They have been coming to Belize for 30 years now, bringing scuba divers from all over the United States and this year, during their 27th Annual Summit, the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) organized a trip with 106 scuba divers who enjoyed a week-long stay in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
All divers came to San Pedro and booked out Ramon’s Village that catered to their accommodations, diving and extra curricular activities. Every year NABS organizes a dive summit in different locations in the Caribbean and Bahamas; this is NABS’s 27th Annual Summit. Being a great friend to Belize, Dr. Jose Jones (co-founder of NABS) was delighted to once again bring the summit to the country.
NABS is comprised of dive clubs from around the United States, which includes 20 active clubs and 3,000 chartered members. The Summit gives the opportunity to new and old members to experience exotic dive locations, taking tourist revenue to all destinations visited.
There was no shortage of dives for the big group as the summit provided three dive on a daily basis, visiting the popular local dive spots on Ambergris Caye and surrounding areas, including dives at the Great Blue Hole, Turneffe Atoll and special night dives. Auxiliary divers of Aqua Corp provided safety and training in addition to the professional dive masters at Ramon’s Village Dive Shop.
Other activities that the group of divers enjoyed included a medical symposium on cardiovascular risks, asthma and diving, beach cleanup, yoga on the beach, lion fish hunting and a jewelry making class, volleyball competition, pool party, Mayan costume party and even open nights out on the town for anyone wanting to explore other island attractions.
“We like to leave the community in a better state after we leave,” commented Jeffery Dooley, NABS President. The group participated in a beach clean up in North Ambergris Caye; a way for them to give back to the community, commented Jeffery.
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The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) was established in 1991 by Ric Powell and Dr A. Jose Jones. Ric Powell and Dr. Jones were two of the earliest African-Americans to become certified divers, and their collaboration resulted in the creation of NABS which purpose was to foster camaraderie among African American divers, and to address the unique problems and concerns of the African-American community.
NABS membership is open to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, handicap, or diving agency affiliation. We are open to all who share our love of the oceans and of the marine world. All who are pledged to protect, enjoy and help to conserve this marine environment with which we are entrusted are also welcomed to join with us.
NABS mission is to create a network of people and resources that provide educational experiences that enhance and promote an appreciation of diving and an awareness of the aquatic environment. This network will build unity and camaraderie to transfer the legacy to future generations.