Why I Gave Up Banking to Become a Dive Instructor: Meet PADI Patty from Splash Dive Center

splash dive center Patty Ramirez belize placencia

Ever thought of a complete career switch? That’s exactly what Patty Ramirez did over two decades ago when she traded in her finance career for flippers, a mask and the Caribbean sea. Fast forward to today, Patty is the proud owner of Splash Dive Center in Placencia, Belize. Located on the Placencia, Southern Belize’s largest dive operator offers PADI dive certifications alongside dive and snorkel trips to various sites. And as a Gold Standard Certified Tour Operator, they provide guests with the very highest standards of service. Dive trips are educational, informative and fun. And the focus of the company is all about sustainability and community. Two decades later since its inception in 2000, Splash has grown from a small operation focusing on scuba instruction, to a community driven PADI Five Star Resort facility. Here, Patty tells us all about Splash Dive and her career switch.

Take us back to the start…How did you get into the dive business?

I used to see the ocean from my window and one day, I decided it made a better office.

I studied finance in university and this translated into a career in banking. Outside of work however, I loved sports, swimming and the sea. In 2000 I learned to dive and my story really developed from there. Whilst working for Nekton Pilot Diving Cruises I became a Dive Master. In 2003, I became a Dive Instructor and Emergency First Response Instructor. Finally in 2007, my culmination of the love for diving and discipline earned me the title of PADI Course Director — the first woman in Belize to achieve such a title.”

“Over the years, the demand for diving and snorkeling tours in Placencia grew and so did my business. Today I spend more time looking after the operational and management side of things, however I still love the waters and try to instill that in all my team and tours.”

What services do Splash Dive offer?

Splash Dive Center is now Southern Belize’s largest tour operator. Photo courtesy

“We really try to showcase the best of Southern Belize. So, we offer both dive and snorkel packages. This includes anything from half day trips to the full Grand Slam package. In addition, we also offer a range of PADI courses.”

What drives you every day?

“My passion really is around the want to help Belizeans to become dive professionals and to promote the beauty of Belize through them. I also have a big passion for sustainability and community. I keep very busy between Splash, various community projects and the Splash Kids Club – an initiative to enhance children’s learning and experiences of the ocean.”

What advice do you have for others who want to make a career switch?

If there is something you love, just go for it and you’ll never work another day in your life. You’ll make a successful career of it and learn from all the challenges along the way.”

In 2012, Patty was also recognized as a Sea Hero by Scuba Diving Magazine. This magazine honors individuals in diving who give back to their communities and the local marine environment. For more on how Patty and Splash Dive Center are making an impact on the Belize community, check out our article here. From the CC+L team, we say a big thank you Patty for all you do for our ocean, people and country. To book a tour with Splash Dive or find out more about what they offer, visit their website here.

All photos courtesy of Splash Dive Center

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