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Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #493785
07/23/14 11:52 PM
07/23/14 11:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Why should Amigos make a statement? For all we know they told PADI to go fly a kite.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: seashell] #493786
07/24/14 12:10 AM
07/24/14 12:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 952
Gaz Cooper Offline
Gaz Cooper  Offline
Not correct Seashell else ADM would have a slander case against PADI since PADI has posted the expulsion on their website and if as you say Amigos said go fly a kite then obviously PADI's actions are causing harm to their business since being expelled is a massive discredit to any dive business.

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #493811
07/24/14 10:59 AM
07/24/14 10:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Thanks Gaz. frown

I've been diving in many places in the world. Places where PADI recommended depths are often exceeded by local operators. This is due to the nature of the dive sites. None of the internationally famous dive locales have been targeted.

In my lifetime experience, I've been diving with many worse operations but very few as good as Amigos del Mar.

Last edited by seashell; 07/24/14 11:00 AM.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #493814
07/24/14 12:22 PM
07/24/14 12:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,552
Birdland - 1 mile north
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
I totally agree - but I think it is up to Amigos to tell us their side of the story. It would be interesting to see if PADI has taken the same action in other dive areas.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #493829
07/24/14 06:46 PM
07/24/14 06:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 820
San Pedro
Islenutt Offline
Happy Birthday Islenutt  Offline
There is an article in San Pedro Sun today. Might answer some of your questions.

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #493830
07/25/14 01:37 AM
07/25/14 01:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 22
Virginia City, Nevada, US
Red Dog Offline
Red Dog  Offline
I am a PADI IDC staff instructor #189080, that not only has many Certifications completed with Amigos Del Mar as a Divemaster or instructor,, but also longtime friends with all involved.
I also know that PADI is very diligent in their cause and gives organizations like ADM ample opportunity to come into compliance to there minimum standards only after remediation of the problem prier to the expulsion, they want not only them as a member but their money for all those carts!
Go to there website and you will see that an organization with many thousands of members there are only a handfuls of expulsions.
There is some sort of difference of option going on, not sure what it is?
I have not talked to those involved but know that WAG's (Wild Ass Guesses) to what really is going on are only that!
PADI standards aren't meet at any Belize dive centers without a variance in my option if you read there instructor manual verbatim, so who knows!
PADI wants the most for there members, my friends at Amigo's Del Mar I am sure feel the same.
Just my option!

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #494314
08/06/14 07:45 AM
08/06/14 07:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,114
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Amigos Del Mar is the oldest and most respected dive shop on the island. Changa Paz, its owner/operator, is one of the pioneers in the Belize diving industry. I’ve been on hundreds of dives with them and do business with them regularly. It disturbs me to see Amigos getting negative comments and bad press.
The public doesn’t know about the scores of times he and his have rescued lesser Blue Hole operators in distress at sea.
The open ocean can be a difficult and dangerous place and when things go wrong I can think of no one I would rather have at my side.
I’m completely empathetic in that a low tolerance for bull shit can get you a bad review or two.

White Sands Dive Shop
Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #494326
08/06/14 12:20 PM
08/06/14 12:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Excellent summation Elbert.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: elbert] #494367
08/07/14 07:57 AM
08/07/14 07:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 462
cracked up Offline
cracked up  Offline
Did PADI actually send an auditor to review the operation? Seems that they might going on hearsay.

Re: What happen to Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop [Re: cm815] #499103
12/17/14 10:11 AM
12/17/14 10:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,784
oregon, spr
Marty Offline

Marty  Offline

Amigos Del Mar Moves Forward

Press Release - Anyone familiar with diving in Belize knows the name Amigos del Mar, fondly known as simply ‘Amigos’. For over twenty five years Amigos have operated one of the premiere diving companies in Belize and as such have played an essential role in building the reputation of Ambergris Caye and Belize as a top dive destination. Amigos is well known for having the highest standards for safety and divers return year after year to dive with them. This has been good for resorts and for tourism.

There is a saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and now it’s Amigos’ turn to get going. In May of this year there was an allegation of sexual assault made against Gerson Cordon, who was studying to be a Dive Master under the tutelage of independent Diving Instructor Marciano Mendez. The allegation involves a female student, who was undertaking a private course of instruction with Mr. Mendez. Neither student was a customer of Amigos del Mar, nor was Amigos del Mar receiving any money for their training. Mr. Mendez was paid directly. Many independent diving instructors use the Amigos dock and rent equipment from them.

The allegation of sexual assault was, quite correctly, reported to the police and is currently going through the court process. Amigos del Mar would like to make it absolutely clear that they do not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind and would terminate any employee found guilty of such a crime. Mr. Cordon is not employed by Amigos del Mar. Mr. Mendez nor Mr. Cordon are or ever have been employees of Amigos del Mar, though Mr. Mendez, as a freelancer has worked for Amigos del Mar as well as many other diving companies in Belize. Mr. Cordon is a partner of and operates Amigos Jungle Tours Ltd., which is also located on the pier used by several other businesses including, but not limited to a massage parlor, a water taxi and a marina.

A very aggressive case was presented to PADI by the complainants which, unfortunately, included additional false information such as the suggestion that Amigos del Mar were financing the legal defense for Mr. Cordon, which is absolutely untrue. PADI moved forward with the case against Amigos del Mar without looking into detailed explanations provided to them regarding these allegations. While Amigos del Mar are appealing this vigorously, the resulting bad publicity, much of it based on rumors, has been very damaging to this well established and much loved San Pedrano owned business – a business that had absolutely nothing to do with this incident.

Mr. ‘Changa’ Paz is a respected and valued member of the community. His reputation and the reputation of Amigos del Mar are of the utmost concern to him, as is the welfare of his staff and divers. Mr. Paz says, ‘All of us at Amigos del Mar look forward to 2015 and going from strength to strength. We will continue to provide the best and safest diving standards and intend to raise the bar even higher. We continue to work proudly with Scuba Schools International (SSI) one of the most reputable diver certification bodies in the world and Scuba Diving International (SDI), which is hugely reputable as the recreational arm of the largest technical diver training organization in the world. This means that divers and students can rest assured that they will receive internationally recognised and top notch certification with us. In the meantime, we are working with PADI to resolve this issue and have every confidence that we will once again be working with them also. We will be keeping the public fully informed of this process and ask you to join us in keeping San Pedro the place for one of the best and safest diving adventures.’

Amigos will be reaching out to the business community to develop stronger working relationships to benefit the whole diving industry. So, watch this space as Amigos del Mar moves forward.

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