Founded in 2006, The Ralph Erickson Educational Foundation was the result of Ralph Erickson's, Co-Founder of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), passing. REEF strives to provide an opportunity for those divers whose economic status prohibits them from continuing their education to the Instructor ranks of the scuba diving industry.
Ralph strongly believed that diving truly was a universal language. Before diving became the soaring success it is today, islands such as Cozumel were largely untouched by diving. Few knew how to dive and even fewer knew how to teach such a specialized sport. Ralph spent years teaching locals on the islands the sport of diving, certifying them as instructors, often at minimal cost in order to expand the industry. His dream truly was that one day the world would learn to dive, with locals who knew the reefs and dive spots enjoying the opportunities to show the world what the oceans had to offer.
With this in mind REEF set out, upon Ralph's passing to provide instructor courses to locals who could not otherwise obtain their instructor certificatification due to financial restrictions. Often a local dive master on island can earn as little as $8.50 a day. In many areas, upon completion of the IDC and passing the Instructor Examination, a candidate's income has the potential to more than double. It is the foundation's hope that these new PADI instructors will have successful jobs in the industry and perhaps continue on to open dive centers of their own. Please support REEF's Mission today!