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.
co-owner & instructor of Freedive Utila
Marie-Marcelle Rose is from an (non-exotic, but beautiful) island located in the east coast of Canada called Montreal . She spent her summers (too short) gardening and landscaping , and her winters traveling somewhere warmer. Her twin interests of diving and sailing brought her here one winter, where she discovered freediving and yoga. Since then, her interest has never stopped growing.
Although she hails from a part of Canada over 1,000 km from the ocean, Sheena has always had an interest in aquatic activities. Growing up, she spent summers on the lake waterskiing and wakeboarding, and winters in the pool taking rescue and lifeguarding courses. As an adult, she took up scuba diving, eventually becoming a Divemaster. In 2015, Sheena left the cold Canadian prairies and a career in design and communications behind to explore the warmer parts of the globe. Her search for sunny weather and good scuba diving brought her to Utila, where she quickly developed a (healthy!) addiction to freediving. Now, as part of the Freedive Utila team, Sheena loves introducing others to freediving and helping them hone their aquatic abilities. When not busy holding her breath underwater, you can often find her in the kitchen brewing coffee, whipping up veggie curry, or baking a batch of home-made biscotti.
Claudia’s first venture into the world of freediving was following some turtles into the blue off the coast of Bali. Soon after she took her first freedive course…and she was completely hooked!
Back home in Germany, Claudia kept diving. She swapped warm, clear oceans for cold lakes giving her another first experience; thermoclines!
So she headed for warmer climates in 2016. Claudia didn’t know her training trip to Utila would turn her world upside down! She found that life was so much better without a stressful office job, when you lived your passion. Heading home to Germany once again, this time to simply collect her monofin, she decided to return to Utila to begin a new life in the Caribbean.
Teaching Apnea since February 2017, Claudia is the newest member of our instructor team.
After leaving his country at 21 years to try and find his luck in Europe, and living in Barcelona for 12 years, this laid back Argentinian guy decided to exchange his suit and tie for something more appropriate: A wet suit
Since 2013 Mariano travelled big part of the five continents and his passion for the sea turned him into – first – a scuba dive master. And only a little later he discovered that his real vocation was freediving.
Since 2015 he has developed his career as a freedive instructor in Thailand and Myanmar to finally become part of our Freedive Utila team. We all agreed on the fact that he is the friendliest guy on the island!
Cassie’s passion for freediving came from wanting to swim like a mermaid. The first time she saw a monofin, she just knew she was hooked even before she tried! She was then drawn to the world of competitive freediving and soon entered her first freediving competition in 2012, where she ended up winning the title of “National Depth Champion.”
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Cassie has been living in various parts of the Caribbean on and off. In 2016 she landed in Utila for the first time and instantly fell in love with the magic of the island and the atmosphere she found at Freedive Utila. She loves to share her passion for monofining and competitive freediving.
When not out on the line diving or teaching monofin courses, Cassie can sometimes be caught DJing techno at a beach party or somewhere in the underground… even though she is usually practising yoga and studying fringe healing approaches in an attempt to find that elusive mystical moment.
Vicky & Jessica
Vicky and Jessica are Canadian sisters that came to Utila with their non-travel-friendly juicer, and their sincere determination to provide healthy food and drink options. They will happily share their knowledge about wellness , strengthening the immune system, and detox as a means to increase energy, while never being preachy about it. They have set up shop with us, and have quickly become part of our team. As laughter and amazing smells come out of their kitchen, they incorporate local herbs and fruits in the best natural juices, smoothies, daily salads, and other creative ideas for anybody that care about health…… even if you are not obsess with health , i guarantee you will love their food because they mastered this really complex point: “food has to taste good” . Seriously, come check out the passion these girls put into what they do.
Freedive shop cat
Her name is “Trouble” and sleeping / eating is her dharma. In her very stressful existence she has assisted more class hours than anybody on this island. She’ll keep you company during your stay with us. She’s part of our team and she gives animal therapy to students for free.
Freedive Utila CEO
This is Pescado and Freedive Utila is his Kingdom. He has the biggest ego you’ll encounter at the shop. He owns everything, we all work for him, and he thinks freediving is absurd. He ignores dogs, fights with cats, and thinks that yogis resting in Sivasana are failing to recognize his greatness. You’ll probably find him terribly cute — all part of his cunning plan.