James "Jim" Hutchinson
Platinum Course Director #151979
Jim learned to dive in 1990 on Australia’s world famous Great Barrier Reef, an experience that that truly changed his life and sent him down the long and amazing road of Professional Scuba Diving.Jim hails from England, and shortly after completing his B.A in History and Political Science decided to pursue his new passion of SCUBA diving and enrolled in a Commercial Diving program in England’s South East. Diving in sewage plants, paper mills and even giant vats of milk was an education but the call of warmer, clearer tropical waters was too strong to resist and Jim left for South America with the goal of teaching SCUBA diving somewhere warm, beautiful and exotic.Jim eventually landed in Honduras where he became a PADI Instructor and spent the next 10 years earning a reputation as a true professional Pro. Known for fun, thorough and professional teaching, Jim was soon rising up the PADI ladder and was certified a PADI Course Director in 2003.Jim went on to work for PADI 5 Star CDC centers in Honduras, Thailand, Australia and Mexico. In 2007 he was recruited by PADI as Regional Manager for north Australia and Papua New Guinea working with over 90 PADI Dive Centers and resorts to achieve their goals and grow their business. This experience has been a huge benefit to all who worked with and learned under Jim over the following years.Now in Cozumel, Jim has teamed up with Cozumel Dive School with the mutual goals of establishing one of the greatest PADI 5 Star IDC centers in the Caribbean, and the world.With over 6000 logged dives (and counting) Jim’s interests revolve around underwater photography, Free Diving, Marine conservation and anything involving fish, critters and the amazing aquatic realm. In his free time Jim is an avid sports fan, outdoorsman, reader and foodie. Jim loves teaching PADI Courses of all levels, especially the Divemaster, Instructor and Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) professional-level courses and programs.
Kenneth "Ken" Stromberg
Platinum Course Director #322656
A Swede who decided to turn his career from Swedish Armed Forces and Construction Engineering into a diving instructor profession on a Caribbean island of Cozumel. The same Swede who decided that Go Pro Cozumel & Dive Master Internships, 2 programs training PADI professionals on Cozumel, should be accompanied by a dive school teaching non-professionals the art of scuba-diving. His adventure with diving started in 1998, in Phuket, Thailand and continued through the waters of Cambodia, Jordan, Egypt, Croatia, Spain, Sweden, Costa Rica and Jamaica until 2011, when on Maldives he heard about Divemaster Internships on Cozumel. ‘I knew it was the right program for me. I packed up and flew to Mexico, where I completed my Divemaster and Assistant Instructor training. I came back to Sweden but couldn’t really adjust back to what they call a ‘normal’ life. I returned to Cozumel and became a fully certified PADI Instructor in 2014. Since then I have certified over 2000 students, took over the business from my mentor Mike Sobel, became a Course Director 2021 and developed quite strong position in diving industry on the island. My passion is Technical Diving: in 2016 I went to Dahab in Egypt to reach the depth of 100 m. I am a Trimix Diver, Full cave diver, Rebreather diver and Tec Deep Instructor. Im now looking into getting a sidemount rebreather for the caves.
Karolina "Kaja" Danda
Master Instructor #396112
Karolina, or just Kaja for most friends both back in her home country, Poland, and abroad. A passionate traveler with a degree in tourism management & Italian, her place has never been behind the desk. Started diving in Egypt in 2010 and immediately fell in love with a newly found environment. After a couple of years working in a corpo world in Poland, she traded her beloved city of Krakow for beautiful Rockies and moved to Banff, Canada, where she understood that working outdoors and in direct contact with nature & people outweighs any job she’s done so far. Travel itch brought her to Mexico where she started diving again, fell in love with the country’s vibe and completed her Divemaster at Cozumel Dive School. Antipodes had always been high on her go-to list and so she went to Australia and New Zealand and in the meantime - as it was simply closer than Mar Caribe - she completed her Scuba Instructor course in Indonesia, on Gili T. The heart has eventually taken her back to Cozumel where she’s been living & diving happily since August 2018. Head instructor of Divemaster training at CDS, huge fan of eagle rays and equally avid hater of marine debris & cruise ships. Recently trained cave diver in love with dark, novice freediver, Tec diver on the lookout for a sidemount rebreather. Mum of two crazy cats who can’t live without mountains, diving, running and gym. You can bribe her with coffee, nuts and… negroni ;)
Ulrike "Uli" Wetzel
IDC Staff Instructor #519227
Team member of Cozumel Dive School since 2021. Uli is our Operational Manger organizing the daily operations. German citizen with a background as a project manager in a global bank in Europe. She is an volunteer at Cozumel Ocean Research with favorite animal spotted eagle ray and nurse shark. Uli is an outdoor lover and mountaineer, a Ayurveda Health Coach and love cooking. But her favourite happy place is in her 7mm wetsuit.
Matthew "Matteo" Pace
Matthew “Aka” Matteo , an Italian Canadian raised in the Montreal area. Team member of Cozumel Dive School since 2022. A passionate & professionally trained musician with a degree in Marketing & Sales. I’ve always been a people person who loves to travel and eat good food. I first learned about my love to facilitate & teach in a corporate environment years ago. My love and passion for diving brought me to become a dive professional while maintaining my roots. Turtles and Bull sharks are my favourite any day. I plan on staff instructor next and possibly one day course director depending on where life takes me. Staying in the dive industry is probable
Dive house cat
Team member of Cozumel Dive School since 2018. As a kitten, Rico was adopted from the streets after stray dog killed his whole family. He directly became the boss of the school and is very talkative. He is our Emotional support animal and attended more IDC training sessions then any of our working instructors.
Dive house cat
In 2020 Rico went out on the streets and adopted his own little brother. Ginger was a tiny kitten with rough first weeks in a backyard of Cozumel. His favorit sleeping spot is still on the streets under our cars.