On July 3, we embarked on the biggest adventure of our lives.  The Ford Falcon would be our home on the road for the next 2 months.  Filled with a range of emotion from fear to excitement, we knew that this would be a challenge for us to take on.  With uncharted territories and the uncertain roads ahead, we relied on our faith and the smart travel skills we have acquired to lead us to each destination safely.

Honestly, all I can say is that it is tough traveling with kids and a large dog.   It doesn’t make for much relaxing time when it’s tight quarters, kids are fighting, bumpy road conditions, fur every where, anxiety filled military and police roadblocks, and did I mention the 90 degree plus and high humidity weather that we have to wake up to and travel in each day.  It is very different from the times when you were single and or traveling with a companion.  You could be more carefree and not worry where you ended up for the night.  I worry more so than Rob or maybe I worry out loud.  I’m a mom.  Trying to travel safely to each destination, staying cool in the heat, and finding secure comfortable pet friendly accommodations has been somewhat  challenging but overall easy with the help of our travel books, maps, and us practicing our Spanish.   We are super stoked to find somewhere with a pool and working wifi.  Mostly, we have been camping and or staying in tiny cabanas.  Don’t get me wrong, but we have also had such an epic time with our kids making great memories and seeing them discover the world through their eyes.   This trip so far has made me feel so grateful for the lives we are blessed to have and has made me realize it that you don’t need much in this life just your family, food in your bellies, a roof over your head, and faith and love in your heart.  I am excited to see what the next part of our adventure brings and how we can help others to SHINE! -Cheryl


Taking in the breathtaking sunset on the beach of Melaque, Mexico.


One of my favorite places so far was the tiny fishing village of Ticla.  We found a little piece of unspoiled paradise where the ocean brought consistent fun waves for Rob, where the palapas decorated the shore, and where we called one of them our home sweet home for the evening.  At the rivermouth, there were local villagers fishing.  We met some kids, on their summer break, in search of estrellas de mar.  They were from a near by town.  This was our chance to practice some Spanish

From Mexico we made our way to the mountains of Guatemala and spent some time in the beautiful Lake Atitlan area.IMG_4064


In El Salvador we connected with a local school in El Zonte to share ideas and discuss problems facing the region.  We were able to supply the incoming Kindergarten class with school supplies for the year.



From El Salvador we made our way to northern Nicaragua where we met a really great guy named Joey doing good work for the local community.


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We joined a mission trip in Nicaragua organized by our church in Costa Rica, the Tamarindo Church.  We built homes, did arts and crafts with the kids and aided in a massive feeding program in the very deprived community of Cristo Rey.






While in Costa Rica we were able to participate in the Robert August Surf and Turf event which raises money for a local organization called CEPIA that provides services for troubled youth and people with special needs.


Robert August, Scott Dawson, Juan Diego Evangelista, Curtis Custer, and me at the Surf and Turf eventDSCN4634

We also helped to renovate a local school in Playa Avellanas in order for it to meet code requirements to open for students.  It now houses a Tree of Life International school that offers top notch education to the local community at a very affordable rate.





The Shine Project Foundation organized a big beach event for families of children with special needs, at Playa Avellanas.  We partnered with CEPIA and Surf Foam Central America to provide transportation to and from a fun-filled day of surf, food, and communion with all of our local volunteers and those who participated in our event.