Catalina Rodriguez has harbored a passion for animals and diving from an early age. She spent her formative years on dive boats with her parents, both of whom are ardent scuba divers. Her father, a Physical Education teacher and NAUI Course Director, imparted valuable life lessons to her, including leadership and dive safety. He mentored her as his assistant to facilitate instruction and classes, providing a solid foundation for her future as a leader in the diving industry. Her mother, an art curator, professor and NAUI diver, imparted valuable life lessons of animal care and ocean protection that set Catalina on a trajectory for her future.
Catalina’s passion for the ocean and its conservation is palpable in her work as a NAUI member and instructor.
She emphasizes ocean conservation in all her scuba instruction, emphasizing the need to protect the ocean environment, particularly coral reefs, while diving. She leads by example, striving to live a life that is conservation focused. Catalina is actively working towards improving the diving industry’s focus on safety for everyone and sets the example of prioritizing safety first in all her dive-related activities. She credits her father for teaching her the importance of always putting safety first, which she witnessed firsthand during a night dive in Providence Island, Colombia, where her dad rescued a drowning diver.
As an energetic NAUI member, she aspires to see NAUI’s presence expand throughout Latin America and the world, eventually hoping to follow in her father’s footsteps to become a Course Director and continue making a positive impact on the NAUI organization and the dive industry.
Catalina’s passion for animal welfare extends beyond her veterinary work. She founded “The Catalina Ro,” a company that sells scuba courses, poncho towels, and apparel and has started a podcast called “A pet parent guide to veterinary medicine” to help educate and understand the ins and outs of veterinary medicine. A significant portion of the proceeds from her company’s sales goes towards providing veterinary support to stray animals in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Through her efforts, she has sterilized over 150 animals, fully vaccinated 25 stray dogs, and treated around 50emergency and critical care dog cases.
Recently, she sponsored the sterilization of 450 animals in partnership with another foundation, doing all of this through her own volition and dedication.
Catalina is proud to be the only active female instructor in Colombia and a member of the NAUI Diversity Sub-Committee. Her love for animals and the ocean has led her on a unique path, and her work with NAUI and animal welfare serves as an inspiration to others who share her passion.To connect with Catalina or donate to her efforts in animal welfare please visit her Instagram, youtube and spotify pages: @thecatalinaro or @thecatalinaocean