Eduardo Brown: Scuba diving in the late 1960's and early 1970's
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 Diving.
Int'l Legends of Diving
Photograph by Marty Casado
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