Celebrating the 23rd NAUI Members Meeting, NAUI Mercosul held its annual conference from August 13 to 18 in the city of Jundiaí, SP, Brazil. More than 130 NAUI Instructors and leaders attended, and the event reached the goal of bringing together our finest, who came to network, qualify for specialty ratings, and promote the exchange of information between professional colleagues, as well as foster business growth in the diving market.
The conference’s adaptive diving workshop, the fruit of a long partnership between the NAUI Brazil office and PEAMA (Adaptive Sports and Activities Program), gave our NAUI Instructors an incredible hands-on experience of working with people with specific special needs (autism, Down syndrome, amputees, wheelchair users, blind) for an amazing diving experience. PEAMA, which was developed in Jundiaí, the city that also houses the NAUI Brazil office, is one of the largest and best such programs in Brazil, with more than 350 persons who participate in many different types of sports activities.
Our NAUI Public Safety Diving Instructors also ran a workshop. Their annual presentation is already a strong tradition within NAUI Mercosul, and it was well attended this year. Competent diving professionals in this highly specialized field are active all over the country with their services..
To maintain their active status, NAUI Courses Directors and Instructors Trainers were able to take their mandatory requalification, which was conducted by Brazil’s NAUI Worldwide Training Representative Alvanir S. Oliveira “Jornada,” and they are now able to continue their mission of training new members of our agency.
During the conference, an “Expo Dive Show” was set up, which was attended by distributors of the major diving equipment brands in Brazil. NAUI members had a great opportunity to learn about new product launches as well as general business practices. Oceanic, Tusa, Scupabro, Seas, Seac Sub, Fun Diving, Sea Sub, DUI, Cressi, Hollis, Pino (Brazilian neoprene clothing) all had booths and company representatives to present their latest wares. The Divers Alert Network Brasil team also gave its institutional support.
The weekend’s general plenary aeaaion was devoted to lecture presentations and roundtables addressing technical, safety, and administrative topics relevant to diving. A highlight was the presentation on the Brazilian base in the Antarctic, given by Brazil Navy Cmdr. Luis Filho and Sub Cmdr. Israel Levi de Oliveir, both NAUI members, who, in addition to their mission for Brazil to the frozen landscapes, took the opportunity to plant the NAUI flag there — making everyone very proud!
Other prominent attendees at the conference included representatives of the Brazilian Army, Brazil Secretariat of Ecotourism, Paraná State Fire Department, and Goiás State Fire Department. In addition, we learned that the Alcatrazes Archipelago Wildlife Refuge, which had been closed to visitation by boats since the 1980s had been opened for recreational diving activities, welcome news for our attendees.
Once again, the annual NAUI meeting revealed that NAUI professionals are committed to improving their qualifications, expanding their skills, discussing ways to improve diving teaching and their contribution to this activity.