Maita Mendieta

My name is Maita, I am half Swiss half Peruvian and I am 26 years old. Currently divemaster dreaming to become scuba instructor! I love scuba diving and dancing those are my two passions in life. I travel as much as I can to explore always new places and make new friends around the world.

How I’m being the difference?

How i´m being different?

I tried diving for the first time in Thailand a few years ago. After my first breath under water I was hooked. Returning home I had to finish university but I was already researching where I could do my professional training. One day, a Utila Dive Center’s alum pointed me in the right direction. He told me to go to Utila, a small Carribean island off the Coast of Honduras, and train at UDC. Finding Utila Dive Center changed the course of my life.

I started my Dive Master Training there in Dec. of 2018. Mentally I was prepared but my physical body was not. The first several weeks on the island were nothing but eye and ear infections, barotrauma & endless rounds of strong antibiotics. At a point, I began to feel defeated. It was at that precise moment when the UDC family stepped up. New friends had a special mask sent down from the USA and so I persisted. Diving taught me an important life lesson; no matter the adversity, with passion, perseverance, dedication and a compassionate community of support we are able to overcome obstacles too large to embark upon alone.

Diving is more than just a sport, it is one of the passions of my lifetime!

As a vegan and environmentalist, I find it alarming the way our oceans are being abused and think that on land education is more important now than ever before. Andy Philips told us to go out and ‘be the difference’ and although diving under the sea is fun, advocating for the health of our world’s oceans is an absolute necessity. That’s why I dedicate my entire adult life to educating myself, my family and my friends on the importance of protecting our planet. Scuba is the accumulation of all of my passions; conservation, education, language acquisition (I dream of teaching in the 4 languages I speak!), advocacy and fun of course. I see it as an opportunity to make MY personal impact on the world. I can’t think of a place I’ve been where I haven’t picked up trash or talk to someone about the environment.

Scuba is a sport composed of 70% men. Me and other female divers around the world agree, it’s time to tip the scales!
Utila Dive Center brought many beautiful friendships into my life. A few months ago, I hosted two UDC’s alumni’s in my hometown and we spent many hours brainstorming ways the scuba community can stay connected international to make positive change both on land and underwater. Building a global network of friends who became family has been one of the unexpected gifts from Utila Dive Center.

It is my dream to come back to Utila in the Summer of 2020 and complete my Instructor Development Course (IDC). If I receive the scholarship, I will return to UDC with my big brother and introduce him to the magic of the underwater world while he completes his Open Water through DMT. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. It is for me a wonderful way to honor Andy’s memory. I am so grateful for all the ways UDC has blessed my life and I can’t wait to create many more memories on the Rock and help educate future generations of eco-warriors around the world.
-No blue, no green-
Maita Mendieta

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