July 22, 2023
Hola from Costa Rica, again!
Our last days of the trip have been SO much fun and the perfect way to finish an amazing two weeks. After rafting, we drove to our next location and stopped at our favorite spot for lunch: Bazooka’s. We then finished the drive and arrived at Buenaventura. Buenaventura is located in the jungle and is completely surrounded by beautiful canopies and exotic animals. While in Buenaventura, the students were able to have their first “real chocolate experience” with Harlow’s majestic dark chocolate class in which they roasted, peeled, and ground cacao beans. During the class Libby was able to show off their ability to peel the most beans per minute!
The next day was spent in sunny El Brujo, a local community of 30 families that reside in the valley just south of Buenaventura. While in El Brujo our group was able to help the community by cleaning up the local community center and moving rocks for a trench that was a part of the new bathrooms. During our service work Sam showed off his impressive strength by carrying the most rocks in one wheelbarrow. We held sweeping relay races in the community center and Sophie smoked the competition. Later that night we had a cooking class where Harlow taught us to make Pupusas, a traditional El Salvadorian dish. The kids finished making pupusas in a record nine minutes and Alexis showed off her cooking skills by cooking them all.
Our last morning in Buenaventura held a special adventure: the Avatar Adventure Waterfall. We hiked up to Toucan Rock (named for its toucan shaped formation) and painted ourselves with blue clay so we all looked like avatars (or Smurfs). Kreider’s design was the coolest with mixed colors and fun patterns. After the waterfall we departed and returned to our favorite place: Bazooka’s. We got milkshakes then headed to Uvita for surfing! We spent the afternoon in a surf lesson at one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen and all of the kids caught waves and looked like professionals. Millie P especially loved surfing and rarely missed a wave. That night at Moonup, Heath had us reflect on what we’re going to miss about our group.
The next morning we woke up and surfed early before breakfast. Once again, the students were surfing superstars! We came back to the hotel for a surprise birthday breakfast for our birthday girl Millie C! We wore fun glasses all the way to our ziplining activity where the birthday girl overcame her fear of ziplines, we are so proud! Edgar also loved ziplining and spotted many different trees and wildlife. Ziplining was the perfect way to look over Costa Rica at the end of our trip and see our home from above. Soleil spotted two rainbow macaws and Will spotted two toucans!
We returned to the Adventure Inn for our banquet dinner, complete with a birthday cake and delicious food. Colten and Caddie kept spirits high at banquet dinner as they told funny stories and made everyone laugh. With matching bucket hats on our heads, we had our final Moonup, filled with songs, funny stories, and great memories. We are so thankful to have had them on this adventure with us!
To the parents of our awesome students-thank you so much for sharing your kids with us! We have had a blast getting to know them and will miss them so much. They’ve made every second of this trip an adventure and we’re so grateful to have had their kind, friendly, and fun-loving spirits with us. We hope they had just as great a time as we did!
Here’s a little poem we wrote to wrap up our incredible adventure together:
Once there was a group fun as could be
Who went by the name of BCR 3C
This crew has had adventures aplenty
So let’s walk together through our memories
Our first stop in Belize was an island oasis
The boat ride there left crazy expressions on our faces
We spent time scuba diving and seeing sharks
There was even a secret fishing mission in the dark
We can forget baby Reeves
Who always had tricks up his sleeves
Swimming in the Belizean sea was a blast
Our long caye days came and went so fast
Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala all in one day!
The airport day was fun and full of games and play
The adventure inn and rafting were our first two activities
Even though we had some swimmers, y’all made rafting look like a breeze
Buenaventura next, where cacao seeds grow
And The avatar waterfall clay made everyone glow
Uvita for surfing and ziplining after
We can’t forget the bus rides filled with laughter
we’re trying to hold back tears and say this casually
We’re so incredibly thankful to have had you as our family
You all are funny, kind, and just plain awesome
We hope your next year is the absolute best one
Sinclair, EC, and Charlie
July 18, 2023
Hola from Costa Rica! The past two days have been an absolute blast. We’ve seen and done so many things in just a short amount of time and can’t wait to tell you all about it! After landing in San Jose late at night we spent the night at the amazing Adventure Inn and rested up before our big whitewater rafting activity. We woke up early the next morning to get our day started and jammed out to great music in the bus. Once we arrived at the Pacuare River we unloaded and split into our rafting teams. We rafted down our first section of the Pacuare and Soleil helped the group appreciate all the beautiful scenery around us and talked with the raft guide about the different kinds of fish in the river. We stopped along the river to see a waterfall and swim around. Sam amazed us with the best belly flop we’ve ever seen and hit us with an encore. Back on the river, Kreider and Alexis fearlessly led their raft all the way to the lodge.
We pulled off the side of the river to the Rios Lodger where we spent the night. The Rios Lodge is an ecolodge surrounded by gorgeous views and breathtaking waterfalls. Our raft guides came with us to one of the waterfalls to show us different colored natural clay masks and Heath and Millie C got their faces painted in cool designs with the clay. Later that night we hosted our favorite event: the talent show. Libby and Sophie wowed the audience with a gymnastics performance, Will stumped the judges with a magic trick, and Edgar took home first place with his one-man show.
The next morning we hopped back on the rafts for the longer section of whitewater rafting, and once again, the students were total pros. Millie P and Caddie hopped out to float down the river for a section and Colten swung into the river on a vine! The past two days have been so much fun and we can’t wait for what the next few will hold!
Until next time,
Sinclair, Emma, Charlie
Student shout outs:
Heath- Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having lots of fun! I’ve met so many new people. I went white water rafting today. I can’t wait to see you, love you!
Edgar- Dear Mom I’ve been doing good so far. It has been a fun trip and we have had good food and I can’t wait to see you.
Sam- Hey Mom and Pop I’ve been having a bunch of fun. Today I went whitewater rafting and tomorrow I think we’re doing community service.
Colten- Hi Mom and Dad! I am having a great time. I would like to thank you for sending me on this trip. P.S. you don’t need to worry.
Kreider- Hey Mom and Dad, I hope y’all are not missing me too much. I can’t wait to see y’all. I am having the time of my life and can’t wait to remember y’all. I love y’all! PS tell my sister and friend I say what’s up.
Will- Hey Mom and Dad! I’m having a blast here in Costa Rica! I miss y’all a lot. Can’t wait to tell you all about it! Love y’all!
Alexis- I miss you guys and I know you’re thinking about me. I love you and I love it here!
Millie C- Hey Mom and Dad I miss you guys but I’m having a great time! Tell ANDERSON I say hi!
Caddie- hey Mom, Dad, Crawford, and Libby! I miss y’all so so much but I am having the best time and have made so many friends! I love y’all and can’t wait to see y’all soon!
Libby- hi Mom, Dad, Luke, Will, and ahah! I miss you guys so so much, but I am having the best time here and have made so many friends! Can’t wait to see y’all soon and give Bella and hug for me.
Soleil- Hi! I miss y’all so much, I am having a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to fell you guys all about it when I get home. I miss everyone so much. I love y’all!
Sophie- I miss y’all so much. I’m having the best time ever! I hope Andrew is doing great too. Love y’all so much!!
Millie P- Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having the best time! I loved scuba diving and everything we’ve done. Miss y’all so much, love you!
July 16, 2023
Hello from Belize! Our first few days have been filled with lots of swimming, games, laughter, and brand new experiences. Arrival day at the Belize airport was full of energy and the group came together really quickly. We soon departed the airport for our boat ride to Long Caye! On the boat ride we saw a beautiful sunset and Libby pointed out how many more stars you can see out on the water than on land. Long Caye was our home for the next five days and we loved it so much! It’s a beautiful island on which we were some of the few people living on it, it truly felt like we had the island to ourselves. Our wonderful host Mr. Reeves showed us how to split coconuts and Miss Marta made our delicious food every day. Will helped everyone set up their hammocks next to each other on the beach, a spot that quickly became our favorite place to hang out. Hanging out on the beach created some of our favorite memories so far, whether it was Sophie becoming a mermaid, Millie C giving us riddles, or Millie P leading games of MASH.
At Long Caye we spent three days learning to scuba dive and everyone got officially scuba certified! Caddie and Alexis were our resident pros as they were already certified and showed the group how it was done. Soleil learned fast and got to show off her skills underwater. We saw so many cool creatures underwater! We saw eels, crabs, colorful fish, and even a hammerhead shark! We spent one of our scuba days at Half Moon Caye where Sam led a group to go see the rare Red Footed Booby Birds. Heath especially loved the water, he was always one of the first to jump in and start swimming!
One of our favorite days was the day Mr. Reeves took us fishing. Each group caught many different kinds of fish and we got to eat the fish we caught for dinner that night. Edgar won our fishing competition by catching sixteen fish! Colten caught an eel and Kreider got to hold a nurse shark!
This week has been so much fun and we have absolutely loved getting to know each other and do all our fun activities together. We can’t wait for more adventures in Costa Rica!
Sinclair, EC, and Charlie
July 10, 2023
Hello Belize + Costa Rica Families!
We heard from our leaders and 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!