You’ve decided that you want to do your Divemaster and Instructor training. Well, that’s a good start! Now what… now you need to decide where you want to go and that certainly is a daunting task with so many options available to you! Let us try to ask some questions to help you think about where will be best for you…
There are pros and cons to both… go home and you get the opportunity to support your local dive shop and get to know them, which may give you good prospects in the future if you want to keep living there… go abroad and you get the chance to explore another area, see another culture and maybe get to see some different marine life. This is a great way to pick up different work experience which will stand you in good stead if you want to travel and work in a different country later.
There are so many different agencies to choose from now and everyone is going to be biased to their own. Do your research and decide which will give you the best job prospects for what you want to do and where you want to go. We have decided to teach PADI courses here because they are the World market leaders and there’s a reason that the other brands seems to be following what they’re doing…
Location, location, location… We are based in a small, sleepy fishing village called Xcalak, which borders the Caribbean Sea to the east and Chetumal Bay to the west. This makes us part of a unique, extremely connected and bio-diverse eco-system made up of 15 miles of protected coral reefs, mangroves, rivers, lagoons and bays. It certainly is a nature lover’s paradise!
Scuba Diving around Xcalak offers incredible diversity. We have a large population of manatees inhabiting the lagoons and inner reef and very often see them on our local dive sites. In addition, we have great encounters with schools of dolphins, a large school of HUGE tarpon resides on one of our sites, and we often see a variety of turtles, rays, sharks, schooling jacks and more.
Our off-the-beaten-track location means that you are focused on achieving the best training that you can. You will be surrounded by quiet and nature. There are no distractions of bars or night clubs here and cell service is non-existent with limited Wi-Fi. Does that appeal? Or would you prefer to have civilization closer? Do your research and find out what the area is like.
Think about the reputation that an area has for training. Do they offer quality training or does the area that you’re looking at have a reputation for quantity rather than quality. Remember it can be worth paying a little more money to have a quality dive center name on your CV.
As well as the required components of the course, also think about other experiences that will help to enhance your CV. Does the dive center offer these? At XTC we have our own workshops e.g. EcoPro workshop, PADI Pro website workshop, Dive Centre Management, CV writing plus many more to help you find a job after you graduate.
We all know that marine resources are dwindling and we also know that we need to do more to protect them. Do all of us a favor and make sure that your dive center is making efforts to protect the marine environment. If consumers demand this, then they will have to deliver to stand a chance of surviving in the industry. This could mean that you, as a consumer, are forcing dive centers to change their processes and incorporate marine conservation if they haven’t already.
As a responsible dive center and a 100% AWARE Partner, XTC is very committed to ocean conservation and, as such, we teach all of our candidates about being EcoPros, get them involved in beach cleans, dives against debris, reef monitoring etc. and encourage them to pass this on to future generations as well.
We all know that money is important, but please do not let this be your deciding factor. Weigh up quality and location versus price and don’t get drawn into the “work and we will give you a free course” scenario without knowing all the facts. How long will you actually have to work to pay off the training and what will you still be expected to pay? Make sure that you ask these questions before making your decision.
Hopefully that gave you a few things to think about when making your final decision.
Of course we are going to be a little biased towards our facility 😉 so we’ll finish by saying that if you care about quality training, helping our environment and you love quiet, un-crowded places where you can connect with nature… then XTC and Xcalak may be just the place for you.
Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.
GoPro @ XTC Dive Center is a PADI 5* Instructor Development Resort and 100% Project AWARE partner located in Xcalak, Mexico. We offer the full range of PADI Professional Training Courses including custom EcoPro and Dive Center Experience workshops. Come and train with us in paradise and leave here ready to teach!