Gloriana Brenes Gonzalez in Costa Rica Southern Caribbean is president of an organization that is empowering women to scuba dive with a purpose

Maria Suarez Toro
Posted January 3, 2020 from Costa Rica
Gloriana teaches girls and boys to dive with a purpose: getting to know their¡r history and themselves!
The Children's Diving Camps in Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo´s coastal communities enhance children's abilities to relate to the ocean by knowing and protecting it biological and also cultural resources in a place where everything came form the sea.

Gloriana Brenes Gonzalez, diver and President of the Community Diving Center Ambassadors of the Sea is teaching women and girls lo dive in search of unknown Storie at sea, but also to delve into their own identity so as to know themselves and ancestors.  This is her own story as discovered by herself in the process: ¨The grandchildren of pirates are alive and kicking here in our communities, only they no longer have an eye patch or a wooden leg. In my family by my mothers side, there was a great-great-grandfather who was called "Tata Pinto" and who had been a Portuguese pirate. We know this because my grandmother Julieta Pinto wrote a book about him. But, what has surprised me the most is that, on the other hand, that of my father, there is a fact that nobody knew in my family. They always called me  ‘la negra’o‘ la negrita ’. I went to live in Puerto Viejo and then to Manzanillo and my dad always shouted "Negrita, come to eat". Everyone was watching him weird. At the time I heard people tell him  "you know he is white, why call her that?." They always bothered me about that also but I liked it. My dad really likes history, knowing about ancestors ands do on. So one day he discovered in some very old files that appear in Chilean writer's Tatiana Lobo's book, ¨Negros y Blancos, Todos Mezclados¨that in my family there was a family member who owned enslaved Africans here in Costa Rica  and that at the time of the death of his wife, she had asked that all slaves be released. That ancestor freed the slaves but  married one freed ensalved woman.  And from those ancestors I come. I love the Caribbean, I love Reggae and I love knowing that great granddaughter of a pirate and also of an African woman."

In training youth in scuba diving in order to search for the identity of  sunken ships in the Cahuita National Park, she highlights that those stories are very much a part of us even if we do not know it at first.  She believes that when we ask the elder about the oral stories in our lives and the life of the community, we discover much more that the identity os ships. ¨We discover who we are in the deepest roots, ¡just like the ships in the deepest ocean.

Resident in Puerto Viejo and president of the Community Center for Diving Ambassadors and Ambassadors of the Sea and currently studies the second level of community underwater archeology of the Nautical Archeology Society (NAS) in oder to teach children and youth to scuba dive. She has been coordinator of the 2017 Expedition Galions and Other Ships that is seeking to discover the identity of ships in a community initiative that has invited specialists to train the youth to do so. She is a scuba diver certified by PADI in Open Water, Advanced and Underwater Rescue, in addition to the specialized Shipwreck Monitoring. He was a presentation panelist at the UNESCO Seminar in Costa Rica “Safeguarding the Underwater Heritage” on June 27, 2017 at the Legacy Seminar in the South Caribbean Sea, 2017 in Cahita, organized by the University of Costa Rica, Caribbean headquarters, ASOPESCAHUI and the Community Diving Center. He coordinated the first Monitoring and Capture of Lionfish with ASOPESCAHUI and saves SINAC parks in the Cahuita National Park in 2017 and coordinated the Center's participation in the massive plastic and garbage cleaning campaign in the Parismina lay. 

This story was submitted in response to #SpiritAwards.

Comments 11

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Lisbeth
Jan 03
Jan 03

Hi Maria,
A warm welcome to world pulse. What an interesting first post :-). Congratulations with it.
Wow diving training? I wish I was a kid and currently staying in your place to join such a marvelous diving training opportunity.
So the children are train so they can identified broken ships under seas and ocean s? Maybe I got you wrong.

Whatever way I loved the swimming aspect haha. Thanks for sharing to inspired us.
A warm hugs
Lizzy

Maria Suarez Toro
Jan 03
Jan 03

Lizzy, you understood it right. She is teaching young people to research through underwater archaeology skills to seek the identity of sunken ships. It is indeed. very ground breaking because it is the community knowing its own legacies. They have already rediscovered amazing stories nos registered in history. Like two Danish ships in 1710 that disembarked 650 Africanas in the coasts of Costa Rica even though they were Bçbrought to be enslaved. The two ships came by mistake and released them when they realized they were lost.
Thant is one reason why she deserves the award. You can red more in the new soon but go to Centro Comunitario de Bucoe Embajadores y Embajadoras Del Mar in facebook.

Lisbeth
Jan 03
Jan 03

This looks more interesting now with some African background haha :-).
Sure send me the link will try to read through.
Thanks

Jill Langhus
Jan 04
Jan 04

Hola Maria,

Welcome to World Pulse:-) What a great story about Gloriana. Is she a friend of yours'? How often to you go out on these expeditions with her? I would love to learn to scuba dive and find and discover treasure like this... how fun:-) I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you and also learning more you and your work, too!

Happy New Year!

Anita Shrestha
Jan 05
Jan 05

Good training, it will create great employment to every body

Maria Suarez Toro
Jan 05
Jan 05

Indeed, it will create jobs, but just as relevant, it will be meaningful work related the heritage, legacy and culture of the community, thus restoring
a rooted sense of identity in the new generations.

Elizabeth Ziro
Jan 05
Jan 05

Good read, I'm loving it!
I love swimming and I'm a good swimmer lol, my kids too. My big sister is doing her masters in deep sea diving with
PADI divers, my late dad was a naval officer and he once got a bronze medal in World Swimming Competitions.
It is a nice hobby and career as well.

Maria Suarez Toro
Jan 06
Jan 06

One are YOU going to get in the water? Come to Costa Rica, we will get you wet!

Marianita Harvey
Jan 06
Jan 06

Maravilloso tenerte participando, cada día creces más.

Maria Suarez Toro
Jan 06
Jan 06

Gracias, a usted se lo debemos!

Hello, Maria,

Welcome to World Pulse! What a joy to know that a new voice from Costa Rice is rising up.

Wow, diving! This is such a beautiful activity because it makes the diver admire the vast beauty of the ocean. Wow, I wish I got trained to dive as a young girl, especially that our country is surrounded by water.

Thank you for sharing this with us! We are so happy you are here! Welcome again!