The Story of Quino

Dora Sierra was a successful realtor in Phoenix, but she longed to live on the sea.

In 2008, this dream became a reality when she designed, built, and launched Rocio del Mar (named after her daughter, Rocio). The goal was to bring divers to a new dive destination: the northern Sea of Cortez.

Divers came from around the world to explore this fantastic and magical place called “The World’s Aquarium” by Jacques Cousteau. The abundance of life from the tiny (nudibranchs, blennies, and jawfish) to the enormous (sea lions, whale sharks, dolphins, pilot, fin, and humpback whales), made this a world-class dive destination. Little did she know at the time that the Sea of Cortez, while filled with incredible life throughout the year, was best to dive from July through October. Because of this, Rocio del Mar began charters to Socorro during the winter months. Divers were amazed by the curious manta rays, playful bottlenose dolphins, and seven species of sharks.

Some of Dora and the crew’s favorite trips involved marine biologists. The time spent with these groups was incredibly precious, as the data collected helped preserve the ocean and its inhabitants that were so loved by all.

It wasn’t long until the trips became full, with recreational divers limiting the scientific trips. Then a unique opportunity came along to add a second boat. This boat began it’s life as a Northeast fishing vessel and was retrofitted specifically for citizen science and research expeditions. The dive deck with a large camera table doubles as a laboratory, the galley with its drop-down screen and projector is excellent for presentations and the quad cabins ideal for bringing divers together as well as keep the price of the trip economical. She named the boat after her first grandchild, Joaquin, who they call Quino. Quino truly is a “guardian of the sea.”

Quino el Guardian’s mission is to bring divers to some of the most incredible dive destinations in Mexico. By seeing and learning about the area, they fall in love with the ocean. And we protect what we love.

Quino is available for scuba diving charters to Socorro and the Sea of Cortez and unique expeditions to destinations like Clipperton and the Benito Islands. Quino el Guardian also focuses on citizen science expeditions, private charters, videography workshops, rebreather diving, family trips, youth, educational trips, etc.

We invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey.

Our mission is to protect our oceans,
one diver at a time.


Updated September 16, 2020