Mark “Tex” Rogers
Founder and Owner of Freedive Utila
The founder and owner of Freedive Utila, Mark is an Apnea Total Instructor Trainer, an AIDA International Judge and Instructor, a YA yoga instructor, a PADI Staff Instructor, and a DSAT Tec Trimix diver. Tex began his diving career in Honduras’ Bay Islands, learning to scuba dive in Roatan in 1994. Since then he has lived and worked in Japan, China, SE Asia, India, Egypt and the Maldives. In 2008 he traded his tanks and regs for long fins, a small mask, and his lungs under the expert guidance of the Apnea Total team in Koh Tao, Thailand. In 2010 he joined the team as an Instructor.
Although she hails from a part of Canada over 1,000 km from the ocean, Sheena has always loved aquatic activities. Growing up, she spent summers on the lake and winters in the pool, becoming certified in lifesaving, rescue, and swimming instruction. Later, she took up scuba diving and fell in love with the sea, which led her to leave the chilly Canadian prairies behind. Her search for sunny weather and good scuba diving brought her to Utila, where she got completely hooked on freediving. A couple years (and a few skipped flights) later, Sheena is an experienced instructor and Canadian national record holder who loves introducing others to freediving and helping them to enjoy their time underwater. When not in the Caribbean Sea, you can probably find her in the kitchen baking or brewing coffee.
Erin discovered freediving here in Utila after seeing the Utila freedivers diving to depths that were considered deep on scuba using nothing but a single breath at our very own Haliburton dive site. She was mesmerized and immediately began her journey into the blue, ditching the tank and training her mind and body to dive to depths she’d never imagined reaching. A natural to the sport, Erin had been a swimmer all her life and a scuba diver since she was 12. She loves the meditative aspect of freediving and how much she learns about herself with every dive and static breath hold.
Erin left the corporate world several years ago and wouldn’t trade island living for anything in the world.
Erin loves instructing and sharing her passion for the sport with others. There is nothing better than seeing her students coming up from a dive with a huge smile on their faces having just done something they never thought they could.
When she’s not instructing you can find her walking along the coast with her dog/Freedive Utila’s newest and weirdest mascot, Vicki.
Growing up near the ocean, Zach has always had an affinity for the water. After coming to Freedive Utila in 2015 as a student, he was never quite able to kick the addiction, returning multiple times. Zach finally decided to stop floating around the world and dive in to becoming a freedive instructor. He loves teaching and showing students what they’re truly capable of, sharing with them the same feelings that made him fall in love with the sport. When Zach isn’t laying on the bottom of the ocean he can be found (usually sleeping) in “his spot” upstairs on the couch. It has been repeatedly suggested to him that his spirit animal is the noble three-toed sloth and he couldn’t be bothered disagreeing.
Vicky and Jessica
Pucker Up, Power Up
Vicky and Jessica are Canadian sisters that came to Utila with their non-travel-friendly juicer and a sincere determination to provide healthy food and drink options. They established Pucker Up, Power Up on the Freedive Utila dock, and now Vicky is running the show. She will happily share her knowledge about wellness, strengthening the immune system, and detox as a means to increase energy, while never being preachy about it. As laughter and amazing smells come out of the kitchen, Vicky incorporates local herbs and fruits in the best natural juices, smoothies, daily salads, home-made chocolates, and other creative ideas for anybody that cares about health… even if you’re not a health-nut, come check them out. The food is delicious!
Don’t be fooled by her small size, her diminutive meow, or her adorable spotted belly. This little beast has a larger-than-life personality. Using her ruthless cuteness and her needle-sharp fangs, she keeps the Freedive Utila staff in line and the customers happy.