Eduardo Brown: One of the first scuba divers & sport fishing guides of Belize
Eduardo was born December 18, 1945
in the small fishing village of Xcalak, Mexico, about 30 miles north
of Ambergris Caye, Belize. He began fishing as a small boy with his
father and family, until his life took a tragic turn. In 1955,
Hurricane Janet hit Mexico and devastated that part of the country.
Eduardo was the only one to survive out of his family. At the
tender age of just 9 years, Eduardo was left an orphan and homeless.
However, Andrew Bradley, the man responsible for saving Eduardo’s
life, and who had worked with his father, took the young boy with him
to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to live with him and his family.
Though the family was very poor, Eduardo found a home with them and
spent the next four years going to school. At the age of 14 he went
to work with his adopted father on a commercial fishing boat.
During this time Eduardo used to dive up to 600 free dives a day from
5 to 50 feet deep catching lobsters and fish.
In 1968 The Paradise Hotel was
being built and Ramon Nunez, Eduardo’s brother-in-law, was putting
together a guide and scuba team for the resort. Eduardo was asked
to join the team. Shortly after Ramon was certified as a diver, Eduardo
was also certified by Nyle Everett. Ramon and Eduardo quickly
set to exploring the reefs to find appropriate dive locations. Eduardo
was the first to put a map together of the reef and the various spots
to dive in San Pedro, a valuable and lasting contribution to the growth
of the diving industry in Belize. During his days at the Paradise Hotel,
Eduardo helped introduce many famous persons to scuba diving and the
magnificent Belize Barrier Reef, such as Hollywood director Francis
Ford Coppola, actress Karen Allen, and weight-lifting champ Franco Columbo.
He also had the privilege of meeting Jacques Costeau and his son.
He stayed with Paradise until the hotel
was sold by Jerry McDermott. In all his years of diving he never had
an incident. Brown notes that he and his crew were cognizant of
the safety of the tourists they dove with and never overextended themselves,
respecting the guidelines of the dive tables. He attributes the fact
that he never suffered from the bends to this conservative approach.
Brown’s favorite spots
to dive are the Elbow and the Blue Hole, in which he has made over a
1000 dives to date. He still free dives today and fishes at one
of his favorite spots out at La Gloria Caye. He goes there every week
and still takes tourists out there. Eduardo currently runs a real estate
company and jewelry store with the help of his son, Edwardo Brown, Jr.
Eduardo Brown, Sr. was truly a driving
force for scuba diving at its inception in Belize. His contributions
and enthusiasm grant him a place among the International Legends of
Int'l Legends of Diving