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Belize + Costa Rica 3 C • July 10-July 23, 2022

Service with Smiles!

July 22, 2022

Hello all,

Since you last heard from us we have seen and experienced so many amazing things. We arrived at Buenaventura, our accommodation for our service portion of the trip on a rainy Tuesday. We began our service by planting Cacao plants for the El Brujo community. Anna and Isabel catapulted themselves into the activity making sure each plant was correctly planted in preparation for their donation to the locals. After planting, our kids got themselves washed up and ready for our cooking lesson. Our guides Blanca and Harlow taught us how to make the delicious El Salvadoran dish, pupusas. Each student took the tortilla, stuffed it with cheese and pan-fried them. Lula fully embraced the activity, stuffing hers full of cheese to create a pupusa that ensured each bit consisted of as much of the melted El Salvadoran goodness. The next day we set off on a short hike out to El Brujo to start our second day of service. We split the group into thirds with one planting cacao plants, one group painting the community center, and the last group doing yard work. After finishing planting, Lucy R. eagerly asked if she could go help the other groups with their tasks. We admire her drive to be of service to everyone around her. Spearheading the painting group, John and Archer meticulously painted the new door for the community center office. Anything but perfection was not an option for the boys! Working with the last group, Lucy G worked with a purpose and lead her group to finish the full field. Her hard work and leadership skills ensured that all the work was completed in a thorough and efficient manner. The world would run better with more hard workers like Lucy. After we completed our service we set off in a game of soccer with the local kids. From kick-off to the final whistle Evans expertly led his team to victory. He only scored one goal but made sure to spread the ball across his entire team and in the process racked up many assists. No team could ever lose with a captain like Evans on the field. With service complete we made the walk back to Buenaventura to get cleaned up after our hard days work and ready for our next cooking lesson, Chocolate! Our guide Harlow brought out cacao beans ready to be cooked, ground, and used for making delicious dark chocolate brownies. After we roasted the beans, Smitty enthusiastically began to grind the beans with speed and a smile. Her smile never fails to shift the mood of the group. After a wonderful few days in the jungle we hit the road on our way to our surfing lessons on Uvita Beach. Coming into these lessons with previous surfing experience, Jack did not skip a beat once we got the beach. He was the first one in the water and the last one out. His enthusiasm for the activity helped to encourage the rest of the group as they learned alongside each other. We are excited for the final day with your wonderful children. Thank you for sharing them with us.


Pura Vida,

Sergio, Parker, and Gillie


Island Life!

July 19, 2022

Hey BCR families!!

The last day on Long Caye Island was filled with fishing, swimming, and appreciating our little stretch of paradise we’ve been fortunate enough to call home for the past week! After the morning group set out on the water to fish, we realized this was no ordinary fishing expedition. Within moments of casting her first-hand line, Anna snagged a strawberry grouper and her luck did not stop there. After just two hours on the water, Anna’s fish count was up to 17. Smitty’s count was a close second, catching 14 fish. The group was fortunate to have John’s marine life expertise, as he was able to identify each type of fish we caught within seconds of laying eyes on it, and we caught quite the variety. Jack won the battle against a queen triggerfish, which he happily released back into the sea after learning they are a protected species in Belize. Using just a hand line and her quiet determination, Lucy R. pulled in a juvenile black-tip reef shark impressing our fishing guides, Reeves and George. She even leaned in to give the shark a kiss before releasing it back into the water! We finished the day with a total fish count of 119 fish, so you can imagine the dinner spread we had awaiting us. Later, we wrapped up our last Moonup in Long Caye by discussing our habits and how we hope to work on positively improving them. The next day, we said goodbye to our home in Belize and boarded the Huracan Diving boat one last time to head back to the mainland for our travel day to Costa Rica!! The early morning sun and crystal clear glass-like water made our last boat ride more than enjoyable. On the front of the boat, Archer led the group in games like Telephone and Mafia and before we knew it we were at the airport ready for our flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala. After making it through customs, the six girls (plus Gillie and Parker) sprinted through the airport, eyes wide and stomachs rumbling, as we raced towards Starbucks. Meanwhile, one of our LODs, Evans, found soccer jerseys for sale from the national Guatemalan soccer team. Next thing you know, all ten kids were roaming the airport in matching jerseys thanks to Evans’ good eye! Before catching our last flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, the group embraced our relaxing airport afternoon filled with many snacks and delicious coffee drinks. We finally made it to our cozy hotel in San Jose and fell fast asleep after our long travel day.

On our first full day in Costa Rica, we heading to the Pacuare River to begin our whitewater rafting journey. Splitting up into teams, we set out for our two-day adventure. After going down our first rapid, Lula eagerly asked her raft guide Poncho if she could switch to the front of the raft and help lead her team down. Poncho agreed and next thing we knew, Lula was fearlessly battling class III and IV rapids in the front with her incredibly strong paddle strokes. After a yummy lunch of tacos and the best pineapple we’ve ever had, we settled into our home for the night: an eco-lodge nestled along the bank of the river. Playing down by the river in the afternoon, the group found water holes to swim in, waterfalls to explore, and boulder rocks to tan on. Lucy G. was determined to swim up under the waterfall, fighting its current, in hopes of catching the fun on the Go-Pro. Despite the waterfall’s fierceness, she had the group laughing so hard as she kept encouraging people to try to swim through the current with her. Although we’re not sure anyone ever made it fully to the other side, it sure was entertaining. After competing in handstand contests, practicing yoga positions, and relaxing in hammocks, we gathered for our Moonup underneath the most stunning stars. The next day, we headed out for our second day of rafting. Weaving around volcanic rock formations and narrow slot canyons, we admired our beautiful jungle surroundings as we flew down the Pacuare. Many members of our group went for swims after flipping out of rafts, including 6’5” Sergio. However, Isabel impressed us all with her innate ability to stay balanced and focused on class IV rapids. Not once but twice, she slipped out of position, nearly falling in, but kept paddling as her raft guide instructed and stayed on! Clearly, her position in the front of the raft was well deserved! After finishing our rafting section, we headed on to a quaint little town called Turrialba. Arriving in the late afternoon, we enjoyed ice cream and shopped around and ended the evening with Thai food for a change of pace. Tomorrow morning, we’re traveling to a new location to start our service portion of the trip. We will check in with y’all in a few days!


Pura vida,

Parker, Gillie, and Sergio


Shoutouts from the kids:


Hey fam, I miss you guys so much but I’m having so much fun. I’ve made a lot of good friends and had a lot of good mems. Love you so much


Hey mom and dad I miss y’all so much and I’m having so much fun can’t wait to see y’all but want to stay here


Hey mom and dad! I’m having sooo much fun here. I miss y’all both and love y’all! I’ll be excited to see y’all.


Hey kitty and dick dick I’m having a blast and love my group. I love you a lot and miss you a little. Tell bailey and earns I miss them a lot and met one of Baileys friends. Love your angel daughter

Evans-(favorite child)

Hey mama and dad can’t wait to see y’all!! Just wanna thank y’all so much for sending me on this amazing trip. I have a great group and have learned so much. I love y’all so much and can’t wait to see you!!!


Hey mom and dad I can’t wait to see you guys. Thank you so much for sending me here. I am having a great time. I have a great group. I love you.


Hey mom and dad I miss y’all so much. I’m having the best time of my life. It’s so cool here and I wish I could stay here. Love you guys

Lucy G-

Hey mama and dad! Thank you so much for sending me on this trip, I am having so much fun, and have had so many amazing experiences!! I love and miss y’all so much and tell Tuck, Henry, (and Bo) I say hi!! See you soon!!

Lucy R-

Hey mom and dad! Miss you so much. I’m having the best time ever on this trip. I have done and seen so many amazing things here. Love you guys and tell Mack Will and Luna I miss them too. Can’t wait to tell you about moondance!


Hey you guys! So far this trip is AMAZING! The 3 leaders are all great, and the 6 girls and 3 other boys here are all great, I couldn’t have asked for a better group!We’ve been fishing, diving (all though I didn’t quite finish the survey yet) and rafting! Love u!


Checking in from Long Caye!

July 15, 2022

Howdy folks!


BCR checking in from the beautiful island of Long Caye. The week began with a surprisingly calm and beautiful boat ride from Belize city to our island where we stayed for our time in Belize. Our captain  Jose got us to the island in record time where we quickly settled in and caught an epic sunset. Our wonderful cook Marta made us some delicious traditional Belizean cuisine of rice and beans. We then gathered on the dock for our first Moonup where we debated our B+ super power. We wrapped up our Moonup by choosing our very first LODs (leaders of the day), Jack and Anna for their infectious positivity and genuine excitement for the weeks that lay ahead.


Our first full day on Long Caye started with an introduction to our diving course and a swim test where Archer impressed us all with his swimming skills, as he was the last one in the water and the first to finish. What an aquatic marvel!! The boys then hopped in the crystal clear water for some snorkeling where John spotted a barracuda. As John found fish of all different kinds, Jack and Evans worked their way across the ocean floor collecting any bits of trash they could! The dive guides were impressed with their determination. As we began our diving course and assembling our scuba tanks, Lucy R. showed off her abundance of dive knowledge from her PADI course, answering all the questions the guides could throw at her. After familiarizing ourselves with all the dive gear, we hung out on the dock and lost game after game of big booty to our fiercely competitive leaders, Parker and Sergio. We had yet another filling and delicious meal of chicken and rice for dinner where Smitty tried not one, but two new foods!!! Jack and Anna led a beautiful Moonup under the stars and posed the question of what our spirit animals are, you would be surprised by some of the answers!! Our next LODs were, Lucy (LG) because of her genuine and friendly nature and John for his ability to lighten the mood and keep the group laughing with his Elvis impersonations. The next day we hit the ground running and completed two dives, where we learned some of the invaluable skills necessary to complete the PADI certification. Lula, our only seasoned diver, was a huge help to the dive guides in getting the group excited and ready for the skills. After diving, the kids were exhausted and settled in some hammocks on the beach for a long nap before dinner.


On day 4 we had three separate deep water dives! The day was filled with shark sightings and exploring of the second biggest coral reef in the world! Isabel’s excitement was contagious after the first deep water dive, sharing all about the sharks and rays she spotted while exploring the underwater world. Evans fearlessly chased after a 5-foot reef shark much to the surprise and horror of his leaders and dive guides. He was fearless in his chance, finally catching up to the shark and brushing its tail with his hand. Incredible bravery for such a petite young man. The dive guides have been so impressed with this groups’ endurance and natural ease they’ve exhibited while taking on the diving certification. After our dives, the kids gathered in the top deck of our lodging dubbed the “crows nest” to relax and hangout before dinner. We ended the day with a very sandy Moonup led by Evans and Lula where we discussed our cartoon counterparts and biggest fears. The full moon was so big we couldn’t help but embrace our inner werewolf as we howled as a pack bonded by such a beautiful sight.


The whole group is officially scuba certified!!! In the morning, we finished off the scuba section by excelling in underwater compass navigation and reaching 65-feet!!!After diving, we had some of Marta’s incredible quesadillas before heading over to the island of Half-Moon Caye for some sightseeing and snorkeling. While snorkeling around the island, the boys chased after a barracuda leading the whole group through some treacherous stinging sea grass patches which we fortunately escaped with minimal consequence. We also got to see the protected area of the Red Footed Booby. Half Moon Caye is a very special habitat called a littoral forest which is home to a variety of protected creatures such as the Island Leaf-Toed Gecko, the Hermit crabs, Frigate bird, Osprey, the Spiny tail iguana and the endangered Red-Footed Booby. Anna and John fired off a barrage of questions at our guides Ruth and Mario, learning all they could about the beautiful ecosystem we were surrounded by. Their curiosity brought smiles to our faces and showed us that a love for the outdoors has not yet gone extinct. We look forward to seeing how the rest of this trip unfolds, each and every one of your children has been an absolute delight!


Until next time,


Sergio, Parker, and Gillie

Arrived in Belize City!

July 10, 2022

Hello Belize + Costa Rica Families!

We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Belize! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


  • Lucy
  • Smitty
  • Jack
  • John
  • Lucy
  • Lula
  • Anna
  • Archer
  • Evans
  • Isabel