Paco, first diver titled with Down syndrome: “I dream of diving in Mexico.”

Natural from Molina de Segura, he is an example, at 29 years old

Francisco Galera Ferri, 29, is a native of Molina de Segura and the first person with Down syndrome in Spain to have an official title of diver, a distinction that he carries “with pride”. With about eight dives behind him, all of them in Cabo de Palos until now, Paco, as everyone knows him, assures that his dream is to dive under the waters of Mexico in the future. “My wallet just shook,” joked his father, Senior Paco, after hearing it. A father who, together with his wife, María, have been the main architects of his son’s feat.

Since then Paco has not failed his weekly pool appointment, be it summer or winter, becoming a veteran in those parts. That was the day of his baptism at the Ibuzeo club in Molina. His father assures that “it was impressive” how good it was given. And it turns out that Paco is quite a physical wonder.

Warden in Molina

But there is no thing left, the young Galera, who has been working as a warden at the Ribera de Molina hospital for five years, also reaps achievements in other areas, as he was, no less, than champion of the Murcia Region of Classic Dressage of Horses in 2017 and 2018.

After a lot of effort, practice, and always helped by his instructor, Jesús Fernández Ros, last October he achieved the long-awaited title that crowned him as a professional diver. Achieving it was not an easy task, according to account. It took eight long months and the theoretical part, in which he had to learn the necessary knowledge to know how to prepare the equipment, was what choked him the most. It was also difficult for him to learn to communicate underwater. “For him it was like memorizing a second language,” says his father.

“It was the first time I went down 21 meters deep,” he proudly narrates. From the beginning they were clear that Paco would be “an autonomous person” and “the owner of his own decisions”. Although, yes, like any parent, they cared about their child. “At first, when I was doing the dives, we were scared,” they say.

A fear that gradually faded away every time they saw “the face of immense illusion” that Paco had after each dive.

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