The owners of Native Sons, Roatan native Alvin Jackson and Michele Akel
Native Sons was set up in 1993 by Alvin Jackson, a native islander and was the realization of a life-long dream. He started scuba diving in 1973 after growing up free diving to help feed his family. Having worked for many years as an instructor and assistant manager at the world renowned Anthony’s Key Resort and designed and managed the dive facility at Bay Island Beach Resort, Alvin knows the importance of good service and safety in the tourist and dive industry. He is a local diving legend and very few others share his knowledge of the reef around the island. He designed and made both the motor boats Native Sons now uses and spent a year renovating their catamaran. Alvin was one of the founders of the Roatan Marine Park, is on the board and is very dedicated to preserving Roatan’s fragile environment.
Michele Akel, known to many as Mish, came to Roatan , from London, England, in 1996 on holiday and did her Open Water Course with Alvin. On day two she lay on the bow of the boat and dreamed of staying on Roatan for ever and hoped Alvin would become part of the dream. She did and he has! After completing her divemaster course she started working for Native Sons and became an instructor in 1997. She and Alvin now run the dive shop and Hotel Chillies together. Mish goes out diving at least once a week to take underwater photos and is fascinated by the beauty and diversity of the reef and the creatures that live there. She is also on the board of the Roatan Marine Park.
Alvin and Mish have 2 children, Teo and Maia, and Alvin’s son Kfer also spends a lot of time with them. They are all very keen divers and hope to one day take over the shop.