Angel Navarro – PADI Course Director – Pro Dive Mexico
Become a PADI instructor by taking your IDC in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya Mexico, with Platinum Course Directors Angel Navarro and Jo Armitage.
Angel grew up in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain and worked as a mountain guide and ski instructor before starting his own award-winning adventure sports company. But after a few years building up the company he started looking for a new challenge. So he sold the business and went travelling and it was while in Thailand that he fell in love with scuba diving. This was the perfect challenge for him – to work his way around the world doing something he loved.
Since then, Angel has been doing just that, and making a pretty good job of it too. He has worked and dived in more than ten countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Honduras, Curacao, UK, Spain, Galapagos as well as Mexico.
Angel loves teaching IDCs but realizes the importance of teaching diving to “real” students too and continues to teach a range of PADI courses including Tec, Sidemount and Divemasters.
Angel speaks Spanish, English and French fluently and has conducted multi-lingual IDCs since becoming a Course Director.
Angel has over 3000 PADI certifcations under his belt with more than 2000 of those at professional-level, making him one of the most experienced and respected Course Directors around. As well as being a PADI Platinum Course Director (the status of which he has been awarded consecutively since 2007) Angel is also a TecRec and Trimix Instructor Trainer, Rebreather Instructor Trainer, and also Instructor Trainer for Disabled Divers International (DDI). Angel is passionate about his work with disabled scuba divers and is able to teach Divemasters and Instructors to become DDI Pro Trainers.
Before moving to Mexico he would take working holidays working as a Divemaster or Instructor, and there’s nothing like loading boats, filling tanks and cleaning toilets to keep your feet firmly grounded!
What is the philosophy of your company?
Pro Dive Mexico’s motto is “Excellence through quality” our goal is to ensure that our new instructors receive more than just a certification. We believe that with in-depth training and personal one-on-one feedback, we train the very best instructors possible. We operate inside bustling, busy and luxury all inclusive resorts with international customers, which gives our candidates the great advantage to experience an authentic tasteand knowledge of the REAL diving industry.
Our IDCs include workshops in knot-tying, lift bag exercises, CESAs, rescue skills and descents, as well as a 2-day preparation program where you can refresh and polish your dive theory knowledge as well as your demonstration quality skills.
At the end of our IDC program we hold a two-day “mock” IE which includes all the components of the actual IE to ensure the readiness of our candidates.
Quality is of utmost importance to Angel, Jo and Pro Dive Mexico and they strive to exceed their students’ expectations on every IDC. While there you will receive the best service and receive the best instruction. Angel and Jo feel a personal responsibility to the future students of their IDC candidates to create not just successful instructors, butthe bestinstructors in every way. ” We hope that our passion and enthusiasm for diving and teaching is something that our IDC candidates can take away with them”, says Angel
Pro Dive Mexico has over the years received the following awards and acknowledgements for its commitment to professional diver training:
- Latin America’s leading PADI Career Development Center (CDC).
- Recipient of “PADI certificate of recognition for excellence” consecutively since 2010.
- Instructor Development Outstanding Achievement Award Nominee by PADI Americas.
- Dive Center/Resort Business Outstanding Achievement Award Nominee by PADI Americas.
- Overall Outstanding Achievement Award Nominee by PADI Americas.
- The first Mexican dive store to be awarded the PADI Green Star Award (2013, 2014 & 2015)
- Winner of TRIPADVISOR “certificate of excellence” consecutively since 2011.
- Recipient BENEATH THE SEA certificate of recognition of excellence 2015
- Featured in WORLDS BEST DIVING & RESORTS listing by SPORTDIVER in 2014 & 2015
- Winner of the “Diving Company of the Year” Global Award 2015 by iGapTravelGuide
Has anything funny happened during your IDC courses?
I remember when I was teaching an IDC in the Galapagos Islands and one candidate couldn’t stop giggling during her mock rescue demonstration. The reason was that there was a sea lion nibbling at her fins that wouldn’t let her go! Sea lions were often additional guests in open water presentations there. Now here in Mexico we hope for a Bull Shark encounter instead!
Usually there is one candidate during an IDC who is a bit of a “character”. But during one Spanish-speaking IDC I had Jose, the one-eyed pilot from Zaragoza, who had the group in hysterics whenever he opened his mouth!
Dive centre – IDC facilities
Pro Dive Mexico is the most established and recognized IDC centre in the region and in Mexico. Many instructors, both local and foreign, have started their dive career with an IDC at Pro Dive Mexico.
We operate nine dive centers in the Riviera Maya and Cozumel Island. Our Scuba Academy is located in central Playa del Carmen within walking distance from supermarkets, shopping areas (including the famous 5th Avenue), endless food choices and varied accommodation options to suit all budgets. Our classroom is used exclusively for our GoPro candidates and is equipped with A/C, multimedia, visual and audio materials and study tools.
What is the reason PADI Divemasters should take their IDC with you?
Experience. You will have not one but two Platinum Course Directors on hand providing your training with every one of our IDCs. Angel has a wealth of teaching experience and has worked in the dive industry in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Honduras, Curacao, Galapagos Islands, as well as Mexico. With over 3000 PADI certifications, he can pass on all the tips and tricks of the trade which will ultimately make you a confident and competent instructor when teaching in the real world.
Angel is one of only a few Course Directors worldwide who has been awarded the highest Platinum status by PADI since becoming a Course Director in 2007. Jo Armitage has also received the Platinum award from PADI since becoming a Course Director in 2013.
You can build on all this experience when you choose the MSDT Prep program after the IDC and take your 3-week instructor internship at one or more of Pro Dive’s nine resort-based scuba centers, team-teaching your first courses alongside experienced staff.
Consistency and value. Angel is the principal Course Director at Pro Dive Mexico, and will be in charge of your IDC from start to finish. He and Jo have ample time to work on each candidate’s own strengths and weaknessnes, thus ensuring that those weaknesses are gone before the end of the IDC.
TRUE employment opportunities.If you will be looking for work as an Instructor after your IDC, you couldn’t be better placed. Choose the MSDT Prep program to increase your opportunities and get invaluable teaching experience in the free 3-week instructor internship. Having nine dive centres along the Mayan Riviera and Cozumel, we recruit new instructors regularly and prefer to hire from our own Academy graduates. Last year we offered jobs to over 50% of our candidates. Of course, it is all down to you to impress us with your skills and attitude but the opportunities are certainly there.
If you don’t end up working at Pro Dive, then with literally hundreds of dive shops in this area of Mexico, you have plenty of choice. The Mayan Riviera is busy year-round with divers and those wanting to give it a try, making it a great place if you want to get lots of teaching experience. Angel and the GoPro team have lots of contacts in the area and elsewhere in the Caribbean meaning they can give you advice and assistance in your search for the perfect career choice.
The diving. Wow! Mexico really does have it all when it comes to scuba. The beautiful coral here forms part of the second largest reef system in the world, home to thousands of fish species. There’s also the subterranean rivers and “cenotes”, formed by water filtering through the limestone, which provide another option for those who love diving, something unique to this area and unmissable. Your IDC includes a free cenotes dive plus a day’s diving in the marine reserve of Cozumel! With the whale sharks visiting the area June to September, and Bull Sharks in the winter, what more could you ask for?
Support. Our help doesn’t end once you pass your IE. Angel and his team will give you help and advice on how to prepare an attention-grabbing CV and what potential employers are really looking for in an instructor. Plus, Angel has extensive links within the global dive industry who know that he produces competent instructors and who ask for his recommendations on a regular basis. Even once you get yourself a job, they offer ongoing support and advice to all their candidates, wherever they are in the world. Many come back to continue their education with us!
What are your personal diving obsessions?
As an active cave diver in the area Angel personally likes to spend much of his free time in the caves of the Yucatan peninsula. “I’m so lucky having such a unique underwater environment on my doorstep!” Exploration and training is his main focus on developing himself as a better diver and instructor. Angel also likes to keep up to date with the latest developments in diving and scuba gear.
When traveling, he always pick dive destinations, and especially liveaboards are his usual choice for a great holiday.
What else do you like (non diving)?
Anything outdoors. Angel is fond of climbing the odd mountain whenever he has the opportunity. He likes to spend his free time camping by the ocean with Jo and their two young children. Oh, and football (definitelynotplaying!) – Barcelona FC is his team.
Why do you love being a PADI Course Director?
I love getting the emails from Instructors who did their IDC with me – sometimes years ago – who take the time to write to me to tell me about their teaching experiences (not always good ones) and how what they learnt from me during their IDC really helped them. That always leaves me with a warm feeling inside!
What does the future hold for you?
Happy to call this part of Mexico his home, Angel’s plan is to develop the IDCs and professional-level courses, as well as the Tec, Cave and DDI courses which are so valuable to Pro divers. “We never stop learning and are always looking for ways to improve our Pro courses, to give our new Instructors the best start to their diving careers.”
What do his IDC students think of Angel?
“When you have to make such an important choice unseen, you’re taking a gamble. I entered the program with a little trepidation and was blown away by the professionalism and quality of the program. I expected to be prepared for the instructor exam. I didn’t know that I was going to be taught how to be a successful SCUBA instructor. I got more than I expected and I am delighted by the results.” (Joe Jackson – 2014)
I took my DM in 1991 but it took until 2014 to make me decide to do the IDC. I looked around quite a bit but my decision became Pro Dive in Playa del Carmen. I will not go into any lengthy details… What I DO feel I need to say is that Angel together with Jo and Aitor made every effort and way more in making sure that we would pass the IE which we all did with a very wide margin!
I very seldom meet people acting in such professional and dedicated manner…
I think I stop here otherwise I would be ranting forever 🙂
Would I recommend Pro Dive to anybody who is serious about diving and an IDC? YES!!!!!!!
To Angel, Jo and Aitor and the other people at Pro Dive Playa del Carmen: I salute you and thank you!!!” (Peter Litsegaard – 2015)
Where are we?
PADI IDC Address
Parcela 4 MZA 293 Lote 2 Local 5-6,
Ejido Norte, Edificio Matiz,
Playa del Carmen, Quintana roo,
PADI 5-STAR Gold Palm IDC Resort
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Dive Centre