The team at Bocas Dive Center is passionate about diving and dedicated to teaching and guiding those who love to dive. Our instructors and divemasters are certified to teach scuba diving through the industry's major certifying agencies. Our instructors hold multiple training credentials and can teach virtually any course offered by any certifying agency. Each team member was chosen for their special skills, and together they work hard to make us the best dive center in Panama.
Whether you're new to scuba or you're working on your instructor certification, we have a team member who will instruct and inspire you every step of the way. Our team members are also passionate about the underwater environment. An integral part of our mission is to help educate, protect and conserve the fragile ecosystems in which we dive. We train our divers to be conscientious, considerate, and careful underwater explorers.
Originally from Lucerne, Switzerland, Katja is fluent in German, English, and Italian. Katja overflows with energy; ask her about the many subjects she has studied and the different jobs she has held in her life. Now delighted to call Bocas her home, she loves teaching people of all ages, and is happy to be a member of BDC's team of diving instructors.
BDC's instructor, Lara, loved the feeling of breathing underwater from the moment she learned to dive near the family's beach house in Calella de Palafrugell, Spain. She came to Bocas to earn her advanced diving certification and is still thrilled every time she sees an astounding, gorgeous underwater creature. Lara adores living on this magical island with its relaxed vibe, and is grateful for all the opportunities she's had here. Lara wants to encourage everyone, especially fellow Catalans, to come to Bocas and learn to dive in paradise.
As a Guatemalan banker, Mariela had never tried scuba diving until a good friend prepaid for a course in Bocas. From the very beginning, she loved the excitement of boating out to a dive site, the warm camaraderie of fellow divers, and the sudden explosion of underwater beauty. Now a scuba instructor with extensive teaching experience, Mariela dives almost daily. When she is not in the water, she is either bicycling around the island or hanging with friends.
Victor trained as an amateur boxer, and was a much-sought after bartender and dancer in clubs all over Andalucia, Spain, where he was raised. During a break from university studies, Victor fell in love with scuba diving. At the end of a year in his father’s native Morocco, Victor decided to follow his new passion to the Caribbean. After completing his IDC training, Victor traveled around the world teaching hundreds of students and doing thousands of dives. During a vacation in Isla Colon he found his true home: the Bocas Dive Center. Although he’d still like to master Salsa dancing, Victor can dazzle on the dance floor. And if you ask nicely, maybe he’ll tell you about his tattoos…
Captain Charlie was born and raised here in Bocas del Toro, and started diving at age 17. Before joining the BDC team, he worked for the Smithsonian marine biologists who research and photograph our beautiful, fragile reefs. Extremely professional, and well versed in all the best dive spots throughout the archipelago, Charlie might be one of the few boat captains who is also a Divemaster.
Hector’s passion for marine life and diving took off when he was 8 years old. He has certified hundreds of students since becoming a PADI Instructor, but he still loves meeting and training every new group of divers and is thrilled at their success. Hector is an extremely accomplished surfer and has had the pleasure of diving and surfing around the world.
Alcibiades was born and raised in Bocas Del Toro along with his brother and sister. He is a soccer fan and he loves the ocean! Alcibiades joined the BDC staff as a boat captain in 2015. When he's not taking care of our boats or ferrying BDC divers and students around our beautiful archipelago, Alcibiades is busy studying to become a primary school teacher.