Myself and four other students on the TMEC (Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation) course in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, had an awesome opportunity to dive with three local divers from a nearby city, Canaries. The three divers, Tatiana, Keemo, and Glenn are all certified to Rescue diver, which is amazing in their community, as they are a small fishing community where money is scarce and diving equipment isn’t easy to come by. We dove off Maia Sophie, Dr. Begin’s sailboat. We were teaching the local divers the basics of taking benthic surveys, and they ended up giving us a lesson on how to hunt octopus, it was quite interesting how fearless they were to stick their hands under rocks and into crevices I would never dare too. These divers are working on the Canaries Ridge to Reef project in collaboration with the CCIF (Canaries Community Improvement Foundation). They are working towards protecting the reefs and increasing sustainable tourism in their small fishing village. A British gentleman, James, is a big part of these projects, we got to speak with him as a group afterwards and I was moved by the things he said to Tatiana, Keemo, and Glenn. He told them that they were paving the way for biologists in the future to be able to come and conduct research there, as well as pioneering an industry for sustainable tourism that will change the lives of everyone in their village. Keemo was especially enthusiastic about his future, possibly being a dive guide to tourists and advocating for the health of the reefs and the opportunity for progress in his hometown. It’s an honor to be a part of something so big, I’ll never forget the unique experiences we shared together.
#BullsMeetWorld #Canaries #SaintLucia #RescueDivers #SustainableTourism #Progress #CCIF #TMEC # SaveTheReefs