Phil is an entrepreneur, poet, and former zookeeper, originally from Hertfordshire, England (a stone’s throw north of London).
His first business in 2004 was Zoofari (formerly Philzoofari), a UK-based mobile zoo, with an offshoot called Green Tree Co, evolving from that in 2008. It was to become the parent company of conservation projects, interlinked with ethical investments. Phil now sits on the board of over a dozen companies.
In 2008, he first visited Belize and founded Green Tree Co’s tree planting project called “Fund a Forest”, as well as sponsoring the education of a small group of children under “Dollar$ for Scholars”.
The self-funding conservation project in Belize has since expanded to include eco-products and eco-tourism, namely Slickrock, where he invested in November 2018.
He has known founders Cully and Lucy since December 2010, first visiting the island with Cully in August 2011. Since then, Phil met the Slickrock team each and every year since, and developed a real appreciation of the people behind the business, as well as the unique beauty of Long Caye.
The Belizean team have been empowered, and promoted to manage the resort day-to-day, since 2018.
The entire business relocated to Belize in March 2020.
As founder of Slickrock, Cully has extensive experience leading kayak trips with an emphasis on instruction and participation. An avid adventurer, he has led numerous expeditions and has been featured in shows on ABC, ESPN, TBS and Discovery.
With 48 years of guiding experience, and 35 years offering Belize guided tours, he has extensive knowledge. Cully was named one of the “Top 100 Paddlers of the Century” by Paddler magazine in their year-end 2000 issue.
Cully remains with Slickrock on a consultancy basis and spends every summer at The Gorge.
Lucy joined Slickrock in 1986. As Vice-President and office manager, Lucy was involved with the development of our Belize programs from their inception. She guides at Glover’s Reef and is responsible for our renowned menu.
Lucy remains with Slickrock as a consultant. An avid backpacker, she spends her spare time hiking the desert terrain near Moab, Utah.
Neri has been guiding with us for 23 years and is from San Jose Succotz in the Cayo District. He trained in the U.S. as a river guide, having worked for Bill Dvorak during the summer of 2001, guiding on the Arkansas and Dolores Rivers in Colorado and the Green River in Utah.
He specializes in the natural and environmental interpretation of the jungle and is an expert in Mayan history. He has become a mentor to other guides, as well as an assistant manager on the island. His huge experience, patience, and knowledge will make you feel safe and sound.
Magdaleno “Junior” Yacab
Magdaleno is from the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen (“Benque”) in the Cayo District. Prior to becoming a guide, his career started out as a zookeeper at Belize Zoo and he developed an expert knowledge of wildlife. Eco-tourism followed and he has a highly experienced guiding background, having worked for Mopan River Resort, Belizean Sun Tours and Duplooy’s Resort, amongst others.
This is his 14th season with Slickrock and he is now manager on the island. From his encouragement instructing the sporting activities to his friendly persona, he will make you feel at home.
Luis’ family moved to Belize from El Salvador when he was four and he now lives in San Ignacio, Cayo District. He became involved in the tourist industry early, working at several different lodges in the Cayo area. Several years ago a friend took him out to St. George’s Caye where he discovered his aptitude for water sports, especially snorkeling and diving.
Luis is a real natural in the water and is more than happy to share his vast knowledge of the Belizean waters, as well as making you feel at ease with his dedication and passion for a job he really enjoys. This is his 9th season with Slickrock and he is now island manager.
Marcy is now on her 17th year as a chef with Slickrock. She is from Dangriga, Stann Creek District and as with Aurora and Lavern, Marcy is of Garinagu heritage.
She is a dedicated and hardworking chef with a great sense of humour. Amongst the delicious meals throughout your stay on the island, keep an eye out for the hand-made key lime pie on Friday night.
Marcy is now also the island office and Gold Standard manager, liaising with Jose on the mainland and keeping a close tab on the inventory.
Jose is general manager of the Belize City office. From accounts and logistics, food to drinks, he keeps the show on the road behind the scenes.
He has been working with Slickrock for the past 14 years and lives in Armenia, Cayo District, by the foothills of the Maya Mountains.
He is an expert guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of Belizean flora and fauna, and a huge array of tales to share from his experiences in the jungle over the years.
In addition to being a firm part of the Slickrock family, he is Chairman of the water board and former mayor of his village.
Aurora is from Dangriga, Stann Creek District and is of Garinagu heritage. She joined Slickrock 23 years ago and is a highly talented chef making delicious Belize cuisine. In the early days, Aurora has also helped with the thatching of the kitchen and other cabanas, painting and construction, so has had a large role in building up the island from the very early days.
We really admire her dedication and friendliness, as you’ll notice when you visit. Fresh rice, made from the coconuts picked the very same day is just one delicious part of the menu.
Mark “Marcus” Hyde
Mark was born in Belize City, Belize District, moved to the US after high school and spent two years at Brooklyn College. From there, he joined the United States Marine Corps where he stayed for four years, leaving with the rank of Corporal.
After leaving the marines, Mark went to commercial diving school and became a commercial diver around New York Harbor for 13 years, then Tampa for 3 years, finally settling back to Belize. In Belize, Mark became a PADI Divemaster, visiting the world-famous Great Blue Hole for six years. From there, he became boat master, captain, and manager of Ramada marina for two years, two years as manager of Blackbird Caye, owned his own boat business and now tenders boats for cruise ships, in addition to working for Slickrock for 19 years and counting.
Lavern has worked as a chef out on the island for 19 years and has great cooking skills. She comes from Hopkins, Stann Creek District and is of Garinagu heritage.
As with our entire team of chefs, you will notice the hard work they do behind the scenes on your visit; from baking fresh bread for breakfast every morning whilst you’re fast asleep in the early hours, to making lunch and dinner whilst you’re busy on a kayak.
Martin originally came to the island to help with the construction and thatching of the cabanas during the off-season in the 1990s. Due to his work ethic and friendly manner, he was invited to work for Slickrock 16 years ago, and takes such good care of the island grounds with a genuine smile on his face.
Martin is of Ki’che Maya descent and originally from Guatemala, but has lived in Belize for nearly three decades and resides in Silk Grass, Stann Creek District. You will likely see Martin expertly cut open fresh coconuts with a machete throughout your stay.
Linsford “Reagan” Murillo
Reagan is from Dangriga, Stann Creek District and started driving boats from just 15 years old. He became captain at 17 and is vastly experienced throughout Belizean waters.
From 1984-1989 Reagan worked for Blue Marlin Lodge, then at the (former) Manta Resort out at Glover’s Reef Atoll from 1989-1998 until hurricane Mitch ruined the property, then transferred to their sister resort Blackbird Caye at Turneffe Atoll until 2001. Reagan has run tours of the Caribbean sea and Belize river to cruise ship clientele since 2004 and joined Slickrock as captain of Batfish 16 years ago.
This his 4th year with us. German has lived all over Belize. Raised on Ambergris Caye, lived for many years in the town of San Ignacio, Cayo District and now lives in Patchacan, Corozal District in Northern Belize.
He is very adventurous, loves the sea, and has guided for many years. Originally working at Jaguar Paw in the jungle ziplining and Belize river tubing, he got deeper into learning jungle plants, animals, and birds. His extensive knowledge of nature and Maya history is a huge asset. He is always willing to answer your questions and go the extra mile to be helpful. His enthusiasm is infectious and you’ll often hear him singing and playing the guitar.