early--he was out fishing with his father since the age of 11, and still enjoys fishing and guiding for fishing today!
Max was born in Punta Gorda and has worked with Splash for 5 years. Max currently spends his time in and out of the water; working in both the sales office ensuring all trip logistics flow smoothly, as well as crewing on the boats as a Dive Master. Max started at Splash as part of the office team and has worked to his current PADI status of Dive Master. Max can also be called upon to help out at the Dive Center, handing out gear and telling jokes only Max can tell. When asked why he likes working at Splash he raved about "its enthusiastic environment, and the ability to come to work every day and learn something new. And, of course, meet new people!” Max speaks English, Spanish and Creole fluently.
Norman Leslie Jr
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 is a PADI Dive Master, and hopes to see you soon on the fleet of Splash boats. 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.
Need to rent some of Splash's wonderful scuba or snorkeling gear? Julio will be your go-to person, as he ensures all the equipment and tanks are inspected, maintained, cleaned and accounted for at the end of each day. Splash takes pride in providing well serviced gear, and Julio is a big part of ensuring we will have the gear you need. Julio just began diving in 2012, and is already working on getting his PADI Dive Master certification. 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 is the dive center air expert--he ensures all our tanks are filled correctly and the compressor is kept in peak performance. When not working in the compressor room, Fredi can be found working as crew on Princess Taia, our 48 foot Newton boat. Fredi was born in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, and is currently working towards his Dive Master certification. Fredi really ‘enjoys the work I do and helping people enjoy their time with Splash”. Fredi speaks English, Spanish and Creole.
Chances are Deon will be one of the first people that will greet you as you start your diving or snorkeling adventures with Splash--he is one of our drivers who will pick you up and drop you off at the end of the day. Deon has been working with Splash for 6 months and is currently training to become a Dive Master. Deon likes working at Splash because “everyone here is awesome! I am gaining great experience as a tour guide and Dive Master, which will allow me to eventually become a professional in the dive industry.”
Noel has been involved in Placencia's tourism industry for more than 10 years and has proven himself through time to be a flexible and ever evolving pioneer. He is a part-time driver, guide, diver and our longest serving Splash team member, with a great perspective of Belize and its people. Originally from our sister nation of Honduras, which also boasts magnificent diving and snorkeling.
Ready to hear the call of a Howler Monkey, see a manatee and take a trip up a river? Evaristo is your man! Evaristo is a licensed tour operator and has been conducting the Monkey River tours with Splash for over 10 years. He is very knowledgeable about local wildlife, and will be able to identify every local bird, reptile and plant that you care to question him about. Just let him know what interests you, and he will be sure to point it out on the tour. And get prepared to hear the Howler Monkey—something you will never forget!
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 creations.