Phil is a former zookeeper, amateur poet, and accidental entrepreneur, originally from Hertford, 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.
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 and developed a real appreciation of the people behind the business, as well as the unique beauty of Long Caye, Glover’s Reef.
Since 2018, the Belizean team has been empowered and promoted to manage the business day-to-day, and become business partners.
The entire business relocated from the US to Belize in March 2020.
With over 50 years of guiding experience, and founding Slickrock from a concept to a well-respected outfitter, Cully has extensive experience leading kayak trips with an emphasis on instruction and participation.
From 1977 – 2019, Cully created, managed, and personally guided Slickrock tours in the US, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, with the latter being our focus since 1986.
He has extensive knowledge, is an avid adventurer, and led numerous expeditions even before Slickrock. That passion and sense of adventure culminated in a hobby becoming a very interesting career, as well as the spirit of what Slickrock is to this very day.
Cully was named one of the “Top 100 Paddlers of the Century” by Paddler magazine in their year-end 2000 issue. He has also been featured in shows on ABC, ESPN, TBS and Discovery.
Cully remains with Slickrock on a consultancy basis and spends every summer at The Gorge, but home is still Moab, Utah.
Lucy joined Slickrock in 1986. As Vice-President and office manager, Lucy was heavily involved with Cully to develop our Belize programmes from their inception. She used to guide in Belize, including Glover’s Reef from 1986-2019 and is responsible for our renowned menu.
Lucy was at the end of almost every phone call, email, letter, or fax for every single one of those 33 years. She and Cully created something from nothing, and it is a huge feat to have grown from humble beginnings in Moab, Utah, to an international tour company, at one point operating in five countries.
Lucy even met Queen Elizabeth II in Belize, during a winter’s stint managing Slickrock in 1994.
Lucy remains with Slickrock as a consultant. An avid backpacker, she spends her spare time hiking the desert terrain near Moab, Utah, where she still lives.
Jose is the logistics manager of Slickrock’s operations, usually based at the head office in Belize City, on the mainland. From accounts and logistics, paperwork to food and drinks, he keeps the show on the road behind the scenes.
He has been working with Slickrock since 2007 and lives in Armenia Village, 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.
Jose still enjoys guiding on the mainland, as that enthusiasm for guiding still burns bright. He’s a natural, with a very good heart. If you’re happy, he’s happy.
In addition to being a firm part of the Slickrock family, he was previously Chairman of the Armenia Water Board, and former mayor of Armenia.
Marcy joined Slickrock back in 2004, and is from Dangriga, Stann Creek District.
Originally employed as an assistant chef, Marcy is now the office and Gold Standard manager, liaising with the Ministry of Health, Belize Tourism Board, and answering guest phone calls.
Her passion for cooking is still there, making time to assist Aurora and Lavern, in addition to the management role.
She is dedicated and hardworking, with a great sense of humour.
Magdaleno “Junior” Yacab
Magdaleno is from the border town of Benque Viejo del Carmen (“Benque”) in the Cayo District.
He joined Slickrock back in 2008 and is now island manager.
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.
From his encouragement instructing the sporting activities to his friendly persona, he will make you feel right at home.
Luis joined Slickrock as a guide back in 2012 and is now island manager.
His family moved to Belize from El Salvador when he was four and he lives in San Ignacio, Cayo District.
He became involved in the tourism industry early, working at several different lodges. 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.
Neri has been guiding with Slickrock since 1998, 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 and continues to guide on the island.
His huge experience, patience, and knowledge will make you feel safe and sound.
Aurora is from Dangriga, Stann Creek District. She joined Slickrock in 1998, and is a highly talented chef making our delicious Belize cuisine.
Fresh rice, made from the coconuts picked the very same day is just one delicious part of the menu.
In the early days, Aurora 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.
Lavern first joined Slickrock from 2000 – 2001, coming back into the fold in 2004, after the brief hiatus.
She comes from Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District.
As a chef out on the island, she has great cooking skills. As you will notice behind the scenes on your visit, she’s busy 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.
Lavern has an infectious smile and a lovely persona, which you’ll see on the island.
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 in 2005 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.
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 since 2001.
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 since 2004.
German joined the Slickrock family back in 2016.
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.