A youth group meets every Saturday afternoon at Vida Abundante Church for 1 ½ hours. Their activities include Bible lessons, crafts or community service projects. Friends of Cozumel volunteers planned a “Learn to Snorkel” program for teens. Ten teens were signed up and we headed to Sunset Beach to teach the youth how use snorkel equipment, safety precautions and practice snorkeling in the ocean. To our dismay, the water was quite rough and we quickly decided that it was not a good day to try this activity.
After arriving back at the church where the younger children were enjoying some singing, Pastor Mariela asked if we could provide an introduction to snorkeling for all the children, ages 3-15. We spent the next 45 minutes explaining the proper fitting and use of equipment. Each of the children tried to find masks that fit their face, practiced breathing through a snorkel, put on and inflated snorkel vests.
No, we weren’t able to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world. However, they all had great fun and it was a first time experience for most of them. The children now know how to identify a properly fitted mask, breathe through their mouth into a snorkel, and how to clear any unwanted water from the snorkel by blowing hard in the mouthpiece.
Hopefully next time they’ll have a chance to experience snorkeling in water! We’ll reschedule an ocean outing for the teens. The younger kids were so enthusiastic about learning that we hope to borrow the use of a shallow swimming pool so they can safely learn to snorkel.
Many thanks to the National Association of Black Scuba Divers for providing the initial equipment and training aids to get this project off the ground. Divers coming to the island who want to give back to the community are welcome to borrow the equipment and volunteer to teach snorkeling to local children and families. ~~Larry in Cozumel