Take Action

Along the Nicaraguan and Honduran Caribbean Coasts, there are several organizations working on the ground to improve diver training, collect accurate data on diver injuries, provide treatment and care for injured divers, and change environmental and occupational health/safety policies. Listed below are a few of these organizations.

Divers Alert Network (DAN) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) dive safety organization. DAN’s mission is to help divers in need of medical emergency assistance and to promote dive safety through research, education, products and services. Founded in 1980, DAN was created with the goal of establishing a 24-hour emergency hotline with access to physicians who were trained and experienced in the recognition, care, transportation and recompression therapy of diving injuries. Today, DAN is the largest recreational scuba diving association in the world with more than 230,000 members in the United States and Canada who support their mission by actively caring about dive safety.

Since 2010, DAN has been working with harvesting divers in Honduras, Mexico and Brasil to improve dive training, oxygen first aid techniques and medical care. DAN is currently conducting research on treatment outcome of decompression sickness among lobster divers treated at La Ceiba’s hyperbaric chamber in Honduras (click here for the 2011 UHMS Poster).  In order to obtain a more representative sample for analysis, DAN is currently using the dataset for the divers treated in the chamber during 2011. The lessons learned from these severe cases of decompression sickness are contributing to an improved understanding of the syndrome that can benefit all divers.

You can read more about DAN’s work with harvesting divers here: Harvesting Divers At Risk; Harvesting Divers Update; and The Story of Sponge Divers.

To get in touch about DAN’s work with harvesting divers in Honduras and Nicaragua, contact RCAP@dan.org.

David Fellers Healing Art Foundation

The David Fellers Healing Art Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization established in memory of David Fellers. The Santa Fe-based organization has worked in Nicaragua to provide medical care for injured divers, as well as disabled persons in general. In addition, the organization raises money to provide wheelchairs and other equipment for disabled persons in need. For more information about the work they are doing on the ground and their upcoming projects, contact info@healingartfoundation.org or visit their Nicaragua Project website here: David Fellers Healing Art Foundation Nicaragua Project.

Organization of Disabled Persons on the North Atlantic Coast (ODISRAAN)

ODISRAAN is a small organization based in Puerto Cabezas that is fighting for the rights of all disabled persons in Nicaragua’s North Autonomous Atlantic Region. The organization is part of the Federation of Disabled Persons Associations (FECONORI) and is working to raise awareness about issues affecting the disabled community, as well as to improve medical care, provide support services, and develop public policies that integrate the needs of the disabled.

For more information about ODISRAAN and their work in Puerto Cabezas, contact Martha Downs at downsmarthaodis@yahoo.es.