Ryan and Kami tell us about their family's trip to Belize and the many travel memories they made while staying at home in the rainforest.

How did you find your exchange?

I contacted the other member in search of an exchange.

What attracted you to this exchange opportunity?

We have always wanted to take our children to Central America. Belize was a great country to start with as English is one of the official languages. Once we found the Jungle Retreat home exchange we were super excited as it would allow us to live in the rainforest.

How was your arrival at the home?

We did not get to meet our hosts, but because the house is part of an eco-lodge it felt like we did through stories of the staff. Our hosts were very helpful with tips and suggested side trips. We were especially happy that we took their suggestion to visit Caye Caulker in the north before heading down south to our exchange home. This allowed us to snorkel on the second largest barrier reef in the world.

What did you see or do during your exchange?

We packed a lot into the week and a half we had. We took a jungle survival hike into the rainforest that was organized by the eco-lodge that my daughters really enjoyed. We also took a tour of a chocolate factory during a day trip into the nearby town. Some of our favorite days were playing in the Moho River watching iguanas and lots of tropical birds. Others highlights include getting fresh vegetables from the organic garden on the grounds and meeting the grandchildren of one of the gardeners that we befriended during our stay.

What is your favorite memory from the exchange?

There were a lot of memories made during this trip. But during our travels we have always found that it is the surprise or unexpected experiences that stick with you. We were lucky enough to be at the eco-lodge on a day when an owner of a U.S. chocolate store had brought down a group of employees to see where there beans are grown. They were fun to talk to and also treated everyone to an authentic night, that involved listening to a group of Garifuna musicians along with a tasting of the chocolate drink that is enjoyed by the local tribes.

How would you describe home exchange to your family and friends?

It is an amazing way to travel especially with children as it allows them to find a home away from home. My daughters always like exploring their "new" home the second they walk in the front door.

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