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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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From Wendy Auxillou of Caye Caulker:

10 year old Giselle de la Fuente, standard five
student (and my lovely and talented daughter), today
became the youngest Belizean to be certified as a
Scuba Diver. She holds the certification of "Junior
Open Water Diver".

The formal classes and the skills she had to master in
order to become a Scuba Diver are no different that
those any adult would have to take to become
certified. She mastered them all, physics, dive
tables, and underwater skills tests.

Channel 5 will be doing a story on her after the

Wendy Auxillou

[Linked Image]
Giselle testing the reg and giving the OK sign. Shown with
her father Orlando.

[Linked Image]
Belizes' newest certified diver

[Linked Image]
Giselle completeing her mask removal skill. Shown with Abel
from Frenchies Diving in Caye Caulker.

[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 12-27-2001).]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,976
Thank You for sharing that!! That's amazing...keep us updated if you hear anything about someting on Channel 5!! C&R

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
Caye Caulker 10-year-old certified to dive

It could almost be a source of national shame that
more Belizeans don't take advantage of the spectacular
natural attractions that bless our country. However,
as News 5's Brent Toombs discovered today, there is at
least one youngster in Caye Caulker who has decided to
jump in with both feet and enjoy one of her island's
most popular activities.

Brent Toombs, Reporting
Meet Giselle de la Fuente, a typical ten-year-old.
Favourite singer? Janet Jackson. Favourite actress?
Julia Roberts. Favourite food? Pizza. And like any
youngster who is lucky enough to call Caye Caulker
home, Giselle spends plenty of time in the water.

But don't expect to find Giselle splashing around near
the beach. This pint-sized aquanaut prefers to spend
her time exploring the wonders of deep.

Giselle de la Fuente, SCUBA Diver
"It's fun, it's exciting. You see lots of corals and
fishes and new animals that you've never seen before
and can't see in shallow water."

Still some six weeks shy of her eleventh birthday,
Giselle just may be the youngest certified diver ever
in Belize. Growing up on an island where diving is one
of the main attractions, Giselle could not resist the
call of the deep blue sea.

Giselle de la Fuente
"Lots of tourists would come over and you would see
them go diving to Hol Chan, Blue Hole and all types of
places and I was always wondering why, so I decided to
see for myself."

Wendy Auxillou, Giselle's Mother
"We called a few dive shops to see if they would
certify her. And it worked out perfectly; she got her
certification two days before Christmas. So it was a
great Christmas gift."

Both of Giselle's parents are divers. In fact her
mother, Wendy Auxillou is a certified dive master.
Understanding that diving can be a risky sport, mom
has no concerns about Giselle's safety.

Wendy Auxillou
"It's all about having knowledge, or gaining the
knowledge. If you know what your limitations are and
what the framework is of what you can and cannot do,
then you work in a safe zone. That's what we try to do
and try to teach her what her limits are in terms of
diving depth and being safe underwater. As long as she
understands and knows how to deal with any kind of
problem that might arise underwater, she'll be safe."

Learning those skills came at the hands of the
instructors of Frenchie's Diving Services of Caye
Caulker. Co-owner Efrain Novelo feels that when it
comes to the deep, Giselle has the right stuff.

Efrain Novelo
"For one, she's a bright kid. The surprising part is
that she conducted the dive course along with adults
and she kept right up with them. That is really good,
it's a good incentive for a lot of young Belizeans to
get into. A small child has no fear, so it's very
easy. The only problem is keeping them back because
they want to go, go, go."

And if you need proof that Novelo is comfortable with
children divers, look no further than his own twelve
year old daughter Valerie. While it will be a few more
years until either girl is allowed to dive without the
supervision of a certified adult. By then, they may
have logged more hours under the sea than older divers
could hope to enjoy in a lifetime.

Reporting from Caye Caulker, Brent Toombs for News 5.

Both Giselle and Valerie are certified as junior open
water divers, which allows them to dive up to forty
feet as long as they are accompanied by an adult. They
will be eligible for full certification once they turn

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