CURious2Dive is the only WOSD, IAHD, PADI and SDI dive center on the island. Their credo is: ‘If you’re able to breathe, you’re able to dive’, and they’re among others specialized to dive with people with a handicap.
We spoke with Hans Pleij, owner of the dive center, who is supporting the SECORE workshops since the very first workshop on Curacao in 2009.
If we ask him why he is so committed to SECORE, he answers: ‘That’s simple: it’s a great initiative and if you’re out in the water on a commercial base, where you might accidentally do some damage sometimes, it’s good to do something back for the reef in a sustainable way.’
In what way do you support SECORE?
‘Since I don’t have the means to support SECORE in a financial way, I bring in dive equipment and labor. Divers that help the SECORE teams during the spawning dives with carrying the nets, changing cups, transportation to shore, and so on. We put out safety buoys with lights and marker buoys with glow sticks. Every year I also invite local divers or tourists at the spawning dives to show them the work SECORE does. I like the fact that CURious2Dive, as one of the smaller dive centers at the island, is able to participate in a large project like this.’
Coral conservation, what does that mean to you?
‘I think coral conservation starts with raising awareness. During my regular briefings, I always tell about the SECORE project, coral conservation and reef restoration. During dives at Mari Pampoen, I show my guests the Elkhorn corals there, to give them a better understanding of what SECORE does.
If people don’t know, they mostly don’t care. If you educate people about the underwater world and what lives out there, you see that their attitude towards it changes. They enter the water in a different way, more aware of the reef and the animals that live there. That’s also why I regularly visit local schools, to tell the children in their own language, how important our reefs are. To show them the underwater world and its inhabitants. If you want to make a change, start with children. There you still can make a difference and they might educate their parents as well.‘
‘I hope that in the near future, I will be able to show my guest and students some of the outplant sites, to show what can be done. And perhaps, to get some of them interested in supporting SECORE too!